History Through the Pages

ASU Hosts Rare Book Exhibit

By Aubree Bailey
On September 7, 2017

Photo by Axel Marcenaro
Caitlyn Andrade, freshman student assistant, and Heather Roberts, sophmore, look through one of the many books on display in the exhibit.

An interesting oppurtunity to see and handle antique books is available at ASU this fall.

The Remnant Trust, Inc., a public educational foundation, has afforded ASU the opportunity to exhibit almost 50 manuscripts of early and notable works that concern human dignity and individual liberty.

"Gosh, I read that and said, ‘Wait a minute, this is awesome!’ I told Dr. May, ‘I think we have to go for this!" Dr. Maurice Fortin, ASU’s Library Director, said when describing how this opportunity became available. From there, Fortin continued correspondence with The Remnant Trust, Inc., eventually traveling to their headquarters at Texas Tech University to select the pieces that would be shown at ASU.

The Remnant Trust, Inc. has an extensive collection of documents and artifacts dating as far back as 2500 BC. Currently, ASU exhibits several of their prominent pieces, including a 13th century Bible written in Latin, the first book edition of Congress’ Articles of Confederation from 1789, and Voltaire’s Candide, All for the Best, a first edition English translation from 1759.

Gabriel Johnson, a student worker who assists visitors with navigating the exhibit, said his favorite pieces are, "either the 13th century Bible or Hartmann Schedel’s 3rd edition Nuremburg Chronicle from 1500 A.D."

When asked how he would describe visitors’ reactions to the manuscripts, Johnson said, "Most people are shocked and pretty blown away by everything that’s here."

One remarkable feature of the exhibit is that visitors are allowed to handle pieces assisted by staff. They are even allowed to take pictures, as long as the flash is turned off.

Fortin explained that the flash contains UV light that could damage the paper of manuscripts.

"We had to put special sleeves on light bulbs to filter the UV," said Fortin.

The exhibit is open not only to students and staff, but also to the general public, Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It is located on the second floor of the University Center.

"We’ve already had a great turn out!" Fortin says.

He also mentions that group tours are welcome to make reservations through the ASU library.

For information about The Remnant Trust Fund, Inc. and to view the entirety of their collection, visit www.theremnanttrust.com.

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