The Extraordinary World of MARBL: An Excerpt from John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row

52weeks_logo4.jpgThe Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is a place of discovery. All are welcome to visit and explore our unique holdings, whether as a researcher or an observer. The breadth and depth of our collections are vast, and it is nearly impossible to investigate every nook and cranny. We invite you this year, through our blog, to tour some of those places you didn’t know existed, and get acquainted with collections you might not have previously explored. Check back in with us weekly over the course of 2013 as we offer you a delightful look into some of the favorite, but perhaps lesser-known, corners of our collections. These pieces are visually interesting, come attached with fascinating stories, and are often 3D objects you might not have realized are part of what makes up The Extraordinary World of MARBL.

John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row"

John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row”

The book—or rather, the first paragraph—is finally out of the can! Book artists, Peter and Donna Thomas visited the Woodruff Library on March 3, 2013, and in a public ceremony, opened their miniature edition of Cannery Row. The can and the book’s galvanized steel covers are not “just beautiful containers of information”– as Peter Thomas has described some historical book structures, but are instead, part of a consummate integration of form and content in which the can, the text, the watercolors, and the hand-made paper are equally important elements. Thomas explains: “Being a book artist is more than just making books: it is living and breathing them. It’s about becoming so involved with the subject matter that the physical attributes of the book reveal themselves. It’s about listening to the materials invoke the proper text. It’s about loving those materials and knowing them so well that we feel their desire to be used in the book we are making.” You can view the book, now in its opened form, in the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library.

An Excerpt from John Steinbeck's Cannery Row by Peter and Donna Thomas, Photo of Opened Can by Peter Thomas.

An Excerpt from John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row by Peter and Donna Thomas, Photo of Opened Can by Peter Thomas.

 

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