The Nadine Gordimer Manuscript Collection

gordimer_001Among the Lilly Library’s many notable literary manuscripts collections are the papers of South African author Nadine Gordimer. You can view the finding aid for this collection here.

Gordimer, the daughter of Jewish immigrants, was born on November 20, 1923 in the small East Rand mining town of Springs. Her mother, Hannah (“Nan”) Myers, came from London; her father, Isidore, left Latvia as a teenager to “escape pogroms and poverty.”

The Lilly Library’s Gordimer Collection contains approximately 6,800 items, dating from 1934 to 2004. The initial materials were acquired in 1993; they contain fascinating items from Gordimer’s childhood, such as her diary from 1934, which narrates the beginning of the illness that caused Gordimer’s mother to take her out of school at age 11, during which time she began to write. We have continued to add to the collection on a regular basis, most recently with a rich assemblage of twenty-five years of correspondence between Gordimer and her editors at Viking, Marshall Best, Denver Lindley, and Alan Williams.

The correspondence is noteworthy for its candor. Among other topics, Gordimer shares her thoughts on writing and authorship, describes her creative process, and discusses how it feels to have one’s book banned. In a letter dated July 15, 1966, she writes of the South African government’s ban on The Late Bourgeois World: “[T]he ban does upset me. Odd feeling to walk past a bookshop and realize that the book will never be on sale there. It’s as if a line had gone dead between other people and me; as if, to everyone but my friends, I have suddenly become invisible.”

In correspondence with Playboy editor Robie Macauley, Gordimer discusses Nelson Mandela, the current situations in Mozambique and South Africa, the unlikely prospect of retirement, and more. In her letter of December 5, 1992, she comments, “Retired, you say; but of course we writers never retire unless we go ga-ga, or when we die… All around me people in other occupations are lost in the idleness they longed for, I seem to be the only one toiling on – thank god. I just wish I could retire myself, with good conscience, from the endless obligations that distract me from that toil. But living in South Africa, at this time, makes that pretty unlikely.”

Among her many honors and awards, Gordimer won the Booker prize in 1974 for The Conservationist and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. In another letter to Macauley, dated January 24, 1994, Gordimer discusses a subsequent trip to the Nobel Prize ceremonies, describing the previous months as “fervid,” “with travels culminating in the trip with Nelson Mandela as part of his entourage at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, and my determination to finish a novel I had worked on for nearly four years.”

Gordimer died on July 13, 2014 at the age of 90. The collection is available to view in the Lilly Library Reading Room but requires advance notice. Please contact the Public Services Department (liblilly@indiana.edu) to order material.

Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

Boxer Codex on Exhibit at New York Asia Society

boxer1One of the Lilly Library’s most treasured manuscripts, the Boxer Codex, is currently on exhibit at New York City’s Asia Society. The Boxer Codex (ca. 1595) boxer2contains written descriptions and over seventy-five colored drawings of the various ethnic groups of the present-day Philippines (including the Tagalogs, Visayans, Zambals, and Negritos) at the time of their initial contact with Spanish explorers. The painting technique, paper, ink, and paints suggest that the unknown artist may have been Chinese. It is a beautiful and unique artifact of early European contact with the Far East.

The manuscript is on loan to the Asia Society for its exhibition titled Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms, which runs from September 11, 2015 through January 3, 2016. As noted in a recent New York Times review, this “gorgeous and historically intriguing exhibition” documents the work of “astoundingly skillful goldsmiths… with many objects… so small and finely made that… magnifying glasses are provided in order for viewers to see the marvels of the technical prowess they reveal.”

In addition to the Boxer Codex, the exhibition contains approximately 120 pieces from the 10th through the 13th centuries which provide an opportunity to view the original gold objects depicted by the artist of the Boxer Codex as he illustrated the costumes and accoutrements of the indigenous peoples of the Southeast and Eastern regions of Asia. During a visit to the Museum, one of the consulting curators of the exhibition, Florina Capistrano-Baker of the Ayala Museum, Philippines, shared with me the discovery that it was illustrations in the Boxer Codex which allowed the exhibition’s curators to determine how some of the objects originally would have been used or worn.

