In August 2020, French medievalist Elizabeth Hebbard and Patricia Ingham (IU English and Director, Institute for Advanced Study) received a Public Arts and Humanities grant from the Vice Provost for Research to establish the IU Book Lab. The Book Lab, housed in the new Cook Center for Public Arts & Humanities in Maxwell Hall, is a research and maker space dedicated to the History of the Book and to pursuing current innovations in Book Arts and Book Design.
The Book Lab
The Book Lab focuses on the book as a physical art object, cultural object, and historical technology for writing, teaching, learning, and reading. Our experiments and presentations engage books of different kinds: chapbooks and chapter books; miniature books and giant books; picture books and comic books. We aim to complement archival research with experimentation and collaboration in all aspects of the book arts, from the cultivation of plants for paper fibers and inks, to the creation of digital fonts based on historic typefaces. The Book Lab planted an ink garden at the Hilltop Garden and Nature Center in spring 2021. The garden space is being used to cultivate several different plants used for medieval and modern ink making, which will feature in Book Lab teaching and workshop activities in the 2021-22 academic year. Liz Hebbard will teach a first course related to the Book Lab through the Intensive Freshman Seminar program in August 2021.