A Celebration of Cycling: Saturday, April 9

In conjunction with our exhibition “Everything is Bicycle: The Revolution of the Wheel in America,” the Lilly Library is hosting “A Celebration of Cycling!” on Saturday, April 9, 11:00-2:00. Along with the exhibition of historical cycling materials from the Lilly Library’s collections, we will be hosting the Indiana Wheelmen, an organization dedicated to keeping alive the heritage of American cycling, promoting the restoration and riding of early cycles manufactured prior to 1918, and encouraging cycling as part of modern living. Members of the Wheelmen will display their cycling memorabilia and demonstrate vintage cycles outside of the library. We are also happy to welcome special guest Tom Schwoegler, consultant on Breaking Away, who will be bringing examples of Little 500 bikes of the past. Join us for refreshments, a world of wheels, and a celebration the wonderful history of cycling!

 

Wheelmen1

 

This Thursday and Friday: two events with Dr. J. Greg Perkins

Perkins1March 31st 2016, 5:30pm

Dr. J. Greg Perkins is the author of the recently published 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 series was over 40 years in the making. It provides 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 books 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. A Faulkner scholar and enthusiast, and with over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Perkins has been a senior executive at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Hoffman-LaRoche, and Burroughs Wellcome. 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.

Dr. Perkins will present a talk entitled Science and Literature: Two Heads of the Same Coin, with a reception to follow. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Lilly Library.

 

April 1st 2016, 10:00am to 11:30am

Students, faculty, and the public are invited to join us for coffee and conversation to meet noted author J. Greg Perkins. Throughout 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.

Students are especially encouraged to meet this Indiana author, IU graduate, and  distinguished member of the pharmaceutical world.

The Performative Book in the film The Ocean in a Thimble

B-The-Ocean-in-a-Thimble
Image courtesy Bloomlight Productions

The exhibition at the Lilly Library, The Performative Book from Medieval Europe to the Americas, deals with the interaction between the world of medieval manuscripts and the world of new media at the interface between the Middle Ages and the early Modern era. On February 26, 6:30 PM, the Indiana University Cinema will screen a film that stages this dynamic of media confrontation by combining and bringing into contact with one another materials from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—including some from the Lilly Library—as well as from the twentieth century.

The film, The Ocean in a Thimble, brings together four strong women, all crucial to the European history of spirituality, and takes the viewer on a meditative journey. Hildegard of Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch, and Etty Hillesum lived in very different worlds and times and yet have one thing in common: self-determination is the key to their lives and works. They dealt with and overcame obstacles placed in their way by society and established patterns of thought.

Mystics of all ages and religions are explorers of other worlds, of spaces beyond time and matter. Hence, from their perspective time is an illusion. Hildegard Keller, one of the co-curators of the exhibition, takes this concept literally and plays with time as an author and a filmmaker. Did these four figures know one another? Could they ever have met one another in reality? No, says Keller, but that is the magic of fiction. Her film brings the four women back to life and makes them visible to one another, a fictional device that requires no justification. The film’s liberties with history offer an independent heuristic approach to its materials, enabling a special, artistic freedom.

Keller wrote the script and directed the film, which she co-edited with Russell Sheaffer, a doctoral candidate at the Media School. Julia Karin Lawson provided the English subtitles; Tony Brewer, a sound effects artist, will provide live accompaniment on stage. This multilayered film with its live sound component brings out the fascination found in the fabric of life—actually of interwoven lives!

March 8: Uncovering the Mysteries of the Lilly Library

pr4611-a55-d33_00004Have you ever wanted to conduct research at the Lilly Library but weren’t sure where to start? Have you ever felt daunted by all of the various finding aids on the Lilly Library’s website? Have you ever hankered to get your hands on a real old-fashioned card catalog drawer? Have you ever wanted to go “behind the scenes” and see the Lilly Library’s stacks? Are you ready to go down the research rabbit hole but feel like you need a guide?

Join us on Tuesday, March 8, 3:00-5:00 for a breakout session from the Uncovering the Mysteries of the IU Libraries series, presented by IU Libraries Scholars’ Commons. We will cover the basics of Lilly Library research and also delve into some of the more esoteric avenues of inquiry available to Lilly Library patrons. We will spend hands-on time with examples of rare books and manuscripts drawn from the collections and a tour of the library’s stacks.

