Dive Into Tunnel Books

Left: “Yawn” (2011) by Melissa Margolin, UF School of Art and Art History. Right: colored and cut engraving by Martin Engelbrecht, c.1750

For centuries, tunnel books have been a part of experiments in bookmaking and wonder-working. This Finals Support Week, take your mind off studying by making one of your own, courtesy of Special & Area Studies Collections and the Conservation and Preservation Unit.

This exercise will give you the skills you need to make your own tunnel book, and introduce you to the history of optical illusions, marvels, and wonders that inspired people to create them.

1. Pick Up Your Tunnel Book Kit

Pick up a kit with pre-cut pieces, glue, and instructions starting at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, March 21st at the Library West Circulation Desk. These are first come, first serve, so please come early!

Don’t have one? Want to use different materials? You can always make your own pieces using the diagram in the instructions. Contact us for a copy.

2. Get inspired!

Objects of Wonder

Learn about the development of the tunnel book and its place in the history of optical illusions and in printing and engraving in early modern Europe.

Click to watch a video on the history of tunnel books Play Video

3. Dive in!

4. Share with us!

Share photos of your finished book with the Libraries on Instagram, Twitter, or on other platforms using the hashtag #TunnelBooks. Be sure to take advantage of the other events and resources for Finals Support Week.

Beyond Finals Week

Are you interested in using this material for a group project or lesson? Contact us to let us know!