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

 

New Exhibition: Everything is Bicycle

“Everything is Bicycle”: The Revolution of the Wheel in America

cycling_00012In the mid-1890s, the bicycle was at the height of its popularity. The incredible success of the bicycle inspired author Stephen Crane’s wonderful vignette, published nationwide through Samuel S. McClure’s newspaper syndication, on July 5, 1896. Titled “A Glittering Spectacle,” Crane’s piece describes the scene on the once-quiet Western Boulevard in New York City:

“The bicycle crowd has completely subjugated the street. The glittering wheels dominate it from end to end. The cafes and dining-rooms of the apartment hotels are occupied mainly by people in bicycle clothes. Even the bill-boards have surrendered. They advertise wheels and lamps and tires and patent saddles with all the flaming vehemence of circus art….There are innumerable repair shops. Everything is bicycle.”

This exhibition traces the ascent of the bicycle to its apex in the 1890s, with a focus on early development, boom-time advertisements, the adoption of the bicycle by women, pastimes associated with the bicycle, and finally the bicycle’s prominent role in Bloomington and at Indiana University, where bicycle culture has made the campus famous through film and remains strong today.

“Everything is Bicycle” will be on display in the Lilly Library Slocum Room through April.

Exhibition curated by Isabel Planton, Reference/Technical Associate

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)

Boxer Codex on Exhibit at New York Asia Society

boxer1One of the Lilly Library’s most treasured manuscripts, the Boxer Codex, is currently on exhibit at New York City’s Asia Society. The Boxer Codex (ca. 1595) boxer2contains written descriptions and over seventy-five colored drawings of the various ethnic groups of the present-day Philippines (including the Tagalogs, Visayans, Zambals, and Negritos) at the time of their initial contact with Spanish explorers. The painting technique, paper, ink, and paints suggest that the unknown artist may have been Chinese. It is a beautiful and unique artifact of early European contact with the Far East.

The manuscript is on loan to the Asia Society for its exhibition titled Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms, which runs from September 11, 2015 through January 3, 2016. As noted in a recent New York Times review, this “gorgeous and historically intriguing exhibition” documents the work of “astoundingly skillful goldsmiths… with many objects… so small and finely made that… magnifying glasses are provided in order for viewers to see the marvels of the technical prowess they reveal.”

In addition to the Boxer Codex, the exhibition contains approximately 120 pieces from the 10th through the 13th centuries which provide an opportunity to view the original gold objects depicted by the artist of the Boxer Codex as he illustrated the costumes and accoutrements of the indigenous peoples of the Southeast and Eastern regions of Asia. During a visit to the Museum, one of the consulting curators of the exhibition, Florina Capistrano-Baker of the Ayala Museum, Philippines, shared with me the discovery that it was illustrations in the Boxer Codex which allowed the exhibition’s curators to determine how some of the objects originally would have been used or worn.

The Boxer Codex came to the Lilly Library as a part of the collection of books and papers of Charles Ralph Boxer, a historian of Dutch and Portuguese maritime and colonial history who wrote many books and articles about the origins and growth of the Dutch and Portuguese empires.  Boxer joined the British Army in 1923 and while on military assignment to Hong Kong and other similar locales, he began to assemble a notable rare book collection which subsequently was seized by the Japanese for the Imperial Library in Tokyo. Following the war, however, he was able to recover most of his library, and it is these materials which form the nucleus of his collection which then came to the Lilly Library. The Boxer Codex is part of the Boxer mss. II, and can be viewed upon request in the Lilly Library’s Reading Room when it returns in January. A digitized version can be viewed here.

Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

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!

Rational Amusements: Nineteenth-Century Puzzles on Exhibition in the Slocum Room

"Kopfzerbrecher," Anchor #8. F. Ad. Richter & Co., 1899
“Kopfzerbrecher,” Anchor #8. F. Ad. Richter & Co., 1899

One of the puzzle exhibitions this fall at the Lilly Library features puzzles from the last half of the nineteenth century. During this time period, people began to find themselves with more leisure time, and puzzles were one way that they entertained themselves and also exercised their intellects. This exhibition features the different types of amusements that were available in the late nineteenth century.

One particularly famous group of puzzles in the exhibition are the Richter Anker puzzles. Also referred to as the Anchor Stone Puzzles, they were created by the F. Ad. Richter Company of Rudolstadt, Germany (Slocum and Gebhardt 12-13). Through the company’s association with the Kindergarten educational movement, Richter began developing building block sets and other materials for educators to use (Slocum and Gebhardt 14-15).

