On Thursday 5 April Project Director Andrew Pettegree joined over one hundred guests for the launch of the exhibition ‘Rarity and Rare Books’ (‘Rareté et livres rares‘) at the library of the University of Rennes 2. This exhibition is the first by one of our library partners touching explicitly on the themes raised by Preserving the World’s Rarest Books and drawing upon the data supplied to the library as part of our agreement. The exhibition features items from the library’s collection from four centuries and considers different aspects of rarity: rare survivals, rare bindings, copies belonging to distinguished collectors, and the bespoke productions of private presses. Malcolm Walsby, who designed the exhibition with the help of Ann-Marie Hansen, commented “This was an opportunity to bring to the fore the rarest items of a collection that has hitherto been overlooked by scholars. The Preserving the World’s Rarest Books programme encouraged us to identify not just the unique editions in the collection, but also explore what constituted a rare book. We hope that that the conference and the exhibition show how rich this theme can be”.
The exhibition launch was accompanied by a two-day conference on Rarity and Rare Books from the 16th to the 20th century, addressed by specialists in the field from four countries. The exhibition continues to Friday 4 May and will be on view again in September for the European Heritage Days.
For more information, visit the exhibition page: https://www.bu.univ-rennes2.fr/article/15-03-2018/rarete-et-livres-rares