Color Our Collections: The Lilly Library Coloring Book

Lilly-coloring-book-2Coloring books are all the rage, and February 1-5 is #ColorOurCollections week on Twitter! Special Collections libraries around the world are posting images from their collections for people to print and color. This project was started by the New York Academy of Medicine; you can search Twitter for the #ColorOurCollections hashtag to find many other coloring books that will inspire you to grab your markers, crayons, and colored pencils and do what you could never do in our Reading Room — add your own color to images from our beautiful rare books. We’ve chosen woodcut images from a wide array of books; you’ll find Albrect Durer’s famous four horsemen of the apocalypse, flowers from a 16th-century herbal, and beautiful and intricate designs from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. We hope you enjoy coloring our collections as much as we enjoy getting the chance to work with these marvelous books every day! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary.

Download the full coloring book here: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/Lilly-Library-Coloring-Book.pdf

 

Reading Room closed on Wednesday, January 27, 3:00-6:00

The Reading Room will be closed on Wednesday, January 27th from 3:00-6:00. We will be conducting staff training sessions for our new Lilly Library Request System.

If you’ve used the Lilly Library Reading Room any time in our 55 year history, you probably remember filling out paper charge slips to request items; as of next week, those paper charge slips will be a thing of the past! We have been working hard to implement a new electronic request system which will allow patrons to register and request items online. Keep an eye on our website for more information about the Lilly Library Request System, debuting January 28.

Tweeting Presidential Signatures

Our most famous presidential signature: George Washington accepting the presidency of the United States.
Our most famous presidential signature: George Washington accepting the presidency of the United States.

The Lilly Library is well known for its remarkable collections of American history. To celebrate the year leading up to the 2016 presidential election, we’ll be tweeting the signatures of all 43 United States presidents. Each signature will be tweeted on the president’s birthday. Zach Downey has been combing our archives to find interesting examples of the John Hancock of each of our Commanders in Chief. We’ve prioritized signatures from the years during which each individual held the presidency, though this is not possible in all cases. This archival scavenger hunt shows how rich and deep the Lilly Library archives are. Each signature derives from a document with its own story to tell.

Watch our blog for updates to this presidential project, and follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see all 43 presidential signatures in the upcoming year!

Rebecca Baumann, Education and Outreach Librarian

Zach Downey, Digitization Manager

Halloween Countdown: Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, part 5

poe_00276We’ve had a blast counting down thirteen of the spookiest treasures at the Lilly Library. We hope you’ve enjoyed delving deep into our stacks to learn more about these unusual items. Every treasure tells a story, and each of these spooky items opens the door to a fascinating collection, full of potential for research, wonder, and discovery. And now, we present our final and favorite spooky treasure to celebrate Halloween!

Number 1: Edgar Allan Poe’s hair (1848 and 1849)

The Lilly Library has two locks of Edgar Allan Poe’s hair.  Both are from the collection of J.K. Lilly, Jr. Poe was one of Lilly’s early collecting obsessions. He initially focused on collecting first editions of Indiana authors, but in 1927, he fixed his eye on a more ambitious prize: Poe.  In The J.K. Lilly Collection of Edgar A. Poe, David A. Randall (the first Lilly Librarian) writes, “Poe was, and is, the glamor boy of the American collecting scene. The decision was an audacious one, considering the youth and inexperience of the collector, the times, and the competition to be faced. Yet in the short space of about seven years he was able to bring together one of the finest Poe collections ever assembled.” This collection includes numerous editions of Poe’s books (including inscribed first editions), runs of magazine and periodicals with Poe contributions, letters, signed legal documents, artwork, the only known full-length daguerreotype of Poe, and the crown jewel of the collection: a previously unrecorded copy of Poe’s first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems. It is believed that only approximately 50 copies of this small pamphlet were printed in 1827, and they were attributed only to “A Bostonian.”

