Student scholar from Harvard reflects on Lilly Library visit

In the March/April 2009 issue of Harvard Magazine, Harvard senior Brittney Moraski writes about her visit to the Lilly Library to use the papers of poet Sylvia Plath. Moraski reflects on her experiences working in libraries and archives and concludes that “we have to be curators of our own lives”. Read the full article: http://harvardmagazine.com/2009/03/life-in-detail

The Lilly Library first acquired a small collection of Sylvia Plath’s poetry manuscripts in 1961. The extensive collection of Sylvia Plath letters, papers, and memorabilia that the Lilly Library acquired in 1977 came from her mother, Aurelia. Included in that collection are diaries, letters, poetry manuscripts, school papers, articles and prose pieces submitted for publication, scrapbooks, memorabilia, drawings and paintings, and more than 200 books from her library. To learn more about these materials, see the Guide to the Sylvia Plath Materials in the Lilly Library.

Last week: Keith Erekson talk and an iconic cake

Lincoln cake

Last Thursday’s lecture by Keith Erekson was a lively and humorous survey of the ways Abraham Lincoln has been commemorated and claimed by Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Washington, DC. Erekson is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso. His web site includes some examples of his interest in Lincoln, including a dissertation chapter about the “role of oral testimony in the field of Abraham Lincoln studies from 1865 through the 1930s” and a review of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum published in the Indiana Magazine of History: http://faculty.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=54953

The reception after Erekson’s talk featured tea, lemonade, delightful little sandwiches, and a show-stopper cake in the form of Lincoln’s iconic stovepipe hat. The cake was catered by Blu Boy Chocolate; the other food and drink by Cynthia Moriarty. The exhibition, Remembering Lincoln, is on display through May 9.

Celebrate Abraham Lincoln at February 12th reception

Lincoln

Please join us for the opening reception for the new Lilly Library exhibition, Remembering Lincoln. The reception will be held on the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, this Thursday, February 12, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

The exhibition was curated by Cinda May, Assistant Librarian, Indiana State University, and it features more than 100 books, documents, art, music, and photographs from the Library’s collections including the extensive Joseph Benjamin Oakleaf Collection of Lincolniana. The exhibit offers a glimpse into the Indiana frontier where Lincoln spent his boyhood from 1816-1830 and illustrates how Americans past and present honor his memory.

The exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.

New anatomy exhibition opening Friday, September 19, 5:00 p.m.

William Harvey, De motu cordis

Anatomia Animata : Anatomy and Medicine in William Harvey’s Century
September 19 to December 20, 2008
Opening reception, September 19, 5:00 p.m.

Drawing on the the Lilly Library’s significant collection of medical books from all ages, this exhibition focuses primarily on the seventeenth century, the era of William Harvey and the discovery of the circulation of the blood, arguably the most significant anatomical discovery of all time.

Alongside Harvey’s findings, the seventeenth century witnessed other major innovations, such as the rise of microscopic anatomy, of sophisticated injection techniques, and of anatomical experiments that transformed the understanding of the body’s structure and organization. Anatomia Animata is a phrase used at the time referring to vivisection, a technique common to many investigations, including Harvey’s. But it also conveys the sense of animation that can be seen in many of the striking images of anatomical and medical books on display in the exhibition. The exhibition was curated by Joel A. Klein and Allen Shotwell, with the support of the Center for the History of Medicine.

For Lilly Library hours of operation, see http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/info.shtml

John Bidwell lecture on Monday

Declaration of Independence, 1776

The Friends of the Lilly Library are sponsoring the following lecture this Monday:

“The Declaration of Independence: Fantasies and Facsimiles,”
John Bidwell, Pierpont Morgan Library
Monday, Sep 15, 5pm – 6pm
Lilly Library

Patriotic prints containing the text of the Declaration and facsimile signatures of the Founding Fathers first appeared in 1818. Although advertised as absolutely accurate reproductions, they did not replicate the text so much as celebrate its achievements as a vindication of human rights, a charter of freedom, and the birthright of the nation. Leading artists and engravers embellished them with ornamental lettering, portraits of presidents, and elaborate allegories of peace and prosperity. One of the more fanciful and partisan interpretations prompted the Department of State to commission the first real facsimile, which, ironically, may have played a role in damaging the original, now badly faded and barely legible. In this slide lecture John Bidwell will recount the fate of the original and will show how facsimiles have influenced the way it has been read and revered.

John Bidwell is Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings at the Pierpont Morgan Library, before which he was Curator of Graphic Arts in the Princeton University Library. He has written extensively on the history of papermaking in England and America.