Past Gallery Exhibit – Rare Books of the Rosenberg

Rare Books of the Rosenberg exhibit logo

Rare Books of the Rosenberg featured extraordinary, one-of-a-kind works from the Library’s outstanding collection of rare books and manuscripts.

Rare Books of the Rosenberg traces the history of written communication and how it has evolved over the last 4,000 years. Early examples of writing include cuneiform tablets from ancient Babylon (ca. 2350 B.C.) as well as papyrus covered with Egyptian hieroglyphics (ca. 650 B.C.). Before the invention of printing, books were copied and illustrated by hand. The Library’s collection includes illuminated manuscripts from the medieval period as well as a page printed on Johann Gutenberg’s movable type press in 1460.

Collage of books and artifacts included in the Rare Books of the Rosenberg exhibit

Collage of books and artifacts included in the exhibit: Rare Books of the Rosenberg.

When the Rosenberg Library was established in 1904, it absorbed the collection of the Galveston Mercantile Library which was established in 1871. This collection included a number of valuable and collectible texts as well as first editions of many important literary works. These books formed the foundation of the Rosenberg Library’s Rare Book Collection, which continued to expand over the Library’s subsequent decades of operation.

A variety of rare and interesting religious books were featured in the exhibit including an accordion-fold Buddhist prayer book, a handwritten copy of the Quran, and historic Bibles. Miniature books and examples of modern fine edition printing were also included.