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Faculty Focus: News From the Library

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Exhibit: Small Press Activism: The Pamphlet as an Agent for Social and Political Change

Pamphleteering represents an integral part of social and political activism throughout American history. The low-cost of production and ease of distribution allowed the medium to flourish as it allowed authors to self-produce the materials and distribute them without commercial backing or assistance. The format has shown remarkable staying power, as its use maintained across the centuries from the late 1700s through the 20th Century.

Historian Charles Mullett, in his article "The Historian and the Use of Pamphlets" (Literary Quarterly, 1935:5.3) observed that pamphlets allow a unique window into the thoughts and culture of both the writers and the readers of pamphlets. They truly reflect the passions and attitudes of the era in which they were produced. This exhibit showcases the historical use and impact of the pamphlet, focusing on five different eras or movements within American political activism: pre-Revolutionary and early Republic, the civil rights movement, the women's rights movement, the labor movement, and international movements.

Hillman Library, 2nd floor exhibit cases through Spring/Summer terms, 2018. Curated by Archives & Special Collections