Text & conText Lab

Where: third floor, Hillman Library (310 HL)
Current hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday

The Text & conText Lab, a partnership between the Center for Creativity and the University Library System, provides an active environment for the creation, manipulation, and/or disassembly of text. It is open to all Pitt students, faculty, and staff, and can accommodate both individual and group work; this is a space for experiential activity rather than study

All are welcome. The Text & conText Lab is designed to encourage the development of a community of people who value curiosity and imagination, where both risk-taking and careful attention to craft are recognized as important aspects of creative work.

The lab features both a Vandercook proof press and a Columbian press, as well as opportunities for bookbinding, papermaking, and much more. Open studio time allows people to drop by and try new things or continue work on projects they’ve begun. Individuals or small groups can work together on their own or with help from staff. The lab also features scheduled programming.

Faculty can reserve the space for guided projects with students, including classes actively engaged with librarians. The lab provides an opportunity to deepen and extend primary source pedagogy, and to develop rich collaborations among librarians and staff in Archives and Special Collections, C4C staff, faculty, and students.

Proximity to ULS Archives and Special Collections facilitates confrontation with other readers’ and writers’ context for text — including graphic novels, illuminated manuscripts, and handwritten letters — and with how those texts vary over time and hand: the physical art of binding books, marbling, selecting frontispieces, and book jacket concept and design.