Title page from Follies of the Year, .
Presented by the University of Pittsburgh
Special Collections Department
Fall 2016-Spring 2017
There is a story that the Scottish gardener who worked for Louis XIV, the King of France, at the Palace of Versailles during the 17th century, placed 'étiquettes,' or labels, along designated pathways directing the courtiers and visitors to the palace grounds where to walk. The king later decreed that all members of his court must observe the étiquettes, and it is this word that has evolved to describe the correct rules of social behavior in human society.
Etiquette is a dynamic and ever-changing system of codified rules of appropriate human behavior, which includes civil discourse, polite conversation, fashion, manners, and humor and wit. This exhibit has been curated by the Special Collections Department and features works of etiquette from the Darlington, Nesbitt, and Picchi collections written from the 16th century to the present and is arranged as follows: a sampler of Italian and English works, an American sampler, a children’s literature sampler, an etiquette sampler for adults, and a sampler of women writers of etiquette.