A lock of Poe’s hair was included in a black tin box of letters that Poe wrote to Sarah Helen Whitman which Mr. Lilly purchased from Max Harzof of the firm of G.A. Baker. The hair is a chestnut-colored curl, tucked into an envelope which reads “Mrs Sarah Helen Whitman / Providence / RI / Sent to me on the evening / of Nov 8th 1848. Sarah Helen Whitman, a sort of 19th-century version of the modern “Goth” girl, was known for wearing black clothes and a coffin-shaped charm, holding séances at her house, and writing transcendentalist poetry. She was briefly engaged to Poe until she received an anonymous note at the library claiming that he had returned to drink (which he had sworn off of as a condition of their engagement). David Randall describes their courtship as “brief and violent … during which both parties were often alternately or jointly hysterical.” In a letter dated November 7th (the day before the hair was sent), Poe writes to her, “If you cannot see me—write me one word to say that you do love me and that, under all circumstances, you will be mine. Remember that these coveted words you have never yet spoken—and, nevertheless, I have not reproached you.” Whitman destroyed most of the final letter that Poe sent to her. The only fragment she kept (also in the Lilly Library’s collection) reads, “I blame no one but your mother.” Several libraries and museums have clippings of Poe’s hair, but to our knowledge, this lock sent to Sarah Helen Whitman is the only extant sample cut while he was still living.

The second lock of hair in the Lilly Library’s collection was sent in 1849 to “Annie” Richmond (Mrs. Nancy Locke Heywood Richmond) by Maria Clemm, the mother of Poe’s cousin and wife Virginia Clemm, who died (aged 24) in 1847. Richmond befriended Mrs. Clemm in the hopes that she would bequeath Poe’s papers to her when she died. She also claimed (probably falsely) to have had a romantic relationship with Poe that overlapped with his courtship of Sarah. This lock of hair is encased in a pearl-ringed brooch inscribed on the back with Poe’s death date. It was almost certainly clipped from Poe’s head after he died as a souvenir.

Both locks of hair are popular items in the Lilly Library’s collections; many students and visitors enjoy a frisson of excitement when they see this bodily relic of the past alongside Poe’s handwriting and the books that made him famous in their original physical form.

Rebecca Baumann

Education & Outreach Librarian / Your Ghostly Halloween Hostess

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Halloween Countdown: Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 4

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 4: Cat Marionettes

lilly-library_00118Sometimes there’s a fine line between cute and creepy—a very fine line. These cat marionettes are charming, whimsical—even downright adorable (just look at those cute kitty faces!). But over the years at the Lilly Library, they have frightened more than one staff member. What seems to unnerve people in particular are their hands—their white porcelain human hands. We’ve seen many a face move from “awwww!” to “ahhhh!” as the eyes drop from the figures’ faces to their hands. It’s the juxtaposition of the realistic human hands and bodies with the cat faces that creates an uncanny effect (and the many horror movies about dolls that come to life and kill people don’t help either!). Despite their creepy vibe (or perhaps partially because of it) these cat marionettes are a great favorite among the Lilly Library staff. They were purchased in Europe by former Library Director Bill Cagle because of the objects they hold in their hands—books for one cat and manuscripts for the other—representing the major parts of the Lilly Library’s collections. Originally intended as decorations (and hanging for many years in the Curator of Manuscript’s office), they have since become part of the collections. Current staff members have affectionately named them Becky and Saundra after two of the Lilly Library’s greatest librarians of the past.

 

 

 

 

Number 3: EC Comic Books (1950s)

comics-groupThe stereotypical view of America in the 1950s comes straight out of Leave it to Beaver. But can you imagine Wally and the Beav reading these comic books?! Believe it or not, these were among the most popular and successful comic books of the early 1950s. When William Gaines (later famed as the founder of Mad magazine) inherited “Educational Comics” from his father in 1947, he changed “EC” to “Entertaining Comics” and began publishing the type of comics that soldiers who had become hooked on comic books during WWII wanted to read—crime, suspense, horror, westerns, and science fiction. EC published such notorious titles as Tales from the CryptVault of HorrorCrime SuspenStoriesShock SuspenStoriesTwo-Fisted TalesWeird Science, and Weird Fantasy. Many of these comics were sexually suggestive, graphically violent, gruesome, and gory. They also tackled contemporary issues such as racism and drug use. They usually had their own bizarre morality as well—after a rousing bloodbath, the criminal elements were usually dispatched in an equally gruesome way, showing that “crime does not pay.” These comics were popular with adults and children; the latter audience caused a moral panic that eventually went all the way to the United States Congress. Psychiatrist Frederick Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent in 1954, a book that claimed that these type of comic books were the direct cause of juvenile delinquency; he also famously claimed that Batman was “obviously” gay and that Wonder Woman was far too strong to be a “natural” woman. The ensuing public outrage caused a Congressional inquiry into comic books in which publishers such as William Gaines were asked to defend themselves.  No laws against comics were passed, but instead the comics industry chose to censor itself.  They created the Comics Code Authority in 1954 which “certified” comics as being reasonably wholesome.  William Gaines, publisher of EC, refused to join, leading to the company’s ultimate demise, as distributers would not carry non-Code comics.  The “Code” banned the words “horror,” “terror,” and “weird” from covers.  Even though these comics were killed by censorship, their influence is enormous.  Writers such as Stephen King and directors including George Romero and Steven Spielberg read these comics as children, and their colorful, cinematic, and at times almost gleeful violence had an impact on their own work.

