Judge a Book by its Cover May 11

Go ahead and judge a book by its cover at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts at the Lilly Library, will lead this program on how the Arts & Crafts Movement influenced books and the printed media. See examples of rare books hand-picked from the Steele’s own library. Participants are welcome to bring a few of their own from this time period to share. End the evening making a book of your own that you can take home to enjoy. The cost is $15 per person and registration is requested but not required. For more information or to register, please contact tcsteeleshs@dnr.in.gov or 812.988.2785. You can register online at www.tcsteele.org.

T.C. Steele State Historic Site is located on Hwy 46 just west of Nashville in the heart of artistic Brown County. Part of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, a division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the site is where nature’s beauty meets the artist’s canvas. The home, studio and gardens of this noted Hoosier artist still provide inspiration today through site tours, outdoor painting competitions and artist-in-residence programs. For more information, call 812.988.2785 or visit indianamuseum.org/tc_steele.

—Christine Atkinson, Arts Program Developer
T.C. Steele State Historic Site

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17th century music at the Lilly Library May 21

On Saturday, May 21 at 1:00 PM, the Friends of the Lilly Library will sponsor the concert Pastoral Dialogues: Amorous Duets from Mid–17th Century England in the Slocum Room of the Lilly Library on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. Christopher Goodbeer and friends will perform selections from Ayres and Dialogues (1653-1658) and Select Ayres and Dialogues (1659) as written by Henry Lawes, his brother William, and other mid–17th century English composers.

‘Dialogues’ refers to a music genre of conversational style duets set as solo exchanges in alternation with chorus.

Come and celebrate spring and hear the witty banter as shepherds and shepherdesses muse on the nature of a kiss, propriety in courtship, advice for the lovelorn, the misbehavior of Cupid, and their fortunate lives of Arcadian bliss.

Ensemble Performers:

Mary Roosma — Soprano
Priscilla Borges — Soprano
Thea Smith — Soprano
Jeremy Woodard — Tenor
Christopher Goodbeer — Bass
Beth Garfinkel — Harpsichord

The program was developed by Christopher Goodbeer, a recent graduate of the Jacobs School of Music and School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington.

A bound volume of four music books, originally published separately by John Playford in London from 1653 to 1659, on which this program is based, will be on display during the performance.

Light refreshments will be served.

—Jocelyn Karlan, Graduate Intern, The Lilly Library

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IMU exhibition showcases Slocum puzzles

Propaganda and Politics is an exhibition of puzzles from the Jerry Slocum Puzzle Collection that is currently located in the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) across from Starbucks. The puzzles in the exhibition support a cause or portray a certain ideology, thus making them more than just a neutral pastime. It is interesting to see how puzzles could be used to support candidates and causes, and puzzles from several different eras are featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: politics, propaganda, war, and wartime. The political puzzles feature different candidates running for office, as well as governmental programs and issues. The propaganda puzzles are puzzles that have an overtly biased message that they want to get across. These puzzles are usually very patriotic or nationalistic and are meant to encourage people to support a cause or mindset. Puzzles of this type have messages like “Katch the Kaiser” or “Good Luck,” but there are also puzzles that supported the German cause as well. The puzzles in the war category feature different wars and battles and are more educational in that they portray specific battles or generals in the war. For instance, people playing with the puzzles can attempt to get the allies in Berlin or help Dewey maneuver his way into Manila Bay. Lastly, the wartime puzzles are very similar to the puzzles in the war category, but these puzzles are less informative and were more useful in helping people feel like they were a part of the war effort. Included in this section are puzzles that were sent to the soldiers fighting in the trenches in World War I, as well as a “blackout” puzzle, in which the lights must be blacked out before the air raid.

This exhibition features a variety of puzzles, and it is interesting to see how puzzles could be used to support different causes and candidates. The exhibition will be on display in the IMU until March 6, 2011.

—Brenna Henry, Exhibition curator

Researching Ann Quin at the Lilly Library

Berg dust jacket

At Easter-time 2010 I made a research trip to the Lilly Library at Bloomington, all the way from the University of East Anglia in the U.K., to read papers contained in the Calder and Boyars manuscript collection concerning my PhD subject, the British writer Ann Quin (1936–1973).

