Touch this page is an exhibition currently taking place in Boston.

Here’s notification from the organizers, received via the SHARP listserv.

We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new exhibition “Touch This Page! Making Sense of the Ways We Read,” launching simultaneously this week at Harvard University, Northeastern University, the Perkins School for the Blind, the Boston Public Library (Copley Square), and online at

“Touch This Page! Making Sense of the Ways We Read” is a pop-up-style exhibition about multisensory experiences of reading. Its central objects are 3D printed replicas from historical books for blind and low-vision readers printed between 1830 and 1910. Most of these archival materials live at the Samuel P. Hayes Research Library at the Perkins School for the Blind. We hope that, by experiencing these 3D-printed objects, you will reflect on how touch, sight, and sound contribute to experiences of reading—historically and today. Simultaneously, the story of these tactile pages guides you through a particular slice of disability history and current barriers to access understood through the principles of universal design.

Physical Locations

A pop-up style version of the exhibition is being hosted simultaneously at four locations: the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library (at Copley Square – open now), the Perkins School for the Blind (open now), Harvard University’s Lamont Library (starting tomorrow afternoon – January 29), and Northeastern University’s Snell Library (starting the afternoon of Feb 1). Note: it may be more difficult to get into private institutions, but the BPL exhibition at Copley Square is easily accessible and open to all. The exhibition will run from the week of January 28, 2019 through mid-April 2019.

In conjunction with “Touch This Page!” we have also curated a small exhibition of original books in Boston Line Type at Houghton Library. This exhibition—“Tactile Books: Making Sense of the Ways We Read”—will be on view until 15 April 2019.

Web Exhibition

The web-version of this exhibition hosts all content from the physical exhibition including the files of the pages from the Perkins archive at so that anyone with access to a 3D printer can reproduce the exhibition and its objects at


The artifacts for the exhibition were created in partnership with Enabling Engineering at Northeastern University, the Harvard Library, and the Perkins School for the Blind. The Digital History team of Harvard’s History Department lent us equipment that helped us produce these models.


The exhibition and symposium are sponsored by the Perkins School for the Blind, Northeastern University (the provost’s office, Enabling Engineering, the Northeastern Library, and the Humanities Center), and Harvard University (the Harvard Library and the History of the Book at Harvard University).

Previously, we announced the related event “Touch This Page! A Symposium on Ability, Access, and the Archive” taking place at Northeastern and Harvard on April 4-5, 2019. For more information and to join us, register for free at https://touchthispage.eventbrite.comWe have already received a robust registration response and are currently at about half capacity for these events, so if you are thinking of joining us, please register soon!

We hope to see you there!


Sari Altschuler, co-director of Touch This Page!, Northeastern University

David Weimer, co-director of Touch This Page!, Harvard University