Neilson Library at Smith College in Northampton, MA is currently featuring an exhibit called A Place of Reading: Three Centuries of Reading in America.
This exhibition illuminates the rich history of reading in America that
showcases—through books, broadsides, woodcuts, etchings, lithographs,
watercolors, etc.—the places and events that particularly prompted the
act of reading. By exhibiting these material and visual objects of the
past, and in exploring the geography of reading, we hope to raise new
questions—and answers—about readers and reading in America. A Place of Reading
is a collaboration between the Smith College Mortimer Rare Book Room
and the Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American
Antiquarian Society , which has loaned most of the items on display.
Main themes of the exhibition include: the Colonial Home; Revolutionary
Taverns; North/South/East/West: Newspapers, Periodicals, and the Popular
Press; and Reading at the Front: The Civil War. In addition, a section
called “Caught in the Act” highlights other places of reading, such as
the kitchen, bedroom, bath, prisons, and public spaces.
To find out more, please visit A Place of Reading
There is also a corresponding on-line exhibition: http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Reading/contents.htm