Monday, July 4, 2011

Where the History Comes From

he devastatingly hilarious Eddie Izzard described Europe as "You know, where the history comes from..." I find that so often we Americans with our American Dream, Manifest Destiny, and From My Cold Dead Hands credos seem to forget that despite our stubborn independence our history starts somewhere else. Started, recorded, and preserved somewhere else. We don't all come from the same place but Jolly Ole London Town is at the heart of nearly all of the worlds major history. Think of all the great artists, writers, scientists, journalists, and thinkers that have either come from this city or spent significant time in it.

For the month of July, I am going to be traversing the land of British libraries in an effort to see how some of the oldest and greatest institutions in the world house and preserve our collective histories.

In addition to our histories, I am particularly interested in discovering how these institutions house and preserve the creative expressions of our histories. I am a book artist. This is a title have have often struggled with as I don't view myself as an artist but rather a practitioner of the book arts. But works produced by book artists are perhaps some of the greatest works of art in the world because the mastery of so many different skills and talents is essetnial. So many different kinds of art go into book art that I believe it is one of the truly great art forms. One must be a Renaissance Man. I know where these books exsist in the United States, but are they here? How do I find them? Where do I go? I hope to find these answers and many more in the month that I am here.

Here is where I will jot down my thoughts. Some will be bibliographic, some will be observational, some will be funny, all will be painfully nerdy.

*The amazing display cap above is by Jessica Hische, an amazing designer I came across in my perpetual search for awesome design and typography. The letter comes from her Daily Drop Cap project.

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