Go ahead – #ColorOurCollections

A playful celebration of libraries and archives

Preview of a coloring page from a 1634 book by Ambroise Paré.
Preview of a coloring page from a 1634 book by Ambroise Paré.

by Erinn Aspinall

Sharpen your pencils and dig out your crayons! It’s time for the second annual #ColorOurCollections event.  

On February 6-10, the Wangensteen Historical Library — along with other special collections across the country — is sharing color-able works from its rare book collection.

This year’s selections share images from historically significant books in biology and medicine. They include a many-armed beast, a scaly rhinoceros, and even a “cow-hopper” (imagine a mix between a cow and a grasshopper).

Unlocking collections

“#ColorOurCollections” has been such a successful way to make visible the contents of rare books,” says Wangensteen Curator Lois Hendrickson. “Last year, our #ColorOurCollections article was viewed nearly 15,000 times.”  

She explains that because rare books are truly rare, they are often kept behind locked doors. “#ColorOurCollections effectively unlocks the doors of our collection to the world.”   

New coloring pages unveiled each day

During February 6-10, the Wangensteen Historical Library will unveil one coloring page each day with an image from its rare book collection. Be sure to check back daily.

The coloring pages also will be shared through Facebook and Twitter. Follow us to get these images first.

Share your work: #ColorOurCollections

All participating artists are encouraged to share their final artwork through social media using the hashtags #ColorOurCollections and #Wangensteen.  

“It is not often that curators will allow coloring in their books,” Hendrickson said. “Don’t miss this chance.”

Coloring Pages

  • Manticore (Lion Man) (From The historie of foure-footed beasties by Edward Topsell, 1607)
  • Cow-hopper and Friends (From Fortunius Licetus De monstris by Fortunio Liceti, 1665).
  • Sea Turtle (From De quadrupedib’ digitatis viviparis libri tres by Ulyssis Aldrovandi 1645). 
  • Dragon with Babies (From Ulyssis Aldrovandi patricii Bononiensis Serpentum : et draconum historiae libri duo by Ulisse Aldrovandi 1640).
  • Rhinoceros (From Of monsters and prodigies by Ambroise Paré 1634.)
  • Many-legged Beast (From Of monsters and prodigies by Ambroise Paré 1634.)
  • Dragon (From Ulyssis Aldrovandi patricii Bononiensis Serpentum : et draconum historiae libri duo by Ulisse Aldrovandi 1640).
  • Fish (From Ulyssis Aldrovandi De piscibus libri v. et de cetis lib. Unus by Ulisse Aldrovandi 1613).
  • Download Complete Coloring Book

Completed Artwork

We had wonderful participation in our #ColorOurCollections activities this week. Here are a few masterpieces from our followers and artists.  Please continue to share your finished artwork.

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