This workshop is especially designed to help graduate students who may be interested in designing research projects around rare and archival material; however, all interested participants are welcome. You need bring only your curiosity!

Please register for this event here or by emailing liblilly@indiana.edu.

Sam Loyd, Puzzle King: Exhibition and Talk by Will Shortz

Indiana University Libraries 2015Did you miss the talk by Puzzlemaster Will Shortz at the Lilly Library on November 5th? Don’t worry! Here’s your chance to be a virtual guest in our beautiful library. You can view and listen to the full presentation by Mr. Shortz here.

This fall in the Main Gallery we are proud to present an exhibition on the nineteenth-century puzzle designer Sam Loyd. This is our first puzzle exhibition in the Main Gallery and was made possible with the gracious help of co-curator Will Shortz, who, in addition to being the editor of the New York Times Crossword, is also a collector of and expert on Sam Loyd and his puzzles. A number of the items on display were loaned by Mr. Shortz for this exhibition.

The nineteenth century was a fertile time for the development of puzzles, as can be seen from the puzzles featured in our Slocum Room exhibition. By the end of the century, there had been two major international puzzle crazes, and in the last years of the century there were a few notable puzzle designers. The most prolific of these designers was the American puzzle designer Sam Loyd.

Sam Loyd began his career as a puzzle designer at sixteen when he became the chess problem editor for Chess Monthly after having designed his first puzzle at the age of fourteen. Soon he was expanding his designs into other types of puzzles. The first puzzle he designed in this new direction was The Trick Donkeys produced around 1868. This puzzle came on a card that was divided into three pieces, two with donkeys and one with two jockeys. The goal was to place the pieces so that it looks like the jockeys are riding the donkeys. It seems simple to figure out but rarely does anyone find the answer without seeing the solution. This puzzle was followed up by many other puzzles, including The Pony Puzzle, The Puzzled Neighbors, and The Wonderful 31 Game just to name a few. These puzzles were featured on an early form of advertising called trade cards, which were cards placed on store counters to advertise products. Many of these were printed by Loyd himself from his own print shop in his hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

As the popularity of newspapers and magazines began to grow, Loyd started contributing to many publications. His puzzles appeared in puzzle columns for newspapers such as The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, The New York Journal, The Boston Herald, and The Chicago Record-Herald. One of his most well-known puzzle publications was his monthly column in Woman’s Home Companion which he published from 1904 to his death in 1911. The puzzles in these publications were gathered and published in 1914 in the collection titled Cyclopedia of 5,000 Puzzles, Tricks and Conundrums.

Come see the exhibition Sam Loyd: Puzzle King in the Main Gallery of the Lilly Library, which will be on display through December 20th. You can also pick up a free copy of The Trick Donkeys to test out your puzzle solving skills!

Andrew Rhoda

Curator of Puzzles

Jerry Slocum, donor of the Slocum Puzzle Collection (left); Will Shortz, New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor (center); and Andrew Rhoda ,Lilly Library Curator of Puzzles (left)
Jerry Slocum, donor of the Slocum Puzzle Collection (left); Will Shortz, New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor (center); and Andrew Rhoda ,Lilly Library Curator of Puzzles (left)

Will Shortz Lecture and Reception: Thursday, November 5

15PuzzleImageJoin us on Thursday, November 5 at 5:30 PM as we welcome Will Shortz to the Lilly Library! Mr. Shortz will be discussing “Puzzle King” Sam Loyd in conjunction with our spectacular fall exhibition. Come in to see the exhibition, hear the talk, and stay for a reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public; seating is limited and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

Also join us on Wednesday, November 4 at 8:00 PM in the Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union for “The Art of the Puzzle,” a Q&A with Will Shortz, followed by a live word puzzle competition.

Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Will Shortz began his career at a young age. By sixteen, he was a regular contributor to Dell puzzle publications. Shortz graduated from Indiana University’s Individualized Major Program with a degree in Enigmatology. After graduating with a law degree from the University of Virginia, he returned to puzzles, becoming NPR’s Puzzlemaster in 1987 and editor of the New York Times crossword in 1993. Shortz owns the world’s largest puzzle library, with more than 25,000 puzzle books and magazines dating back to 1533.

