Center for Creativity

Text & conText Lab

The Text & conText Lab is open!

We look forward to seeing you in this brand-new space! In the interests of health and safety, we will have the following policies in place in Guarded Risk posture:

  • Some materials/equipment may not be available at certain times due to cleaning protocols.
  • No food is permitted.  
  • Masks must be worn while in the space.

We appreciate your cooperation and flexibility. We want to do our best to accommodate as much hands-on making as possible while still maintaining a safe and healthy environment.  

We will continue to offer our programming virtually, including workshops, open mic nights, and some special events. Please watch our social media, or sign up for our e-newsletter to keep updated.



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

All are welcome. Text & conText 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.

Text & conText features a Vandercook proof press and opportunities for bookbinding, papermaking, and much more. It will have hours for open “studio” time when people can 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 seek assistance from staff. Text & conText will also feature scheduled programming.

Hours will be set aside regularly for faculty who wish to reserve the space for guided projects with students in their courses, including time for classes who are actively engaged with faculty librarians. Text & conText provides an opportunity to deepen and extend primary source pedagogy, and to develop rich collaborations among librarians and staff in Distinctive Collections, C4C staff, faculty, and students.

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