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Hands-On History at the Red Clay Writers Conference

November 6, 2010 Noon until 6PM. Kennesaw, Georgia. The Red Clay Writers Conference will feature a tour of the Bentley Rare Book Room Gallery at Kennesaw State University. Sponsored by Georgia Writers Association.

Prepare to enter the Bentley Rare Book Room Gallery in the Sturgis Library on the campus of Kennesaw State University and step back in time. Priceless literary collections and artifactsinfuse the room with the scent of preserved history. This museum is an original. From its inception, benefactor Fred Bentley and Senior Curator Robert B. Williams have recreated the ambiance of an 18th century librarydown to the homemade varnish on the paneling. The over 15,000 piece collectionis a tribute to the history of the book.

Here, old and new reside in harmony. Recent additions to the Gallery have brought the collection intothe space age. In 2007, Apollo 16 astronaut, General Charles Duke donated artifacts from his 1972 moon landing to the Bentley Rare Book Collection. Duke presented the University with his lunar rover map, and lunar modulechecklist. To add perspective to the library’s vast reach, the collection also contains a 1641 Galileo text on the solar system.

The greatest treasure of the Bentley Rare Book Gallery is the accessibility of the collection. Unlike most museum-quality rare book rooms, Bentley is a tactile experience. The books are preserved in a temperature and humidity controlled room,but the environment is not hermetically sealed. Under the direction of Curator Rita Impey-Imes, visitors are encouraged to handle these venerable treasures.Donned with white gloves, gallery visitors interact with history by touching books hundreds of years old, including a priceless 1542 Chaucer and a history of England and Scotland from the days of Shakespeare. Handling these relics provides one with the heady experience of reaching back in time.

As part of the Red Clay Writers Conference, The Bentley Rare Book Gallery will open its vaults to share with Georgiawriters the riches of this room. Curator, Rita Impey-Imes will share selected stories about the collection and introduce Red Clay participants to these rare artifacts.

You can sign upfor the Red Clay Writers Conference and take part in all the writing conferences available on Saturday, November 6, 2010 in the Carmichael Student Center on the campus of Kennesaw State University. For more information visit: www.georgiawriters.org.

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