 

Number 2: Weird Anatomy (1701-16)

qm21-r9_00001This engraving is found in Dutch anatomist Frederick Ruysch’s Thesaurs Anatomicus. Ruysch was a professor of anatomy at Leyden and Amsterdam, notable for his developments in anatomical preservation. The engravings in this volume are exquisitely whimsical and delicate. Infant skeletons are posed in quaint attitudes—playing a violin or weeping into a tissue—surrounded by human organs arranged in landscapes that resemble deep sea flora. Although they do not serve an educational or anatomical purpose, these fold-out engravings are not only spooky but stunningly beautiful.

Stay tuned the #1 Spooky Treasure in our countdown on October 30 and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.

Rebecca Baumann

Education and Outreach Librarian / The Vault-Keeper

Halloween Countdown: 13 Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 3

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 7: The Muller Mouse (ca. 1945-1964)

muller_01723I bet you didn’t know that there’s a mouse in the Lilly Library. While we have never spotted any live rodents (save the flying squirrels that occasional come down the chimney), there is a mouse skin in the Lilly Library’s collections. The mouse resides among the papers of Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967) geneticist and Nobel prize laureate. Among numerous other prestigious appointments, Muller was a Research Professor in the Indiana University Department of Zoology from 1945 until his retirement in 1964. A year after his arrival at IU, Muller received the Nobel Prize for his discovery that genetic mutations can be induced by x-rays. He received many more awards and tributes over the years, including the Bossom Award, the Kimber Genetics Award, and several honorary doctorates. In his work in genetics, Muller worked with innumerable mice and fruit flies; we don’t know why this particular mouse was so special that his skin was preserved. It was kept with Muller’s papers and the material from his desk along with a genetic pedigree (seen in photo). You can learn more about Muller and his papers here.

 

 

 

Number 6: Momento Mori (late 15th century)

ricketts-130_00002The extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at the Lilly Library are usually described as “beautiful,” “breathtaking,” and “inspiring”–seldom as “spooky.” However, some medieval texts contain images called “Momento Mori,” a Latin phrase meaning, “Remember you will die.” These are reminders that all beauty and all things are transient and earthly life and material objects are, in the end, mere vanity. This skull wearing a belled hat (the symbol of the fool) and spitting blood is found in Ricketts 130, a late 15th-century French Book of Hours. It is not part of the intentional design but rather a doodle added by an owner or reader.

 

 

 

 

 

Number 5: Postmortem Photograph (19th century)

woodward_00014Postmortem photography is the practice of taking pictures of the recently deceased. While this may seem horrendously morbid today, in the 19th century, the practice helped families to remember the beloved dead and move forward in the grieving process. It was an especially common practice for infants who died in the home; these photos would be the only image and record for a family to remember a departed child. Infant mortality was high, but families still wanted to remember those who were with them even for only a short time. The photo here comes from the papers of the Woodward family of Buena Vista, Monroe County, Indiana. Learn more about the collection here.

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned the next installment of Spooky Treasures on October 27 and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.

Rebecca Baumann

Education and Outreach Librarian / She-Who-Lurks-in-the-Stacks

Halloween Countdown: 13 Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 2

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 10: “As a hungry Eagle was Seeking for Prey…” (ca. 1734-1745)

johnson-j_00018The Lilly Library is well known for its vast collection of children’s literature, and most of this literature is delightful, whimsical, and charming. However, our modern-day view that children should be protected against the grimmer elements of life is not one that is always reflected in items crafted for children in the past. This card—handmade on Dutch paper by a mother for her children—shows an eagle swooping down on a helpless infant. The back of the card reads:

As a hungry Eagle was / Seeking for Prey, / He spy’d a young Child in / A Cradle that lay; / The Mother was absent, / And no creature by, / So the Baby he Seiz’d, and / Flew up to the Sky: / The Child cry’d and Scream’d, / But his Tears were in vain, / For his Life, was soon ended, / And with it all pain.

