Projects: Past and Present

Ongoing Member Projects

Book Lab Co-Director Elizabeth Hebbard is the Primary Principle Investigator for the Peripheral Manuscripts Project along with Michelle Dalmau, one of the members of our Board of Directors, who is one of the Peripheral Manuscripts Project's Co-Principle Investigators.

The Peripheral Manuscripts Project is a three-year project, hosted at Indiana University Bloomington, which will digitize and create item-level metadata for 78 codices and 406 medieval manuscript fragments from twenty-two primarily non-R1 Midwestern institutions. The Indiana University Libraries will scan or photograph holdings, and researchers at IU Bloomington, Loyola University Chicago, and Saint Mary’s College will create metadata for these objects, including many items unrecorded in previous bibliographical surveys. Resulting item descriptions and high-resolution, IIIF-compliant images will be made freely available through Indiana University.

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Ongoing Book Lab Projects

Nature’s Hues: Inkmaking in Book History and Book Arts

Exhibition August 4 - September 4, 2021

Exhibition remains on view outside of the Process Gallery.

Curated by Patricia Ingham and Elizabeth Hebbard with Kayla Lunt, Rebecca Lippens, and Madeline Keyser.

For much of the history of writing, the reliance on natural materials for the creation of ink has been a convenience, an ideal, a constraint, and often a necessity. Some natural inks have been in continuous use for millennia, and the use of these ancient inks persists alongside texts inscribed with them, some of which are nearly as old. In the modern world, natural inkmaking is no longer a necessity, but instead a process of artistry, experimentation, and refined craft that engages both a sense of color and a sense of chemistry. Natural inkmaking also connects the book arts to annual cycles of growth, pruning, and harvesting; thoughtful and sustainable cultivation; and a purposeful attention to indigenous species and biomes.

The Book Lab continues to explore natural inkmaking and maintains a garden devoted to growing native and historically-significant plants for producing inks.

Page through the exhibition catalogue below to learn more about Nature's Hues and to find a recipe for your own natural ink.