New Approaches to the Local and Global History of the Book

A project of the University of Toronto Mississauga, University of Toronto Libraries, and the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), generously funded by the Mellon Foundation.

What systems and things –– as well as people and cultures –– contribute to the story of the life of a book? What methods can we use to study a book’s material components, and to understand the environments that sustained it and its makers and users–both in the past and up until the present day?

Hidden Stories connects over 130 collaborators working across more than 60 institutions around the world. Our four-year project brings together interdisciplinary and scientific research, cultural heritage preservation, community relationship-building, and the development of knowledge-sharing tools, protocols, and best practices.

We work together to listen to, care for, and share the stories that books hold that ground our understanding of world history as at once locally situated and globally interconnected.

We acknowledge the Indigenous lands we work on. Read our Notes on a Land Acknowledgement here.

  • Old Book New Science
  • 2.ETHIOPIA & COASTAL E. AFRICA Quran Harar Ethiopia Fisher Library May 2022 covering and watermarks.jpg
  • 3.jess & science_square_digital hub_OBNS_March 2023_Edits_Volpe-25 (1).jpg
  • 4.dunhuang stitched book.jpg
  • 5.GLOBAL JUDAICA fisher_FriedbergMSS5001_03 (1).jpg
  • 6.KASHMIR INDUS VALLEY Fisher MSS 01106. fol.322v hands.jpg
  • 7.MESOAMERICA UIowa book sermons.jpg
  • 8.BOOK SCIENCE inscription.png
  • 9.euro codex_square_digital hub_A&S_Old Book New Science and Fisher Rare Books_Feb 2023_Volpe-31 (1).jpg
  • 10.0302SilkRoadsBookProject009.jpg

Research Areas

Dunhuang

Dunhuang

Ethiopia & Coastal East Africa

Ethiopia & Coastal East Africa

Global Judaica

Global Judaica

Great Lakes & Eastern Woodlands

Great Lakes & Eastern Woodlands

Himalayas

Himalayas

Kairouan

Kairouan

Kashmir Indus Valley

Kashmir Indus Valley

Mesoamerica & Mexico

Mesoamerica & Mexico

Northumbria

Northumbria

Book Science

Book Science

Additional Resources

  • Dunhuang
  • Ethiopia & Coastal East Africa
  • Global Judaica
  • Great Lakes & Eastern Woodlands
  • Himalayas
  • Kairouan
  • Kashmir Indus Valley
  • Mesoamerica & Mexico
  • Northumbria
  • Book Science

Visit our YouTube channel
Read about our previous work
Explore the digital companion to our exhibition with the Aga Khan Museum
Learn about the exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum