Skip to Main Content

Course & Subject Guides

Archives & Special Collections Exhibits

Guide on Past and Current Archives & Special Collections Exhibits @ the University of Pittsburgh Library System - Oakland (2020-present)

"We must create, if only the day": Craft Manuals from the Walter & Martha Leuba Collection

Date of Exhibition: Fall 2021- Present

Curator: Megan Massanelli (Archives & Special Collections Engagement and Outreach Librarian) and Anaïs Grateau (Archives & Special Collections Preservation Coordinator)

Location: Archives & Special Collections exhibit gallery, 3rd floor Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh 3960 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Description: ULS’s Archives & Special Collections holds thousands of rare volumes - each carefully printed, illustrated, and bound. Some are created by hand, others by machine, and some a combination of both. The books in this exhibit were created by trained craftspeople who learned their trade through intensive apprenticeships, extensive education, travels, and personal connections. Making good use of (but also responding to) ever advancing machinery, they published their own instruction manuals for a broad audience. By doing so, they fully embraced the spirit of the do-it-yourself culture that was prevalent in the mid-twentieth century in modernizing societies around the world. These volumes are primarily written by craftspeople and artists in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Japan. They were donated to the University of Pittsburgh Library System by Walter and Martha (née Dryburgh) in 1988.

The title quote is taken from A Woodcut Manual by JJ Lankes, 1932.

Exhibit Photographs