The Boxer Codex came to the Lilly Library as a part of the collection of books and papers of Charles Ralph Boxer, a historian of Dutch and Portuguese maritime and colonial history who wrote many books and articles about the origins and growth of the Dutch and Portuguese empires.  Boxer joined the British Army in 1923 and while on military assignment to Hong Kong and other similar locales, he began to assemble a notable rare book collection which subsequently was seized by the Japanese for the Imperial Library in Tokyo. Following the war, however, he was able to recover most of his library, and it is these materials which form the nucleus of his collection which then came to the Lilly Library. The Boxer Codex is part of the Boxer mss. II, and can be viewed upon request in the Lilly Library’s Reading Room when it returns in January. A digitized version can be viewed here.

Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

New Manuscript Acquisition: Papers of J. Greg Perkins

Perkins1It is with pleasure that the Lilly Library announces the recent acquisition of the papers and manuscripts of author J. Greg Perkins. Dr. Perkins’ generous donation documents the creative processes involved in the making of his monumental work of fiction, the 19-volume series Darkness Before Mourning.

One of the largest works of serious fiction ever created by a single author, the materials were over 40 years in the making and provide a remarkable window into American society, life, families, and personal relationships from the 1950s to the present. Beginning with the first volume in the series, The Announcers, each independent work forms part of a biographical continuum, exploring in profoundly dark semi-fictionalized form the author’s searing experiences. The works are published by Chatwin Books of Seattle Washington.

Born in Kokomo, Indiana, Dr. Perkins is a proud graduate of Indiana University with a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was also a postdoctoral Fellow in neurochemistry at the University of Iowa. Perkins has written numerous New Drug Applications (NDAs), Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) and scientific papers, as well as the co-author of the book, Pharmaceutical Marketing: Principles, Environment, and Practice, 2002.

With over 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Perkins has been a senior executive at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Hoffman-LaRoche, and Burroughs Wellcome. His many professional accomplishments include elucidating the mechanism of action for Estraest, a widely prescribed female hormone replacement product, and serving as Vice President of Drug Regulatory Affairs for Hoffman-LaRoche Inc. where he was responsible for all regulatory affairs and was the FDA liaison for all Roche U.S. ethical drugs. During this time he helped to introduce Zalcitabine (ddC) for AIDS. Prior to Hoffman-LaRoche, he worked at Burroughs Wellcome as Head of Regulatory Affairs (Consumer Products) where, during the course of his tenure, he was responsible for the design and execution of clinical trials as well as devising and executing a program for the OTC conversion of Actifed and devising regulatory strategies for the approval of AZT for AIDS.

A Faulkner scholar and enthusiast, throughout these years of remarkable professional accomplishments, Dr. Perkins wrote extensively, engaging in what he calls, “writing therapy,” never intending for anyone else to read or witness his works on the page until three years ago, when he began to consider adapting part of the work as a script for a play. It was while working on the script that his work was discovered and subsequently published by Chatwin Books. This unique intersection of an Indiana author, an IU alumni, and a distinguished member of the pharmaceutical world with the Lilly Library, offers exceptional research opportunities for scholars from many disciplines in addition to the interested general public.  The materials will be available for use in the Lilly Library Reading Room after the collection has been processed.

Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

Exciting Additions to the Orson Welles Collection

The Lilly Library is pleased to announce the addition of important new acquisitions to our Orson Welles manuscript collections. A full description and inventory are available here.

