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Exhibition - Mixed Media: The Interplay of Sound and Text

Friday, March 8, 2019 at 9:00am to 5:00pm

Hirshland Exhibition Gallery, Level 2B, Carl A. Kroch Library Kroch Library, 2B Level Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

How do you write a sound? How do you hear a text? “Mixed Media” examines how representations of text and sound that have shaped our perceptions of the material world, tracing the technologies used to replicate and transmit them.

The exhibition features rare artifacts that illuminate 500 years of inventions that record and distribute information—from movable cast metal type to Edison’s model wax cylinder-playing gramophone.

Over the centuries, each generation of technological advances offered rapidly increasing rates of production and access to text and sound. From the 1400s onward, printed books evolved from large, stationary volumes to ever more transportable and cheaply produced pocket-sized companions. In our own era, the transistor radio, Walkman, and iPod increased access and portability for listeners and readers alike. “Mixed Media” maps these developments, along with points of convergence once sound became as easily reproducible as text.

Artifacts demonstrating these transformations will be on view, along with items that explore the interactions of sound and print, such as early modern illustrations of acoustics, work by Cornell faculty who collected early field recordings of bird song, and examples of printed text rendered into audio format.

“Mixed Media” will be on view from September 20, 2018 to March 8, 2019, in the Hirshland Exhibition Gallery, Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

This exhibition is funded through the generous support of the Stephen E. ’58 MBA ’59 and Evalyn Edwards ’60 Milman Exhibition Fund.

For more information, call 607/255-3530 or visit

Free and open to the public.

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Event Type

Exhibit, Special Event, Exhibition


Cornell University Library, Kroch Library


cascal, CALScomm, Cornell University Library, CUL, rare and manuscript collections, rare manuscripts, RMC


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Rare and Manuscript Collections

Contact Phone


Dept. Web Site

Disability Access Information (607) 255-4144

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Free and open to all

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