Lilly Library materials in Islamic Book Arts exhibit

Kufic Qur’an fragment

Yasemin Gencer, IU Ph.D. student in Islamic Art, has drawn on the collections of the Lilly Library, the IU Art Museum, and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures to create a permanent online exhibition of Islamic materials entitled From Pen to Printing Press: Ten centuries of Islamic book arts in Indiana University Collections.

This exhibition is an adaptation of an Indiana University Art Museum exhibit displayed last spring as “part of a larger project that aims to make the Islamic materials housed at IU better known to the general public.” It includes wonderful descriptions and images of Islamic manuscripts and rare books from the Lilly Library’s collections, such as an illustrated and abridged copy of Firdawsi’s Shahname, a miniature Qur’an, and one of the earliest recorded Mughal manuscripts.

View more images by visiting the exhibition.

On the Origin of Species

One hundred fifty years ago today, Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species was published in London. Although he was not the first person in England to publish something about evolution, his work gained ground based on its accuracy and detail on the subject.

The Lilly Library is home to several editions of this work (see the link in the paragraph above), and many other editions and related works can be found in IUCAT.

Be sure to check out Music for the Worms: A Darwin “Themester” Exhibit at the Lilly Library in the Lincoln Room now through December 19, 2009. This exhibit is part of Evolution, Diversity, and Change, Indiana University’s Fall 2009 Themester.

On Air with the Lilly Library

Megan Meyer of Indiana Public Media visited the Lilly Library earlier this fall for an interview with Joel Silver and Becky Cape (among others). Her interview, The Lilly Library: Anything But Hands Off, was broadcast on WFIU on September 15, 2009 and rebroadcast more recently, but if you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of it or read the transcript here.

New furniture in the Reading Room

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The new furniture for the Lilly Library Reading Room arrived last week, so now the room is not only beautifully renovated but also well–appointed!

As always, the Reading Room of the Lilly Library is open to anyone wishing to use the library’s resources, and the staff are available to answer questions relating to the collections.

–Virginia Dearborn, Reference/Technical Assistant

View more images of the Reading Room.

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

WPA

October is Archives and Special Collections Month! This year’s event is entitled Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? Documenting the Great Depression, and not only is the Lilly Library hosting an exhibition and a musical performance this month – please visit the event website for details – but there are also related online resources available from the Lilly Library year–round.

One of the Lilly Library’s first online exhibitions is called The Works Projects Administration* in Indiana. Created in 1997 by Lilly Library intern Patrick Dawson, this exhibition draws upon Great Depression–era materials donated by John K. Jennings (WPA Administrator for Indiana 1935–1943), including video and audio clips, as well as many photographs from various WPA projects carried out in Indiana.

*Introduced in 1935 as the Works Progress Administration, the WPA became known as the Works Projects Administration in 1939.

–Virginia Dearborn, Reference/Technical Assistant

Fore-Edge Paintings in the Lilly Library

Fore-Edge common prayer cropped

The Lilly Library is pleased to debut another excellent online exhibition developed in 2008 by former graduate student employee, Denise Griggs: Fore-Edge Paintings in the Lilly Library.

This exhibition features paintings created along the fore-edge of pages in a book, an art form that first became popular in the late 18th century. Many of these paintings “vanish” when the book is closed and are only visible when the pages are fanned open, though some of the fore-edge artworks in the Lilly Library’s collection can be seen along the edge of the closed book. The subjects in the paintings range from countrysides to cityscapes, religious devotion to seats of government.

Denise Griggs also developed an online exhibition on English writer Daniel Defoe.

–Virginia Dearborn, Reference/Technical Assistant

View more image clips from the online exhibition here.

Reading Room renovation update

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The bulk of the renovation of the Lilly Library Reading Room has been completed!

We’re all happy to be out of the lovely but tight quarters of the Elisabeth Ball Room (which served as a temporary reading room over the summer) and into the sunlit and roomy “new” space. The new furniture is not due to arrive until next month, but there is temporary furniture in place to accommodate readers and staff.

–Virginia Dearborn, Reference/Technical Assistant

View more images of the renovation.