2009 Miniature Book Society Conclave XXVII

Miniature books

I recently had the pleasure of attending my first Miniature Book Society Conclave, which was held August 28–31 in Princeton, NJ. The annual meeting, held in a different location each year, includes workshops, tours, auctions, a book swap meet, and the announcement of the annual traveling exhibition book competition winners.

The Miniature Book Society, or MBS, is an international non-profit organization chartered in 1983. Its purposes are to sustain an interest in all phases of miniature books and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information about miniature books.

What Is a Miniature Book?
In the United States, a miniature book is usually considered to be one which is no more than three inches in size — height, width or thickness. Outside of the United States, books up to four inches are collected as miniature books.

The Lilly Library and Miniature Books
The Lilly Library has been the legal repository of the archives of the Miniature Book Society since approximately 1996. The archive includes not only the files and records of the business activities transacted by the organization but also the entries and papers relating to the annual miniature book competition and traveling exhibition which is sponsored by the organization. You can read more about the Miniature Book Society mss. collection here.

In addition, the Lilly is home to the Ruth Adomeit collection of thousands of miniature books, as well as the reference materials, books, correspondence, articles, photographs, etc. which Mrs. Adomeit accumulated over a lifetime of collecting. These books were exhibited in 2001 and a selection of them can be seen in the online exhibition 4000 Years of Miniature Books. You can read more about the Ruth Adomeit mss. collection here.

The Lilly Library is always actively collecting miniature materials of all kinds and is interested in receiving non-duplicative miniature books and other related material. The MBS archive, as well as the Adomeit collection, is available for use in the Lilly Library Reading Room. As always, we welcome visits not only by those with a research need for the materials but also by members of the interested general public.

— Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

Wood engraver and poet Gaylord Schanilec to talk today

Gaylord Schanilec engraving

Please join the Friends of the Lilly Library this afternoon for a talk by Gaylord Schanilec, “Wood: From Tree to Press.” The talk will begin at 4:00 p.m. with a reception to follow.

Gaylord Schanilec is a poet, wood engraver and printer living in rural Wisconsin. He is the proprieter of Midnight Paper Sales, www.midnightpapersales.com. His most recent project, Sylvae, as well as examples of earlier work will be on display for the talk.

Last week: Keith Erekson talk and an iconic cake

Lincoln cake

Last Thursday’s lecture by Keith Erekson was a lively and humorous survey of the ways Abraham Lincoln has been commemorated and claimed by Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Washington, DC. Erekson is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at El Paso. His web site includes some examples of his interest in Lincoln, including a dissertation chapter about the “role of oral testimony in the field of Abraham Lincoln studies from 1865 through the 1930s” and a review of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum published in the Indiana Magazine of History: http://faculty.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=54953

The reception after Erekson’s talk featured tea, lemonade, delightful little sandwiches, and a show-stopper cake in the form of Lincoln’s iconic stovepipe hat. The cake was catered by Blu Boy Chocolate; the other food and drink by Cynthia Moriarty. The exhibition, Remembering Lincoln, is on display through May 9.

Celebrate Abraham Lincoln at February 12th reception

Lincoln

Please join us for the opening reception for the new Lilly Library exhibition, Remembering Lincoln. The reception will be held on the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, this Thursday, February 12, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

The exhibition was curated by Cinda May, Assistant Librarian, Indiana State University, and it features more than 100 books, documents, art, music, and photographs from the Library’s collections including the extensive Joseph Benjamin Oakleaf Collection of Lincolniana. The exhibit offers a glimpse into the Indiana frontier where Lincoln spent his boyhood from 1816-1830 and illustrates how Americans past and present honor his memory.

The exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.

Concert of Campaign Songs, Thursday, October 9th

I think we've got another Washington

Listeners to National Public Radio may have heard an item on the history of campaign songs during Weekend Edition Sunday (October 5, 2008). The Lilly Library is hosting a concert of campaign songs later this week, featuring songs of presidential winners and losers from Thomas Jefferson to Wendell Willkie to Richard Nixon. The songs all come from the sheet music collections at the Lilly Library. Other collections provided an array of campaign paraphernalia, currently on exhibition in the Lincoln Room. A staff favorite is a bumper sticker, reading: “Small Cars for Nixon – ‘He’s for the Little People.’”

The concert will take place on Thursday, October 9, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Christopher Goodbeer, Thea Smith, and Yonit Kosovske of the IU Jacobs School of Music will perform selections ranging from the upbeat to the obscure, including Happy Days are Here Again and Get Yourself a Nice Brown Derby (And Fall in Line for Al). A reception will follow the performance.

If you’d like to whet your appetite for Thursday’s performance, you can listen the NPR piece, “Songs Along the Campaign Trail” here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95408459

New anatomy exhibition opening Friday, September 19, 5:00 p.m.

William Harvey, De motu cordis

Anatomia Animata : Anatomy and Medicine in William Harvey’s Century
September 19 to December 20, 2008
Opening reception, September 19, 5:00 p.m.

Drawing on the the Lilly Library’s significant collection of medical books from all ages, this exhibition focuses primarily on the seventeenth century, the era of William Harvey and the discovery of the circulation of the blood, arguably the most significant anatomical discovery of all time.

Alongside Harvey’s findings, the seventeenth century witnessed other major innovations, such as the rise of microscopic anatomy, of sophisticated injection techniques, and of anatomical experiments that transformed the understanding of the body’s structure and organization. Anatomia Animata is a phrase used at the time referring to vivisection, a technique common to many investigations, including Harvey’s. But it also conveys the sense of animation that can be seen in many of the striking images of anatomical and medical books on display in the exhibition. The exhibition was curated by Joel A. Klein and Allen Shotwell, with the support of the Center for the History of Medicine.

For Lilly Library hours of operation, see https://blogs.libraries.indiana.edu/lilly//info.shtml

John Bidwell lecture on Monday

j10-d76_00001The Friends of the Lilly Library are sponsoring the following lecture this Monday:

“The Declaration of Independence: Fantasies and Facsimiles,”
John Bidwell, Pierpont Morgan Library
Monday, Sep 15, 5pm – 6pm
Lilly Library

Patriotic prints containing the text of the Declaration and facsimile signatures of the Founding Fathers first appeared in 1818. Although advertised as absolutely accurate reproductions, they did not replicate the text so much as celebrate its achievements as a vindication of human rights, a charter of freedom, and the birthright of the nation. Leading artists and engravers embellished them with ornamental lettering, portraits of presidents, and elaborate allegories of peace and prosperity. One of the more fanciful and partisan interpretations prompted the Department of State to commission the first real facsimile, which, ironically, may have played a role in damaging the original, now badly faded and barely legible. In this slide lecture John Bidwell will recount the fate of the original and will show how facsimiles have influenced the way it has been read and revered.

John Bidwell is Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings at the Pierpont Morgan Library, before which he was Curator of Graphic Arts in the Princeton University Library. He has written extensively on the history of papermaking in England and America.