With trembling fingers, I sat in the reading room at the Lilly and opened the first box. Quin’s surviving papers are rare, and working with the papers held at the Lilly Library was my first experience of reading and handling her papers at first hand. What I found were a collection of letters and papers that not only charted the story of Quin’s professional career, but also revealed much about her personally. These letters, between Quin and her publishers, John Calder and Marion Boyars, reveal her to have been very anxious about money, demanding, difficult, sporadic, impulsive, and seeking stability. In the letters, her tone is at times, not so much inappropriate, as overly personal, the letters mix detailed discussion of matters to do with the printing of this or that novel, or of issues surrounding what royalties are owed etc, with newsy descriptions of and responses to place, as well as revelations about personal feelings. The tone and composition of these letters expose much about her as a person, and the corresponding responses by her publishers give Quin’s comments a context that has provided me food for thought: she does not always emerge in a pleasant or professional light, and this has aided my thinking about her relationship with her work as well as the people around her. The letters are also revealing in their charting of her ongoing and increasing lack of commercial success, from the frustrations brought by the endless soliciting of the short stories by Boyars, to repeated rejections by foreign publishers.

Many of the letters confirmed what I had already suspected, but some brought unexpected and surprising things to light. Of course, the collection not only contains letters by or directly responding to Quin, but also ones about her. From these, I gleaned vital information about periods of her life when she was suffering from increasingly severe bouts of mental illness and both her fiction and letter writing ground to a halt. It was fascinating to know, for example, that her novels were requested and put forward as evidence to a Doctor treating Quin after one serious breakdown in 1970.

Working with the letters has provided my project with the depth of knowledge and understanding crucial for developing a more sensitive eye when drafting my interpretations of Quin’s fiction. I find echoes of the letters in her fiction, and this conversation between her life and work is something that my experience of visiting the archive has allowed to become an integral part of my project. I am grateful to the Lilly Library not only for providing me the opportunity of reading such papers, but also for their generous financial support of the Ernest Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship which made the trip possible.

—Nonia Williams Dodd, University of East Anglia

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Exhibition Celebrates Scott Russell Sanders

Scott Russell Sanders image owned by Indiana University

“Words to Speak Our Love of Earth: Celebrating Scott Russell Sanders,” the exhibition currently on display in the Slocum Room of the Lilly Library, represents the full breadth of the work of writer Scott Russell Sanders, who retired from the English Department of Indiana University Bloomington last year, after having taught on this campus for 38 years. The exhibition opened the day before Sanders’s 65th birthday.

Sanders’s output at various times during his illustrious career has included science fiction, fiction, biographical fiction, children’s fiction, criticism, poetry, the personal essay, and autobiography. Drawing on the extensive holdings of the Lilly Library, the exhibit features autographed copies of Sanders’s more than twenty books; manuscripts ranging from an 11–year–old’s middle school compositions to the journals Sanders kept while writing Hunting for Hope; and samples from Sanders’s extensive correspondence.

“Words to Speak Our Love of Earth” foregrounds the themes that recur through Sanders’s work: religion and the importance of the sacred in daily life; the connections between literature and science; the knowledge of place; and, above all, the need for a deeper understanding of our relationship with the Earth on which we live. Some of the more unusual items displayed include an essay on Hamlet from Sanders’s college days in Cambridge, England, which shows the roots of Sanders’s later activism (”Hamlet embodies the dramatic purpose of showing the effects on a sensitive and intelligent man of an escapable demand to perform an act to which he is morally, rationally, educationally, humanistically, and temperamentally disinclined”); a teaching guide he wrote for the science fiction movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers; a postcard on marriage from twice–married fellow writer John Updike (”Marriage does a writer a great deal of good”); and, finally, a handmade chapbook of Sanders’s poetry written during a retreat at Knoll Farm in the Mad River Valley of Vermont: “… having seen the pond/ shimmer with sky, having grown still,/ when the time comes this morning for us to break silence, we might find words to speak our love of earth.”

The exhibition was curated by Christoph Irmscher, Professor of English at Indiana University.

A Scrapbook Look at John Ruskin

John Ruskin

The Lilly Library has a new exhibition called “A Scrapbook Look at John Ruskin,” on display July 26th through August 27th, 2010. This exhibition is created around two scrapbooks made by John Ruskin and held by the Lilly Library. These scrapbooks were initially auctioned during a sale held at Ruskin’s estate in July, 1931, and eventually became part of Elisabeth Ball’s collection, which was donated to the Lilly Library in 1984. These scrapbooks are not only a unique index into Ruskin’s life and thought, but also contain a few interesting surprises: there is a dancing hippo in a tuxedo, monkeys flagellating each other, and a cheeky ghost who querulously asks, “Do you w-a-n-t to be sha-a-ved?” Beyond these amusing tidbits, the scrapbooks document the artifacts Ruskin thought were important to keep, and as a visually-oriented thinker, these documents are of interest for their insight into his own interests as well as what they say about life in Victorian England.

