Featured Exhibit


Marks on a Page: A Brief History of Writing It Down

Imagine life without writing. We text and email constantly. We write letters and send greeting cards. We fill out all sorts of forms and surveys. We write notes to remind ourselves to pick up something at the grocery store or remind the kids to do their homework.

It is easy to take writing for granted. But as with any technology, writing had to be invented. Writing isn't a natural part of language acquisition. Symbols had to be developed, patterns established, and – in order to make meaningful “marks on a page.”

When and where did writing first emerge? And why? What purposes was writing meant to achieve? How as writing evolved?

Open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for self-guided tours. If you are interested in a guided or group tour please contact the learning center at 815-753-1236.

Contact Us

Blackwell History of Education Museum
Gabel Hall - lower level
(inside the Learning Center)
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-1258 (fax)


By appointment only