Current Exhibits:

Virtual exhibit

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Within the Main Library

Within the Archives

Previous Exhibits:

Monstrosity in the Archives: Defining & Decoding

Curated by Candace Reilly, Emma Bryer, Lizzie Shack, Mary Cannaday, Hamza Radid, and Catherine Shattuck

How do you define monstrosity?

This exhibit explores the images and descriptions of the monstrous in various forms. From texts such as the Malleus Maleficarum, fairytales, folklore, ghost stories, and the Bible, we investigate the defining qualities of the monstrous body.


The Biblia Regia (Antwerp Polyglot Bible)

Curated by Candace Reilly

Text by Dr. Alex de Voogt

Christophe Plantin or Christoffel Plantijn (1520–1589) was the founder of one of the most important publishers of the 16th Century. His main residence was in Antwerp where his printing house has been preserved to this day in the Plantin-Moretus Museum. In 1568 he started a masterpiece of Renaissance book production: The Biblia Regia or Antwerp Polyglot Bible.

Plantin acquired types from the best type-cutters and designers of the day as well as proofreaders for the Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, Latin and Chaldean (Aramaic) texts for his Polyglot Bible. Philip II, King of Spain and at that time still Lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands, commissioned 13 copies printed on vellum. Another 1200 copies were printed on paper. Two volumes, six and eight, were only printed on paper due to a shortage of vellum during various uprisings against the rule of Philip II. With Hebrew, Greek and Syriac in the Polyglot, all of the Abrahamic religions were purposely represented: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. The Polyglot was meant to assist all men to become fellow-citizens of the world. The text arrangements in the Polyglot are complex and show a remarkable skill on the part of the typesetters.

The first four volumes contain the Old Testament with most pages featuring two columns. The left page commonly shows vocalized Hebrew on the far left with Jerome’s Vulgate Latin translation on the right. The facing page has the Greek Septuagint on the right with an italicized Latin translation on its left. Underneath the columns is a vocalized Chaldean (Aramaic) text of the Targum on the left page with its Latin translation on the right. The arrangement changes, for instance, the book of Judith does not include the Hebrew and the Greek Septuagint has an interlinear Latin transliteration next to the Vulgate Latin translation.

Volume Five has the New Testament in Syriac on the far left with its Latin translation in the next column and on the facing page the Vulgate Latin text on the left with the Greek Septuagint on the right. Volume Six has grammars and dictionaries of Hebrew, Greek, Syriac and Chaldean (Aramaic). Volume Seven has the complete Old Testament in Hebrew with a Latin translation between the lines and a Greek New Testament also with an interlinear Latin translation as well as a list of common and familiar Hebrew idioms. Volume Eight is a treatise by Benito Arias Montano, who was overseeing the bible production on behalf of King Philip II. He presents the origin and evolution of the world and its people from creation to the time of Christ together with an ethnography of the ancient Hebrews.


Merrill Brekka, Pamela 2012. The Antwerp Polyglot Bible (1572): Visual Coprus, New World ‘Hebrew-Indian’ Map, and the Religious Crosscurrents of Imperial Spain. Dissertation, University of Florida.

Langereis, Sandra 2014. De Woordenaar: Christoffel Plantijn ‘s Werelds Grootste Drukker en Uitgever (1520–1589). Balans Uitgeverij: Amsterdam.

If Books Could Kill

Curated by Candace Reilly, Emma Bryer, Mary Cannaday, Sophia Patti, and Becca Safi

What makes a book deadly?

The text? The ink? The pigments? The binding?

Historically, all of the above.

This exhibit explores the toxicity of book production. From texts such as the Malleus Maleficarum, Mein Kampf, and the Bible, which have influenced killing, to the chemical make-up of the ingredients used to produce books. We were inspired by the Winterthur Library Poison Book Project, and their work on detecting toxicity in bookcloth colorants primarily from the 19th century.

If Books Could Kill showcases the artifacts within our collection that possibly contain toxic ingredients. From bookcloths, pigments, parchment, leathers, dust, mold, fungus, and disease this exhibit will have you question the poisonous nature of books.


Piety and Plague: Communal Responses to Epidemics

Curated by Candace Reilly and Becca Safi

We are living in a difficult time. Our lives have been uprooted by COVID-19, which has caused death, sickness, job loss, depression, anxiety, prejudice, and much more.

This exhibit intends to showcase that our time is not an anomaly. We are part of a history of epidemics that has ravaged the human population for thousands of years.

The exhibit is organized into three factions of response to sickness. The first grouping focuses on the medical reaction to disease, the second looks at the religious reception, and the third regards the different ways fears and anxieties of sickness shape our behavior and the culture around us. We hope you find this exhibit timely and take some comfort in how we fit into history.

If you are interested in an online version of the exhibit, then please use the following link which will take you to our OMEKA site: https://omeka.drew.edu/exhibits/show/pietyandplague

If you are interested in our other exhibits then please use the following link –  Omeka