The other books in the exhibit display visual and intellectual connections seen in the scrapbooks, pursuing disparate yet complementary themes. Case one shows the shaping of Ruskin’s thoughts through his life experiences, using his interest in mountains, especially the Alps, as a focal point. It includes a first edition of Modern Painters, The Poetry of Architecture, and The Ethics of the Dust, as well as a magnificent copy of George Chapman’s Whole Works of Homer with John Ruskin’s bookplate and annotations. Case two shows how Ruskin had been shaped by his contextual surroundings, and the ways others have responded to his intellectual legacy. This case includes several editions of Ruskin’s fantasy story The King of the Golden River, William Morris’ edition of The Nature of the Gothic, James Abbott MacNeill Whistler’s pamphlet regarding the libel suit he pressed against Ruskin, and Marcel Proust’s translation of Sesame and Lilies.

This exhibition should be of interest to any aficionado of the nineteenth century, whether a scholar or a member of the community. It was curated by Emilee Mathews, M.A. Candidate in Art History and M.L.S. Candidate in Library Science, as part of an internship pursued through the School of Library and Information Science.

The Lilly Library’s summer hours are Monday through Thursday, 8am to 6pm, Friday 8am to 5pm, and Saturday 9am to 1pm. The exhibition is in the foyer of the library.

—Emilee Mathews

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Education Reformer Deborah Meier Visits the Lilly Library

Meier

Deborah Meier, a leader in education reform and the founder of the modern small schools movement in America, paid a welcome visit to the Lilly Library on Thursday, November 12. Meier, who was visiting Bloomington for an education seminar, is nationally known for her work in the innovative Central Park East schools in New York, which she founded in 1974. Meier’s efforts were recognized in 1987, when she became the first public school teacher to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She chronicled her experiences at Central Park East in The Power of Their Ideas (1995), which has become an influential work in the field of education.

Indiana University announced in November 2008 that Deborah Meier had donated her papers to the Lilly Library, and work on them began in June of this year. The papers include correspondence, writings and speeches by Meier, and materials related to Meier’s work with the Central Park East schools, the Mission Hill school in Boston, and school restructuring projects in New York City, among other things.

The Lilly Library has created a two–year, grant–funded position devoted to the arrangement, description, and digitization of this collection. Currently, the papers are in the process of being arranged and a finding aid is being created. Once the finding aid is complete, portions of the collection will be scanned and made available online, giving researchers all over the world access to this unique documentation of the beginnings of the small schools movement.

Meier and Steve Bonchek of the Harmony Education Center, a Bloomington school and education institute which assisted in procuring the funding needed to make this collection available, hope that the Meier papers will serve as the cornerstone of an ongoing effort to document schools. The Lilly Library is grateful to the Peck Stacpoole Foundation of New York, and to the Office of the Provost of IU Bloomington, for providing the financial support for this project.

–Valerie Higgins, Meier Papers Project Archivist

Accompanying picture, from left to right: Gerardo Gonzalez, Dean of the IU School of Education; Valerie Higgins, Meier Papers Project Archivist; Deborah Meier; John Ryan, IU President Emeritus; Steve Bonchek, Harmony Education Center Executive Director. Click here to see a larger image.

Music for the Worms: Darwin at the Lilly Library

Charles Darwin

From November 18 to December 19, 2009, a special exhibit at the Lilly commemorates the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species. The location of the exhibit in the Lincoln Room is particularly appropriate, since Darwin and Lincoln were born on the same day, on February 12, 1809, a coincidence that has led the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik to label them the two “midwives to the spirit of a new world.” Gopnik’s Angels and Ages is just one of many books published in time for the Bicentennial that celebrate Darwin as a heroic, near–saintly battler against Victorian convention. By contrast, the Darwin highlighted in this exhibit is more hands–on: a thoroughly social and sociable being, a man equipped with an excellent sense of humor and a keen awareness of his popular appeal. The five cases of the exhibit track his career from the publication of Darwin’s first bestselling book, the Journal of Researches, now generally known as the Voyage of the Beagle, to his last popular success, The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, in which he wanted to find out, among other things, if worms were susceptible to music (they weren’t). Unpublished letters (one of them even unknown to Darwin scholars) round off the image of a fluent writer who rebelled against the idea that scientific writing had to be, in the caustic words of Darwin’s admirer Stephen Jay Gould, “boring, inaccessible, illiterate, or unreadable.”

