This exhibition explores the impact of the written and printed word in the dissemination of knowledge, and the advancement of literacy and access to knowledge in societies over the centuries.
It contains examples from the 13th until the 20th century, and features illuminated manuscripts, historical newspapers, printed books, a book press, and printing blocks. This collection of manuscripts, rare books and documentary heritage taonga demonstrates chronologically the production, aesthetics, and knowledge that can be gleaned from the study of history and historical records, and their impacts on the advancement of society over time.
Examples exhibited are in several languages including Te Reo Māori, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Italian, French and English. They cover various topics from religious to scientific. These have been made from various natural materials including animal skins, parts of trees, minerals and plants. Many of the items have travelled from one side of the globe to the other, and have passed through numerous hands. Some of these came with our early settlers, others much later, while some were produced here in Aotearoa.