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Rare Book Museum  

Atlanta’s first rare book museum opens at Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. (Apr 17, 2017) — The Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books at Kennesaw State University will open the first rare book museum in metro Atlanta on April 22. The Bentley Rare Book Museum, previously the Bentley Rare Book Gallery, celebrates the opening of the new museum through dynamic programming, free museum admission and rotating exhibitions.

In addition to employing a new museum model, the Bentley Museum explores and challenges popular notions of “rare books,” focusing on themes of access, function and value. In support of this initiative, the Bentley Museum will partner with social services organizations to establish projects with various communities who traditionally have not had access to rare books. These projects emphasize the use of rare books to explore personal narratives regionally, nationally and internationally.

Previously functioning as a by-appointment-only space, the new Bentley Museum allows visitors to view the exhibitions without prior reservations Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. (holiday and university closings excepted). The Bentley Museum will also offer free admission in an effort to expand access to their holdings and in keeping with the model of other institutions within the Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books, including the Museum of History and Holocaust Education, the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, and the Kennesaw State Archives.

The Bentley Rare Book Museum will feature a regularly rotating schedule of exhibitions in their main and satellite spaces, both housed within the Kennesaw State University Sturgis Library. These exhibitions will emphasize variant interpretations of the Bentley Museum’s 10,000+ rare book collection, ranging from the history of the book to culinary arts.

The museum grand opening on Saturday, April 22, features tours, hands-on activities, refreshments and brief remarks. Visitors will also have the opportunity to win prizes and explore the new exhibitions. The event is free and open to the public from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Bentley Rare Book Museum (Kennesaw State University Sturgis Library, Ground Floor, 385 Cobb Ave., Kennesaw, Ga. 30144). For more information, call 470-578-6289 or visit the Bentley Rare Book Museum.

Opening Exhibitions

  • Getting Medieval: How to Make a Manuscript – This hands-on exhibition of medieval manuscripts explores the book-making process and provides the opportunity to interact with reproduction manuscripts and tools of the era.
  • Modern Book Arts – The exhibition features the vibrant and growing field of handmade artists’ books, including a selection of rare books created in the last ten years from the Bentley Museum’s collection.
  • History of the Bentley – This micro-exhibition takes a look into the 25-year history of the Bentley Gallery, originally designed to represent a middle-class English library c. 1760-1820.

– Photos courtesy of the Kennesaw State University Bentley Rare Book Museum


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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