The new additions include:

  • Welles’ personal copy of the 3rd revised final shooting script for Citizen Kane, which has been heavily annotated and signed by the principal cast members
  • Welles’ personal stage play script for Moby Dick, containing pencil annotations in Welles’ hand throughout
  • Welles’ personal, multi-color revised Final Screenplay for “Badge of Evil,” the working title for Touch of Evil, dated January 24, 1957
  • Welles’ personal typed and hand-annotated manuscript for a proposed—but never filmed—television adaptation of Citizen Kane from the 1950s

The Welles manuscript collections are among the Lilly Library’s most treasured holdings in the area of film, television, and radio. The Welles-related collections at the Lilly Library consist of nearly 20,000 items relating to the life and work of Orson Welles and are of great interest to students, scholars, and the general public, including researchers from all over the world. Indiana University recently hosted a series of events honoring Orson Welles in the spring of 2015. Orson Welles: A Centennial Celebration, Symposium and Exhibition was a multi-disciplinary series of events that included a major exhibition at the Lilly Library titled 100 Years of Orson Welles: Master of Stage, Sound, and Screen, a twelve-program film screening series, and a symposium that included two keynote addresses and nearly thirty paper presentations attended by eighty-six registrants.

The collections are open and available for use during regular Lilly Library operating hours. We’re excited to share these new acquisitions with scholars, researchers, faculty, students, and anyone else who is curious to take a peek into the creative process that goes into crafting works of monumental cultural significance.

Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

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New Lecture Series Starts Monday, October 26

ricketts-97_00001Join us on Monday, October 26, 4:00-5:30 pm in the Slocum Room as we inaugurate “Monday Scholars’ Talks,” a new monthly discussion group focusing on various strengths of the Lilly Library’s collecting areas and featuring scholars from around the campus.

The first meeting will concentrate on the upcoming exhibition planned for the Lilly Library Main Gallery in spring of 2016, titled “The Performative Book: Agent of Creativity from Medieval Europe to the Americas.” The exhibition’s co-curators, Professor Hildegard Keller of Germanic Studies and Professor Rosemarie McGerr of Comparative Literature, will explore the focus and impetus of the exhibition. Also present will be Jim Canary, Head of the Lilly Library Conservation Department, who will provide insights into the behind-the-scenes activities involved in mounting an exhibition, and Lori Dekydtspotter, President of the Friends of the Lilly Library, who will introduce the speakers.

A reception will be provided courtesy of the Friends of the Lilly Library. Anyone with an interest in special collections, rare books, or medieval studies is welcome to attend!

Slaughterhouse-Five on display in Dresden

The Lilly Library is very pleased to have been asked to participate in the special exhibition, “Slaughterhouse 5 – Dresden Destruction in Literary Evidence,” currently on display from February 6th to May 12th 2015 at The Military Historical Museum of the Bundeswehr in Dresden, Germany: http://www.mhmbw.de/

Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers between the 13th and 15th of February 1945, the focus of the exhibition is Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five. As a prisoner of war, Vonnegut experienced and survived the bombing while being held captive in an annex of the new slaughterhouse. His literary work recording that experience created an enduring image of Dresden in the English-speaking world. The Lilly Library holds the Vonnegut archive including the original manuscript drafts of Slaughterhouse-Five on display.

The exhibition also includes writings, art and personal items from, among others, Erich Kästner, Walter Kempowski, Martin Walser, Gerhard Richter, Gerhart Hauptmann, Durs Grünbein, Roman Halter, Marcel Beyer and Rudolf Mauersberger. The exhibition provides documentation of a diversity of perspectives on the bombing with many items being shown publicly for the first time. The exhibition also focuses on Dresden’s destruction in the propaganda battles of the war and post-war period, and in myths and legends.

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Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy

Please visit and enjoy a new exhibition opening Friday, October 31, 2014, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville Tennessee, Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy. According to a press release by the Frist, this will be the “first exhibition dedicated to Italian Renaissance art in Nashville since 1934. The exhibition explores the role of two major religious orders in the revival of the arts in Italy during the period 1200 to 1550. It presents drawings, illuminated manuscripts, liturgical objects, paintings, prints , printed books, and sculptures drawn from American and European collections, including works of art from the Vatican Library and the Vatican museums that have never before been exhibited in the United States.”

The Lilly Library is honored to have been included in this exhibition, with three of our medieval manuscripts on display. The exhibition is on-going until January 25, 2015. For additional information please visit the Frist’s website.

Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

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The Little Prince: A New York Story

The Lilly Library was very pleased to be asked to contribute material to the current exhibition on display at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, The Little Prince: A New York Story, the first exhibition to explore in depth the creative choices made by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry while writing the manuscript during two years he and his wife spent in New York City at the height of the Second World War. Curated by Christine Nelson, curator of literary and historical manuscripts, the exhibition explores the origins of the story as well as features many of the original art works, including watercolors and drawings made by Saint- Exupéry for the book.

From the its extensive Welles manuscript collections, the Lilly Library contributed Orson Welles’s typescript, with autograph revisions, of a screen play for a film version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, ca. 1943. According to Barbara Leaming in Orson Welles: A Biography, following the tumultuous productions of Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles discovered the work while searching for his “third film that, unlike its two predecessors, would interest a mass audience.” She quotes Welles as remarking that “what I wanted to do with The Little Prince, was a very small amount of animation. It was only the trick effects of getting from planet to planet.” Walt Disney and his crack team of animators were the obvious collaborators of choice. While introductions and a lunch meeting were arranged between Welles and Walt Disney, Welles later reported to Leaming that after arranging to be called from the initial meeting at the Disney Studios, Walt Disney exploded in the hallway outside of the room, “there is not room on this lot for two geniuses,” and the project came to an end.

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The Little Prince: A New York Story at the Morgan Library & Museum
http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/exhibition.asp?id=90

Exhibition review, The New York Times, January 23, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/arts/design/the-morgan-explores-the-origins-of-the-little-prince.html?_r=0

Cherry Williams

Meet author Robert K. Elder! Saturday September 7, 2013 1:00-3:00PM

“Ladies and gentlemen, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery, fraud, about lies…almost any story is most certainly some kind of lie.” – Orson Welles, F for Fake

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The Lilly Library is delighted to join with the IU Cinema in welcoming author, Robert K. Elder, whose archive the Lilly Library is proud to house. A meet-the-author reception will be hosted at the Lilly in the Main Gallery from 1:00-3:00PM prior to a double-screening of Orson Welles’ “F for Fake” and Lasse Hallström’s “The Hoax” which will be shown at the Indiana University cinema on Saturday, September 7 beginning at 3:00PM. http://www.cinema.indiana.edu/?post_type=series&p=4864

Rob’s new book “The Best Film You’ve Never Seen,” in which he interviews 35 directors about their favorite overlooked, forgotten or critically-savaged gems will be available for purchase and signing at the theater following the reception. http://robertkelder.com/

The Lilly is also honored to hold the archives of Orson Welles, as well as those of other film greats John Ford and Peter Bogdanovich.

Orson Welles: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/index.php?p=welles

John Ford: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/index.php?p=fordj

Peter Bogdanovich: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/index.php?p=bogdanovich

— Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

Anthony Arnove: Dirty Wars

We recently received notice that Anthony Arnove’s production of Dirty Wars, will be playing at the Indiana University Cinema for one night only: THURSDAY, August 8, at 7 pm, and that Mr. Arnove will be on hand for a question and answer session after the screening.

The Lilly Library is honored to be the repository of Anthony Arnove’s papers and the archive of Haymarket Books.

The film features independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, the New York Times bestselling author of Blackwater and now Dirty Wars (the book of the same title as the film).

Dirty Wars won the Cintematography Prize at Sundance. Variety says it is “astonishingly hard-hitting” and adds: “This jaw-dropping, persuasively researched pic has the power to pry open government lockboxes.” Below is a poster with some of the highlights of this and other write ups.

You can see the trailer here: http://dirtywars.org/trailer

Details on the screening are here:
http://www.cinema.indiana.edu/?post_type=film&p=4690

And details on ticketing are here:
http://www.cinema.indiana.edu/about/visiting-the-cinema/

Tickets are $3 students and $6 public. Tickets are required for all screenings. You can pick up tickets at the IU Auditorium Box Office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or — if they are not sold out — 30 minutes prior to any IU Cinema screening.