People in the World of Print examines how people interacted with print between 1700 and 1900. An explosion of print culture characterized these centuries: books, newspapers, magazines, evangelical tracts, broadsides, and printed images, along with other printed items, proliferated in unprecedented numbers. Every form of interaction with print displayed in this exhibit developed under the gaze of both positive and negative critics. As their collections grew, Bibliophiles soon found themselves earning the derogatory title of "Bibliomaniacs." Paper money at first solved liquidity crises, only to quickly and drastically lose value once consumer confidence had failed. Simple playing cards were feared to lead to quarrels and sometimes even murder, while heated debates arose over the types of reading material suitable for the working class, women, and children. People in the World of Print will interest anyone concerned with how the production, circulation, reception, and uses of printed matter shapes our cultural heritage. We hope the variety of interactions and the juxtaposition of the different materials will stimulate further reflection on the richness of people’s interactions with print in these years.
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