16 August 2012


Remember the movie Mona Lisa Smile? And how it was about a conservative college for women--Wellesley? Today, for our last official day of class we took the commuter rail out there and visited the special collections, conservation lab, and book arts lab.

Wellesley is I think the most beautiful campus I have ever seen. There could be more beautiful college campuses out there, but I haven't them yet. I kept having to remind myself that this was a college, not a park. So gorgeous. And the architecture is fantastic. Such beautiful buildings. The insides were great too. The special collections and the labs we saw were stunning, very elegant. I can totally understand why women would want to go to school here.

We also had the opportunity to have lunch on campus. On Thursdays they have lunch for some staff group in the faculty club. It was a nice buffet, with nice dishes, that we enjoyed on the patio overlooking the beautiful lake. And the humidity managed to burn off a bit so that it was wonderfully pleasant to be outside.

It was a great day. Besides, we got to handle some pretty awesome books. There was one that was mid-nineteenth century prints of Italian countryside dedicated to Prince Albert, with some spectacular endpapers and endbands. We saw an awesome Parisian study bible that I think dated to the thirteenth century. And we got to handle a pretty nice incunable, and so many other great things. I do love field trips.

And the conservation lab and the book arts lab had windows! I know that sounds funny, but it is amazing what windows will do. It really says something about an institution that it cares enough about conservation to put the lab in a space with windows. And it is truly a beautiful lab. And I've never seen anything like their book arts lab. It's a far cry from the ex-grocery store/warehouse I learned the trade in.

I felt like such a tourist as I took pictures today. But I confess that I don't know when I'll have time to upload them. In the mean time, enjoy this picture I found online:

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