Soon after the Richter Company developed a ceramic stone version of the Tangram, a puzzle popular with likeminded educators, which they called Der Kopfzerbrecher (Slocum and Gebhardt 20-21). Also called The Anchor Puzzle in English due to the company’s ship anchor logo, this puzzle was the first in a long line of puzzles from the company. Other puzzles from the Richter Company featured in the exhibition include the Kreis-Rätsel (Circular Puzzle), the Kreuzzerbrecher (Cross Breaker), the Blitzableiter (Lightning Conductor), and the Kobold (The Goblin).

Another famous puzzle featured in the exhibition is The 15 Puzzle. This puzzle created a craze in 1880 that was unrivaled until the production of the Rubik’s Cube. The object of the puzzle is to take a set of numbered block, place them in the provided tray in a random order and then slide the numbers to achieve the correct numerical order. One of the reasons this puzzle created such a craze was the fact that when the blocks are placed randomly, half of the time the puzzle is unsolvable. This led to situations in which one person would solve the puzzle and then give it to another person who would start from one of the impossible positions.

For a number of years the true designer of the puzzle was a mystery. Great American puzzle designer Sam Loyd claimed that he created the puzzle, accepting the fame and infamy that came with it. However, puzzle researchers Jerry Slocum and Dic Sonneveld were able to find definitive evidence that the designer was a postmaster from Canastota, New York, Noyes Chapman (109). Unfortunately for Mr. Chapman, his patent for The 15 Puzzle was rejected, most likely because it resembled another patent submitted a year earlier (Slocum and Sonneveld 100-102). Soon afterwards the puzzle traveled by word of mouth to Boston where it was first commercially produced by Matthias Rice (Slocum and Sonneveld 109).

Other puzzles include classic take-apart puzzles that are featured in Professor Hoffmann’s classic work Puzzles Old and New. Professor Hoffmann, pseudonym of English lawyer Angelo John Lewis, was the first writer to categorize puzzles. The book is considered an authority on the puzzles of the period and provided collectors in the late nineteenth century with a wealth of information previously unavailable (Hoffmann vi). Some puzzles have become so associated with Hoffmann’s book that they are known even today as “Hoffmann” puzzles (Hoffmann vi). In the exhibition are examples, both from the nineteenth century and modern reproductions, of these classic “Hoffmann” puzzles.

These items and more nineteenth century puzzles are available in this Slocum Room exhibition, where you can see the wide array of intellectual amusements that were available in the late nineteenth century. The exhibition will run until the end of the fall semester.

Andrew Rhoda

Curator of Puzzles

Cannon and Ball, ca. 1886
Cannon and Ball, ca. 1886

Works Cited

Hoffmann, Professor. Puzzles Old and New. London: Frederick Warne and Co., 1893.

—. Puzzles Old and New. Ed. L. E. Horden. Facsimile edition. London: Martin Bresse Limited, 1988.

Slocum, Jerry and Dic Sonneveld. The 15 Puzzle: How it Drove the World Crazy. Beverly Hills, CA: The Slocum Puzzle Foundation, 2006.

Slocum, Jerry and Dieter Gebhardt. The Anchor Puzzle Book: The Amazing Stories of More Than 50 New Puzzles Made of Stone. Beverly Hills, CA: The Slocum Puzzle Foundation, 2012.

 

 

 

 

Max Eastman’s Century: A Lilly Library Themester Exhibition

eastman-ii_00159edit “Max Eastman’s Century” draws on one of the richest author collections in the Lilly Library (more than 80 cubic feet). The acquisition of Max Eastman’s archives and library began with director David Randall’s letter to Max in 1957 and continues until the present, thanks to the efforts of Randall’s successors, notably Breon Mitchell (now the executor of Eastman’s estate). The writer, editor, poet, and political activist Max Eastman (1883-1969) took part in, and actively influenced, the dominant intellectual trends of the better part of the twentieth century. He knew personally the most important minds of his time and corresponded with the ones he didn’t know. The son of two progressive ministers (his mother was the first ordained female minister in the state of New York), Max grew up surrounded by people with strong views about social justice and civil rights. Following in his mother’s footsteps and with his sister Crystal as an ally, he began campaigning for women’s suffrage, becoming one of the most sought-after speakers at suffragist rallies. Leaving Columbia University, where he had been a student of John Dewey’s, without formally submitting his dissertation on Plato, he soon made his mark as an editor of The Masses and, subsequently, The Liberator, becoming one of the most important radical voices in the United States during the years leading up to and following World War I.

