Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Trip to the Morgan Library with the New York Institute for Special Education
Students did not want to go back to school this morning. Rather, they wanted to stay at the Morgan Library, where we discovered some of its wonderful collections. It was no surprise – the library staff gave us a real treat.
Bel and Nicole, Morgan Library educators, introduced us to a variety of writing instruments and papers from different times and regions of the world. Students had no difficulty remembering where Egypt was, and what was once Mesopotamia. We first explored and compared different kinds of materials on which people wrote: from stone and clay with the cuneiform system, to papyrus, parchment and sheep skin, and to today’s familiar white paper. Bel and Nicole explained why and how people started writing. Students handled quills, wooden styli, brushes, and silk. Students even got a chance to use a trading seal.
The second part of our workshop consisted in going into the library built by Pierpont Morgan where the students got to explore the architecture of some of the rooms. Everyone had wonderful questions. We will just have to come back.