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My name's Emilie Hardman.
I am the program head for Special Collections
at MIT Libraries, which is a new position and really new program
that we're developing here.
So I brought a number of things from our collections at MIT,
and it begins with a book of hours.
So this is the kind of object that people sort of immediately
associate with a special collection.
It's on vellum.
It's illuminated in gold.
It looks immediately precious to us.
I've brought here the Mathematical Magick
or the Wonders That May Be Performed by Mechanical
Geometry, and it is an early modern book published right
at the end of the 17th century.
We have Galileo's Starry Messengers,
which is a beautiful and really, obviously, significant work
that we can appreciate both for the foundational scientific
knowledge that it communicates but also for the beauty of it
as a book art object.
So this is a piece by Angela Lorenz, the really creative
book artist.
This is her sort of tribute to early computing and to Balzac.
And it is a series of reimagined punch cards
that would have been fed into early computer systems.
The libraries as a whole have a really exciting and important
platform, and my vision for Special Collections
connects really firmly into that.
It's not something that should be
dusty and in secretive shelves and that people should approach
only with sacred reverence.
It should be something that's really active, engaged with,
and used to create, to create art, to create new knowledge,
to really expand the whole sense of what
we can do and know and build new understandings with.
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