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Georgia Tech Museum holds exhibition of American papermaking

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Georgia Tech Museum holds exhibition of American papermaking

April 14, 2010 - 04:31

ATLANTA, GA, April 12, 2010 (Press Release) -In contrast to the math problems, lab experiments, and computer programming that haunt the minds of most Georgia Tech students, a small group of students have taken on the role of museum curator, preparing an exhibition to open April 28th from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Neely Room of the Georgia Tech Library, closing May 31st."Papermaking: An American Revolution"focuses on papermaking and printing in America from 1690-1850, and includes stories of important families in papermaking, the papermaking process from handmade to machine made, and the powerful effect that paper and printing had on US history. The opening is free and open to the public.

Description of exhibition

The exhibition will give visitors a new insight into the history of papermaking in America, and will shed light on the amazing history that paper has to offer. From a closer look at the raw materials-some familiar (cotton and linen) some unusual (cactus and corn husk)-to the drying, polishing, and finishing that go into producing paper, visitors will discover that paper holds many unsuspected secrets. "Papermaking: An American Revolution"offers an in depth look at making paper both by hand and by machine, and includes intricate models of many of the papermaking machines used in early America. Other artifacts featured in the exhibit include goods made from paper, ranging from historical documents to shirt collars, from bullets to mummy wrappings. Also exhibited are the stories of the mill workers and families who worked and owned important paper mills, giving insight into the labor-intensive and sometimes dangerous lives these people led. Mills featured in the exhibit range from Massachusetts to Delaware to those in our very own state of Georgia. The exhibit also offers a first look at groundbreaking evidence that the first chemical bleaching of wood pulp happened at Banning Mills right here in Georgia. Among the array of historic artifacts included in the exhibit are watermarks from the 18th century, copper plate etchings used to create prints on the cover pages of book, early American handmade paper, and early American machine made paper. Unique to this exhibit is a look at how paper was involved in American political affairs and wars, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. For an in depth look at the wonder that is the seemingly simple piece of paper you are reading this on, come to the Neely Room at the Georgia Tech Library April 28-May 31, 2010, and discover the secrets of paper for yourself.

About the School of History, Technology, and Society

The School of History, Technology, and Society (HTS) is an interdisciplinary unit within the Ivan Allen College, consisting of scholars from history and sociology. HTS brings the perspective of the social sciences to bear on critical issues facing the modern world, while providing a source of analysis that emphasizes both change over time and cultural comparisons on an international scale.

HTS takes a special interest in issues of science and technology as they affect human society. The School's focus on the social origins and impact of industry, science, and technology is distinctive and offers the tools students need to understand the complex issues related to the development of contemporary communities.

HTS faculty have won numerous teaching and research awards, and we are particularly

committed to outstanding teaching and research. The School offers a BS degree; undergraduate minors in history, sociology, and women, science, and technology; and certificate programs not only in history and sociology but also in African American studies, Asian Affairs, and European Affairs. Graduate students can earn a MS or PhD degree in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science.

Enjoy looking at our Web site, where you can find more information about HTS academic programs, faculty, upcoming events, employment information, study abroad programs, and student and alumni accomplishments.

About the Neely Library and Rare Book Room

The Neely Gallery & Rare Book Room houses a portion of the Library's Rare Book collection. Purposeful attention to the development of a rare book collection began in the 1950s, when library director Dorothy M. Crosland acquired a copy of the first edition of Sir Isaac Newton'sPhilosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica(London, 1687), providing the cornerstone for a strong collection in the history of science and technology, with special strength in Newtoniana. The library owns a copy of each of the first three editions of thePrincipia Mathematica(1687, 1713, and 1726), all published during Newton's lifetime. Early editions of other works by Newton have been acquired, most notably the first edition ofOpticks: or A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light(London, 1704) and the first English edition of UniversalArithmetick, or,A Treatise of Arithmetical Composition and Resolution(London, 1720). Other Newtoniana include works by such contemporaries of Newton as John Keill, Henry Pemberton, and Colin MacLaurin.

One of the library's most beautiful treasures is the nine-volume Dutch language edition of Joan Blaeu's GrootenAtlas(or Grand Atlas) , published in the 1660s at the zenith of seventeenth century Dutch cartography. The most sumptuous publication of the century, the Grooten Atlas features hundreds of beautiful hand-colored maps and detailed text. Acquired in 1965 as a memorial to Mary Howard Gilbert, this atlas never ceases to delight and fascinate library visitors.

Other collecting areas include mathematics, particularly probability, sciences, technology and architecture. For more information about the Georgia Tech Library in general, please visit their website,

About the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking

The Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking is located in the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at 500 Tenth Street, NW, Atlanta. The museum is the most comprehensive collection of paper and paper-related artifacts in the world. The permanent exhibits trace the art, science and history of papermaking from the forerunners of paper to the advanced technology of today. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For a photograph, more information or to register for the workshop on-line please visit our website at: