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How books have evolved from clay tablet to digital tablet is a fascinating story.

  • This exhibit takes you on that journey and shows how various cultures have contributed AND influenced the world around us through different forms of the written word.
  • We hope this exhibit sparks conversation about how books have impacted us on a personal level and how they continue to impact our understanding of other cultures.
  • Click/tap on the tabs below to begin the exploration.

Throughout the world, the written word has played an immensely important role in shaping the histories of people, countries, and civilizations.

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The advent of written communication changed the world forever and helped to create civilization as we know it.

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One of the oldest mediums of recorded thought, cave art predates the advent of writing but continued to flourish for some time after the written word was invented.

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Papyrus, the earliest form of paper, dates back to 400 B.C. when it was used in Ancient Egypt.

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While Papyrus was king in the Middle East, another medium was being used in China: paper.

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The codex considered the first modern book form, it first appears on the historical record around 1st century A.D.

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Books designed solely for children's enjoyment began to appear in the late 1600s.

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Audiobooks became mainstream with the introduction of cassette tapes, first invented in the Netherlands in 1963.

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The first eBook was not a Kindle. It was the Xerox Sigma V.

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