Boasting 400,000 objects and an acquisition program over two centuries old, PEM's Phillips Library is one of the largest, oldest and most significant museum libraries in the world. Through over 30 exquisitely rare and storied objects from the library's holdings, this exhibition presents works including: a visually stunning leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, an elaborately detailed sketchbook from the Civil War, 19th-century Japanese teahouse pop-ups, the earliest example of paper currency in the Western world, and a signed first edition of The Scarlet Letter. Equal parts aesthetically and intellectually engaging, the works on view offer a glimpse into historical documents that were acquired for their power to both delight the eye and change the world.
Support for the exhibition has been provided in part by members of the Library Visiting Committee including Katherine H. Duffy, Tom and Monica Healey, Mr. and Mrs. James F. Hunnewell Jr., Tim and Joanie Ingraham, George Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. Scott E. Offen, Mr. and Mrs. Stuart W. Pratt, Robert N. Shapiro, and Mr. and Mrs. William S. Strong, as well as by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.
Additional generous support provided by EBSCO Publishing.