While it may seem cruel to read such a rhyme to a child, this card taught two important lessons to its 18th-century audience. First, don’t leave your mother’s side, and second, the inevitable end of life brings a release from pain and suffering. Even in wealthy families, infant mortality rates were high–childbirth was a dangerous undertaking for both mother and baby. Children needed to be taught to understand and accept deaths in their families. We can also imagine that a precocious child might delight in and even laugh at this rather morbid image.

This card comes from one of the Lilly Library’s most remarkable collections, the manuscripts of Jane Johnson, which consist of teaching tools made by hand by Johnson for the basic primary and moral instruction of her four children. They offer a rare peek into the life on an 18th-century family and portray a mother’s sense of how to entertain children as well as introduce them to the discipline and pleasure of reading. Read more about the Jane Johnson collection here.

Number 9: Stereoscopic Skin Clinic (1910)

rl81-r35-1910_00001Another of the Lilly Library’s major strengths is its collection of medical books, dating back to such landmarks in the history of medicine as the second edition of Johannes de Ketham’s Fasciculus Medicinae (1493) and the first edition of Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica (1543). More recently added to our holdings is a spectacular array of dermatological books and atlases. This item from the dermatology collections was devised by entrepreneur Selden Irwin Rainforth in early 20th-century America to aid American doctor in the diagnoses of skin disease. The stereoscopic device allowed viewers to see two nearly identical photographic images in 3-D. This set, the first edition of the device, includes 132 cards, each with a listing of the disease’s symptoms and notes for treatment. Ailments include psoriasis, eczema, acne, scabies, and syphilis. This device was invaluable to doctors who, without today’s methods of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, might very well encounter a patient with an ailment that they had never seen. Certainly photography revolutionized the literature of dermatology. See all books in the Lilly Library’s dermatology collection here.

 

Number 8: Manuscript of “The Ash-tree” by M.R. James (before 1904)

pr6019-a6-g6_00001Our list of spooky treasures would hardly be complete without at least one truly terrifying horror story… and no one wrote terrifying horror stories better than M.R. James, English antiquarian and medieval scholar best remembered for his chilling ghost stories such as “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad,” “A Warning to the Curious,” and “The Ash-tree.” In “The Ash-tree,” Sir Richard Castringham inherits a country estate, only to discover that his ancestor condemned a woman to death as a witch, and she cursed the estate before she died. The root of the evil is in the ash tree outside his window. In one of the story’s most spine-tingling moments, Richard sees something abhorrent emerging from the tree:

“And now you would guess, so deceptive is the half-darkness, that he had several heads, round and brownish, which move back and forward, even as low as his chest. It is a horrible illusion. Is it nothing more? There! something drops off the bed with a soft plump, like a kitten, and is out of the window in a flash; another — four — and after that there is quiet again.”

You’ll have to read the story yourself to discover what these accursed things might be. The Lilly Library holds both the first edition of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), in which the story was first published, and also the manuscript draft—with corrections in James’ hand—of the story itself. The manuscript can be found in the Lilly Library’s English Literature mss.

Stay tuned the next installment of Spooky Treasures on October 22nd and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.

Rebecca Baumann

Education & Outreach Librarian / Scream Queen

Halloween Countdown: 13 Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 1

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 13: “Awful Murder and Mutilation of a Woman, in Whitechapel” (ca. 1875).

 Believe it or not, this pamphlet is not about Jack the Ripper. The Ripper didn’t stalk the alleys of Whitechapel until 1888, fourteen years after this was published. This pamphlet describes a murder that was, in its time, as famous as those of the Ripper. Henry Wainwright was a bankrupt owner of a brushmaking business who murdered his mistress Harriet Lane. Wainwright had been living for over three years as both himself–with a wife and five children–and also as “Mr Percy King,” an alias he used for his life with his mistress who he “married” in 1871. When he lost his business and could no longer sustain his double life, he shot Harriet, dismembered her, and attempted to dissolve her body in chloride of lime.

