Event—Public Programming

Curator-Led Exhibition Tour: "Pop-Up Books through the Ages"


In honor of National Library Week, curator Suzanne Karr Schmidt will lead a guided tour of "Pop-Up Books through the Ages."

Pop-up book by Ernst Nister. 1890s.

We'll meet in the Newberry lobby and then make our way into the galleries for a closer look at Pop-Up Books through the Ages.

About National Library Week

This tour is part of our programming for National Library Week (April 23-29), a week-long event organized by the American Library Association to celebrate the work of libraries across the United States. 

In addition to this curator-led tour, we're offering 10% off all purchases at the Newberry Bookshop (both in-store and online) for the entire week! To redeem the discount online, enter the code Tome10 at checkout.

Looking for another way to celebrate National Library Week? Help keep the Newberry vital by becoming a donor.

Make a Gift

Cost and Registration

This tour is free to attend. Advance registration required.


About "Pop-Up Books through the Ages"

Pop-up books have a longer history than you might think. For centuries, books with interactive flaps, dials, and other moving parts have captivated readers of all ages.

Since at least the 1100s, readers have been lifting flaps, spinning dials, and opening elaborate three-dimensional spreads in the pages of books. The earliest interactive texts were intended for scholars. Over time, pop-up books found new audiences and grew in popularity, engaging a wide range of users from emperors to mathematicians to children.

Featuring books, maps, and ephemera from the Newberry collection, Pop-Up Books through the Ages traces the extensive history of hands-on reading. Tactile, interactive components can be found in everything from a 1489 astronomical calendar and a 1775 battle map to a 1932 edition of Pinocchio. Viewing these different items in one place, visitors will see how the art, science, and business of pop-up books evolved over hundreds of years.

In addition to exploring the past, the exhibition highlights the present and future of pop-up books, including the work of contemporary book and paper artists who are pushing the form in new directions. Two of these artists, Hannah Batsel and Shawn Sheehy, have even designed a pop-up version of the Newberry that you can take home and construct yourself!

Pop-Up Books through the Ages is generously supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Professor James H. Marrow and Dr. Emily Rose, Alan Templeton, Diane and Richard Weinberg, and The Movable Book Society.

Pop-up edition of "Pinocchio." 1932.

An astronomical device with a spinning dial (or volvelle) appears in a 1575 edition of Peter Apian's "Cosmography."

Robert Sabuda’s interpretation of a spinning calendar dial by Matthew Paris from 1250.

Declination...of the points of longitude of the globe. Juan González de Urueña, 1740.

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