Highlights include a rare first edition of Origin as well as a late printing, annotated by his son Francis. The latter was originally in Darwin’s library at Down House and was recently purchased with the help of the Friends of the Lilly Library. Another new acquisition, the American edition of Origin, published by Appleton in New York, thanks to the Harvard botanist Asa Gray (1810–1888), Darwin’s most important supporter in the United States. Thanks to Curator of Manuscripts, Cherry Williams, we also now own a late carte–de–visite, likely one of Darwin’s last images from life.

Darwin’s friend Gray, a devout Presbyterian who did not work on Sundays, had hoped that there would be a way to reconcile evolution and faith. Difficult as it may be to assume that divine purpose governed natural selection, he wrote in his book Darwiniana (a first edition is on display at the Lilly), the alternative was even less satisfactory. Darwin politely disagreed. Would God have wanted to design a world in which cats cruelly play with mice? The subject was, he felt, too profound for the humans to comprehend—as if a dog wanted to understand Isaac Newton. Said Darwin, “Let each man hope and believe what he can.”

The exhibit is accompanied by a free, illustrated catalogue, written by the curator.

– Christoph Irmscher, Exhibition Curator and IU Professor of English

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Brother Can You Spare a Dime: Popular Music from the Great Depression

Sheet music

As a part of IU Libraries’ celebration of Archives and Special Collections Month, the Lilly Library will host a performance of selections from the Starr Sheet Music Collection and Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music.

Last year’s presentation showcased Presidential Campaign songs; this year’s theme (as the title states) is songs of the Great Depression.

The show will occur on the 80th anniversary of the actual stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday). Come out and hear Christopher Goodbeer, Alicia McCarthur, Thea Smith (singers), and Yonit Kosovske (pianist) perform these sometimes mournful but mostly optimistic songs.

Selections include the title song, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” “We’re in the Money,” “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” “Hallelujah I’m a Bum,” and others. A reception follows.

–Christopher Goodbeer, IU Jacobs School of Music student

Event Details
Brother Can You Spare a Dime: Popular Music from the Great Depression
Thursday, October 29 5:00pm
Slocum Room, Lilly Library

Grand Tour exhibition at IU Art Museum features Lilly Library books and journals

Thiebault travel journal

Ten items from the Lilly Library collections are part of the current special exhibition at the IU Art Museum, The Grand Tour: Art and Travel, 1740–1914, on view through December 21, 2008. (For more information, see the IU Art Museum web site). This exhibition considers the role of art and visual representation in the history of tourism. One of the great pleasures of researching the exhibition were the many hours I spent at the Lilly Library paging through rare eighteenth-century travel guides and hand-written, hand-drawn travel journals, some of which are still uncatalogued. Drawing was an important component of middle- and upper-class education during the period examined in the Grand Tour exhibition, and it is wonderful to see how the average traveler was able to put their drawing skills to use while on the road.

One of my favorite Lilly books in the exhibition is a two-volume journal (only volume one is in the exhibition) recording a walking tour in the north of Wales in September 1827, Voyage à pied dans le nord du Pays de Galles (Thiebault Family mss., uncatalogued). The journal was compiled by a French traveler, Adolphe Thiebault (1797–1875?), and is filled with his beautiful, precisely delineated ink and wash drawings of the landscapes he encountered in Wales. Each drawing is carefully pasted into the journal, and is accompanied by a descriptive caption and date. The page on view in the exhibition is particularly interesting, depicting a view of the Menai Suspension Bridge, a modern technological wonder in Thiebault’s day. Completed in 1826, the bridge was one of the world’s first iron suspension bridges. Linking mainland Wales to the island of Anglesey (previously accessible only by ferry), the bridge reduced travel time between London and Dublin from thirty-six hours to just nine. Thiebault drew the bridge on September 16, and on the facing page pasted a newspaper clipping with a story about the bridge.

Another book that provides great insight into the values and interests of its time is the very useful Gentleman’s Guide on his Tour Through Italy of 1791. If you ever wondered how long it took a Grand Tourist to travel from Rome to Naples in the late eighteenth century, this book will tell you: twenty-five hours, during which it was necessary to change horses at eighteen designated post-stations. Aside from providing detailed practical information regarding money, itineraries, and lodgings, the guidebook puts a strong emphasis on the art that English tourists wanted to see when they traveled to Italy. Lists of paintings in both private and public collections are included in the book, as is information about architecture and archaeological sites such as Pompeii, which had only been discovered a few decades earlier. Although unillustrated, the book includes a beautiful fold-out, colored map of Italy next to the title page. This book, with its map on display, is the first object visitors see when they enter the Grand Tour exhibition.

— Jenny McComas, Curator of Western Art after 1800, Indiana University Art Museum

View a larger image of a page from Adolphe Thiebault’s journal