Pequot Library extends its rare book exhibition

Pequot Library has extended its current exhibition of rare books due to popular demand. The exhibition from the Library’s Special Collections, Pages from Pequot: Connections — Black Poets & Writers American Visionaries 1700s-Present will run through May 8. It is free and open to the public. Schools are also welcome to sign up for free private tours which include: a Pequot Library Historical Tour; Special Collections Exhibition Tours 1700s-2000s, including primary sources; and a Hands-on Art Project.

Connections: Black Poets & Writers showcases poetry and prose by eleven American visionaries. This exhibition makes connections between the past and the present, the reader and the material on display, and the writers themselves. Collectively, over centuries, these writers explore themes of freedom, identity, Christianity, appreciation of God, nature, autonomy, injustice, color, love, race, and voice.

The oldest item in this exhibition is Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, 1773, signed by the author, Phillis Wheatley. Other authors include Jupiter Hammon, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Countee Cullen, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Also on exhibit are signed first editions on loan by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Langston Hughes.

Included on display is an exhibition entitled, Creativity Visualized: Children’s Books Come Alive. Despite the fact that Pequot Library has 125,000 books, the question of how a book is created persists. As a result Pequot Library demystifies this process for children. This mini-exhibition presents the story of two award-winning teams: 1) Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome, 2) Suzanne Slade and Nicole Tadgell. Each team contains an author and illustrator whose creative talents brought stories about Frederick Douglass alive. On view are handwritten manuscripts, computer typed manuscripts with hand-written edits, a book draft, correspondence between publisher and author, dummy versions of books, Galley Copy, Artist’s Steps, Models, and actual art work.

For more information, visit pequotlibrary.org or call 203-259-0346, ext. 15. All classes and programs are open to everyone. Follow Pequot Library on Facebook and Twitter.

Beardsley School children take a tour through the rare books exhibit.

Beardsley School children take a tour through the rare books exhibit.

High school students explore Pequot's rare book collection.

High school students explore Pequot’s rare book collection.

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