Wainwright’s crime might never have been discovered if it weren’t for his former employee Alfred Stokes. A year after the murder, Wainwright asked Stokes to help him move some parcels from his warehouse. Stokes smelled a foul odor seeping from one of the packages, and, suspecting that Wainwright was stealing the human hair used in brushmaking, opened it. He found not hair but a human hand. He quickly covered it up and allowed Wainwright to get into his cab and leave. Stokes ran at a discreet distance behind the cab until he found a police officer willing to listen to his tale–which took several tries. When they opened the parcels, they found human remains and arrested Wainwright and his new lady companion, the dancer Alice Day. At the brushmaking warehouse, police found an open grave filled with chloride of lime, a hammer, a chopper, and a spade. They arrested Wainwright, along with his brother Thomas and mistress Alice Day as accessories. The arrest and trial filled the penny papers and scandal sheets for months. Victorians loved nothing so much as a good murder, and they followed the story with avid interest. The story had many elements that made it exciting–the double life of Wainwright and Harriet, his new mistress, the beautiful dancer Alice Day, and the dramatic nature of the crime’s discovery, including Alfred Stokes’ heroic jog after a murderer in a cab. This pamphlet from the Lilly Library’s collection is a rare relic of that time… though perhaps we are not so different today in our interest in morbid scandals and hidden crimes. Henry Wainwright was sentenced to death and hanged on December 21, 1875.

This pamphlet–which tells the whole story of Wainwright’s crime, trial, and death–can be found in the Lilly Library’s London Lowlife Collection. See the inventory here: http://go.iu.edu/Jax or see the digitized collection here: http://go.iu.edu/Jay (IU affliated users only).

Number 12: Theodore Dreiser’s death mask (1945)

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There’s no question that death masks are creepy–they are wax or plaster casts of a person’s face made after they are deceased. The practice dates back to the middle ages and continued into the 20th century. Death masks served many purposes; in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were used to record the features of unknown corpses for later identification. More commonly, they were used as the basis for portraits or simply as a reminder of a beloved friend or relative.

The Lilly Library has several death masks in its collections, including Frederick Tennyson (Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s brother) and Clifford Odets. We also have a life mask (made while the subject is still living) of Abraham Lincoln. We chose to feature Dreiser because of his gloomy visage and reputation in life for being a rather nasty fellow. Along with the mask, the Lilly Library holds manuscript drafts of Dreiser’s Dawn: An Autobiography of Early Youth, a memoir of his difficult childhood and adolescence in Indiana, written from 1912-1915 but ultimately suppressed by the author, who came to have misgivings about the blunt quality of the work, especially his own depiction of teen sexuality. Learn more about the Dreiser papers here: http://go.iu.edu/JaH

 

Number 11: Photograph of Lizzie Borden (ca. 1889)

pearson-ii_00002Perhaps you’ve heard this charming rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an ax / And gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done, /She gave her father forty-one.

Most of us have heard the story of Lizzie Borden at one time or another–it is one of America’s most famous unsolved murder cases. In 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Andrew and Abby Borden–the father and stepmother of 32-year-old Lizzie–were brutally murdered. Actually, Abby was given 19 “whacks” and Andrew 11–one of which split his eyeball clean in half. Lizzie was acquitted after a huge public trial, the circumstantial evidence (a burned dress and hatchet) dismissed. Ever since then, people have wondered if Lizzie really did it. This photograph of Lizzie comes from the papers of Edmund Lester Pearson, a librarian who wrote several volumes of true crime in the early 20th century. He was fascinated by the Bordon case and collected this photograph, along with a letter, of Lizzie. The photo was taken around 1889, several years before the murder. Learn about Pearson’s papers here: http://go.iu.edu/JaJ or his books here: http://go.iu.edu/JaK

Stay tuned the next installment of Spooky Treasures on October 19th and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.

 

 

Rebecca Baumann

Education and Outreach Librarian / Resident Ghoul

Wednesday, October 14: Lecture on Charles Darwin

Come to the Lilly Library to enjoy an evening with Charles Darwin–or at least with books, letters, photographs, and other artifacts associated with him. This is your opportunity to hold in your hands a first edition of Origin of Species, signed by Charles Darwin himself. We will also encounter one of Darwin’s greatest foes, Louis Agassiz, the pre-eminent American scientist of his time, as well as other opponents of evolutionary thought. Among those was the anonymous creator of a very peculiar version of human descent featured in this illustration from 1874, who proposed that, if humans weren’t descended from apes, Charles Darwin certainly was!

Our expert guide to these highlights from the Lilly Library’s collection will be Christoph Irmscher, author of the most recent biography of Louis Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 7:00-8:30 PM

Location: Lilly Library Slocum Room–seating is limited

This free lecture was organized by the Sassafras Audubon Society: http://www.sassafrasaudubon.org/

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