Things Aren't What They Seem: Forgeries and Deceptions from the UD Collections

poster for the Things Aren't What They Seem: forgeries and Deceptions from the UD Collections Exhibition as displayed in the onlive version of the exhibit

This exhibition presents forgeries and other deceptions drawn from Special Collections and University Museums. While forgeries may seem like an unusual area to highlight, they actually represent one of the unique strengths of the Library’s collections of rare and unique materials. The Library’s forgery collection had its beginnings in 1995, when Frank W. Tober donated his collection of historic and literary forgeries to the Library. Tober, a former Du Pont chemist, was interested in the science behind creating and detecting forgeries, and his collection presented the Library with an extensive array of materials. Since then, the Library has continued to add to the forgery collection. Most of these items would once have been seen as worthless frauds, and many of them were originally sold under illicit pretenses. Now, though, they now serve as valuable artifacts in their own right. In this gallery you can explore the many ways that people have tried to deceive each other, whether through outright forgeries, practical jokes, or cases of mistaken identity.

Alexander Johnston, Associate Librarian and Coordinator, Books and Printed Materials