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!

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/

darwinape

Happy Birthday, Lilly Library

J. K. Lilly and Herman B Wells opening door to the newly-dedicated Lilly Library. October 3, 1960.
J. K. Lilly and Herman B Wells opening door to the newly-dedicated Lilly Library. October 3, 1960.

Fifty-five years ago, on October 3, 1960, Indiana University was the site of a momentous event. On that day, hundreds of people from Bloomington and from around the world gathered on campus to witness the dedication of the newly-completed Lilly Library, which was designed and constructed to preserve and make available the rare book and manuscript collections of Indiana University.

The dedication of this building to hold the University’s special collections was the culmination of decades of activity on the part of librarians and generous benefactors.  The University Library had begun collecting rare books in the early twentieth century, and in 1942, with the acquisition of Joseph B. Oakleaf’s Abraham Lincoln collection, there was enough significant material to warrant the creation of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, which was located in the building now known as Franklin Hall.  Other important collections of American history and literature soon followed, but it was the gift to IU in the mid-1950s of his collection of books and manuscripts by J. K. Lilly, Jr. that marked the turning point.  President Herman B Wells realized the importance of Mr. Lilly’s collection, and he felt that the University’s rare books and manuscripts should reside in a building better suited for their preservation and use, which should be situated at the center of campus in the “Fine Arts Plaza,” which was anchored by the Indiana University Auditorium, and which would soon include the Fine Arts Building and Showalter Fountain.

The Lilly Library was designed by the architectural firms of Eggers and Higgins of New York and A. M. Strauss of Fort Wayne.  The architects were inspired by other special collections libraries already existing on American college campuses, such as the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan and the Houghton Library at Harvard University, as well as by some of the other nearby limestone buildings on the IU campus.  The result was a building designed to serve both the research and museum functions of a special collections library, while maintaining views in the public areas of what has been called “the woodland campus of Indiana University.”  This attention to the variety of uses to which special collections libraries may be put, from curious visitors viewing the items on display, to senior researchers making detailed comparisons of books that can be found together only here in Bloomington, has remained a focus of the Lilly Library over the last fifty-five years, and the Library’s felicitous setting on IU’s woodland campus has helped to perpetuate the special feeling that permeated the dedication ceremonies of October 3, 1960.

Herman B Wells speaking at the dedication of The Lilly Library. October 3, 1960.
Herman B Wells speaking at the dedication of The Lilly Library. October 3, 1960.

The speakers on that day, from campus officials to visiting dignitaries, described the Lilly Library as a cultural treasure, as a place of wonder, and as a building in which the collected knowledge of the world would be preserved and disseminated.  This knowledge has grown exponentially since October 3, 1960, and the Lilly Library, as a part of the Indiana University Libraries, has continued to preserve and disseminate it.  We continue to expand our collections, which now include film scripts, mechanical puzzles, miniature books, artists’ books, as well as modern literary, historical, and scientific landmarks unknown to Mr. Lilly and the other collectors whose energy and generosity have helped to make the Lilly Library into a world-renowned research institution.  And we continue to expand the way that we disseminate this knowledge, from the photostatic copies of 1960 to electronically-published blog postings such as this.  On this day, we honor what our donors and predecessors have done for all of us, and we dedicate ourselves once again to the mission inscribed on the plaque just inside the Lilly Library’s front doorway, to preserve the “heritage of the best that has been thought and written through the ages.”

Joel Silver

Director

Lilly Library, Indiana University

Free Guided Tour of Islamic Art Holdings at the Lilly Library

allen-8_00001Discover the wonderful collections of Islamic art at Indiana University’s Lilly Library. On the tour you will see manuscripts, including rare Qur’ans, paintings and illustrations, miniature books, and early printed works.

Tours are free and open to the public
Expert guide
Each tour is approximately 1 hour long

YOUR GUIDE
Yasemin Gencer, Doctoral Candidate in Islamic Art, Department of the History of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Send an email message to islmprog@indiana.edu with your name and number of attendees. Space is limited so register today and guarantee your spot!

DATE
Friday, October 2: Lilly Library, 3:00-4:00pm
Please meet tour group in the lobby of the Lilly Library at 2:55pm