"Touch This Page!" - An Introduction
"Touch This Page! Making Sense of the Ways We Read" is an exhibition about multisensory experiences of reading. Its central objects are 3D replicas from historical books for blind and low-vision readers printed between 1830 and 1910. Most of these archival materials live at the Samuel P. Hayes Research Library at the Perkins School for the Blind. We hope that, by experiencing these 3D-printed objects, you will reflect on how touch, sight, and sound contribute to experiences of reading—historically and today. Simultaneously, the story of these tactile pages guides you through a particular slice of disability history and current barriers to access understood through the principles of universal design.
A pop-up style version of the exhibition is being hosted simultaneously at four locations during its initial launch: Harvard University’s Lamont Library, Northeastern University’s Snell Library, the Perkins School for the Blind, and Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library (at Copley Square). It will run from the week of January 28, 2019 through mid-April 2019. This web exhibition hosts all content from the physical exhibition including the files of the pages from the Perkins archive so that anyone with access to a 3D printer can reproduce the exhibition and its objects.
Information about visiting the exhibition and specific directions to its sites is available on the Locations page.
"Touch This Page!" is co-directed by Sari Altschuler (Northeastern University) and David Weimer (Harvard Library) and undertaken in collaboration with Dan Cohen at the Northeastern Library, Waleed Meleis at the Northeastern University College of Engineering, and Kim Charlson, Jennifer Arnott, and Jen Hale at the Perkins School for the Blind.
The artefacts for the exhibition were created in partnership with Enabling Engineering at Northeastern University, the Harvard Library, and the Perkins School for the Blind. The Digital History team of Harvard's History Department lent us the 3D-scanner we used to produce these models.
Rachel Adams, Columbia University
Kim Charlson, Perkins School for the Blind
Georgina Kleege, University of California, Berkeley
Catherine Kudlick, San Fransisco State University
Robert McRuer, George Washington University
Mara Mills, New York University
Benjamin Reiss, Emory University
The exhibition is sponsored by the Perkins School for the Blind, Northeastern University (the provost’s office, Enabling Engineering, and the Northeastern Library), and the Harvard Library.