Museum tells the story of books and papers

Museum tells the story of books and papers

İZMİR - Anatolia News Agency
Museum tells the story of books and papers

The Paper and Books Arts Museum in İzmir has 16 rooms and each rooms reveals how paper evolved in the past and came to be used in modern times. AA Photos

A newly opened museum in İzmir is Turkey’s first books and paper museum. The museum covers many different examples of paper and books from different cultures.

Books and papers are perceived as the tools to transfer information and the history of civilizations to other eras. Currently, the histories of these precious things are being celebrated in a museum made by Ege University, known as the Paper and Books Arts Museum.

The museum is the first museum in this area in Turkey. An ancient Levantine mansion has been converted into a space for the museum over the span of one-a-half years.

The museum opened to visitors last week. The two-story museum has 16 rooms and each room reveals how paper evolved in the past and came to be used in modern times. The museum shows in which circumstances people used paper in previous eras. While different stages in paper production and usage are shown in the museum, the first part of the museum, located on the first floor, tells the story of organic writing tools that humans used within the last 5,000 years. The history of paper shows details the tools evolution to its modern use today. The recent paper examples show the paper arts and how artists are using paper today. The history of paper art is another interesting part of the museum’s exhibition.

Colorful papers and also modern paper arts are displayed in the museums’ collection. The various paper making techniques are also revealed in the museum’s different rooms. The dummies present the paper making techniques.

The second floor of the museum covers book arts such as exlibris, printing houses, book design, book prints, typographies and other book arts. It is also possible to view different bookmarks at the museum.

HDN The smallest book in the world

The museum also presents the smallest book in the world. The first room at the entrance of the museum presents different papers from 38 different countries and 42 paper artists’ works. The artists have created a large world map under the titled “One World.”

The lightest paper, which is only two grams, along with handmade papers and colored papers from 17th century are among the popular pieces of the museum.

At the miniature books section a book only 2.4 to 2.9 millimeters in size attracts audiences. The book is the smallest book in the world and can only be seen with a magnifying lens.

It is also possible to view İbrahim Müteferrika’s original works in the museum’s Ottoman era section. Müteferrika’s volumes, printed in Istanbul using custom-made fonts, are occasionally referred to as “Turkish incunabula.” Müteferrika, whose last name is derived from his employment as a müteferrika, or head of the household, under Sultan Ahmed III and during the Tulip Era, was also a geographer, astronomer and philosopher.

The museum also includes examples of paper from the European movement, Johannes Gutenberg era. This section tells the story of the first papers made from materials such as bamboo leaves, palm tree leaves. The concept has gained international appreciation.

Speaking to Anatolia News Agency the museum coordinator Nedim Sönem said, they have started this project with only four objects.

Currently the museum has approximately 500 objects. Foreigners and foreigner artists who have heard about the museum have donated to the museum.

The museum also received support from the International Paper Makers and Paper Artists Association, said Sönmez.

Noting that this is the first paper museum of Turkey Sönmez said the museum has gained appreciation with its concept in the international arena.

“I have worked in the museum for 15 years. I spent my life at the book fairs. We have decided to make this museum to support the image of Turkey in the international arena,” he said.

Noting that 12 foreign artists have visited the museum since its opening, Sönmez said: “There are many museums that exhibit the books and the history of the books but we have gathered the paper and the books together.”

International Paper Makers and Paper Artists President Gail Stiffe said the museum is unique when its concept is considered, said Sönmez.