A prolonged stay in Moscow and on the coast of the Black Sea convinced Max that a better society could not be achieved by ideology but by scientific “engineering” (a promise embodied by Lenin and betrayed by Stalin). Through his 1924 marriage to Eliena Krylenko, Eastman became the brother-in-law of Nikolai Krylenko, the former commander of the Red Army and later Stalin’s minister of justice. Eastman was fluent in Russian, translated Trotsky, and remained, for more than four decades, one of the most active commentators on Russian affairs in the United States. Eastman wrote poetry, toured the United States lecturing about everything from the sense of humor to sex in literature, produced and narrated one of the first and enduringly important political documentaries (From Tsar to Lenin, 1937), created and hosted one of the first successful radio quiz shows, and blazed a trail for nudist beachgoers everywhere by walking around naked on the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard. After he published a frank account of his life, Enjoyment of Living (1948), critics hailed him as the Alfred Kinsey of autobiography. And he continued to have the nation’s attention: in 1959, for example, he told Mike Wallace, in widely discussed television interview, that the word “God” had no meaning for him. With his third wife, the social worker Yvette Székely (1912-2014), he retreated to his island refuge on Martha’s Vineyard, from where he continued to attack what he believed the American indifference to Russian totalitarianism.

Shunned or criticized by many of his former friends on the Left, the proudly atheistic Max never found a comfortable home among conservatives either. He ended his spectacular career on the payroll of Reader’s Digest. For a while, Max’s name even appeared on the masthead of the National Review until he withdrew, disgusted by the piousness of its contributors. Yet he insisted that he had in fact never changed his views; the century around him had changed instead, he said, and terms such as “left” and “right” had lost their significance. In his final days, Max Eastman’s main fear was that that last certainty he had was gone, too—that, after having lived through the whirlwind of a century of ideas, the day would come when he would no longer “wake up as Max.”

“Max Eastman’s Century” was developed in conjunction with the 2015 “Themester” of the College of Art and Sciences at IU, “@Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet.” It was supported by a Themester grant from the College of Arts and Sciences. The exhibition can be viewed in the Lilly Library’s Lincoln Room until November 21. Christoph Irmscher, the curator of the exhibit, has just completed a new biography of Max Eastman.

Happy Birthday, Bilbo Baggins!

 September 22nd is Hobbit Day! Hobbit Day, first proclaimed by the American Tolkien Society in 1978, marks the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, characters from J. R. R. Tolkien’s books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In Tolkien’s lore, Bilbo was born in the year 2890 and Frodo in the year 2968 of the Third Age.

When did “hobbit” become a word? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in 1710 “hobbit” was a variant spelling of the word “howitz” or “howitzer,” which was a piece of artillery. The first instance of the word “hobbit” meaning creature appeared in an English folklorist’s collection of pamphlets called the “Denham Tracts: A Classified Catalogue of Antiquarian Tomes, Tracts, and Trifles.” The pamphlet containing “hobbit”  was printed in 1853 and is titled: “To all and singular The Ghosts, Hobgoblins, and Phantasms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, these brief pages are fearlessly inscribed, in utter defiance of their power and influence, by their very humble servante to com’aund, M. A. D.” Some scholars theorize that hobbit could be a derivative of the word hobgoblin. Tolkien certainly would have had access to this pamphlet at Oxford University. In Middle-Earth, however, hobbits are hole-dwelling, easy-going people who are shorter than men, have hairier feet, and are the only species in Middle Earth humble enough for the wizard Gandalf to entrust with the task of carrying the One Ring to its annihilation.

Tolkien first published The Hobbit, or There and Back Again in England on September 21, 1937. The first edition has light green covers stamped in dark blue. Smaug, the dragon of the fantasy novel, can be seen lurking in the cover’s corners. Tolkien, a philologist and creator of languages, actually wrote the runic inscription around the edges of the dustjacket. Translated it reads: “The Hobbit or There and Back Again being the record of a year’s journey made by Bilbo Baggins of Hobbiton compiled from his memoirs by J. R. R. Tolkien and published by George Allen and Unwin Ltd.”

The Lilly Library’s first edition of The Hobbit can be seen until September 26th in the Main Gallery as part of the “One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature” exhibition. Hurry! You only have a few days left!

References:
“howitz, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 16 September 2015.
“hobbit, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 16 September 2015.
Gilliver, Peter, and Jeremy Marshall. The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.
Hammond, Wayne G., and Douglas A. Anderson. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography. Winchester, UK: St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 1993. Print.

 

Kelsey Emmons

Graduate Student in Library Science and Lilly Library Public Services Intern

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New Exhibition: Death by Gimmick!!! The Weird Side of Detective Fiction

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On display in the Lincoln Room this summer is a new exhibition, “Death By Gimmick!!! The Weird Side of Detective Fiction.”

Detective fiction by its very nature abounds with (or, some may argue, is plagued by) gimmicks. From the locked room to the twist ending to the eccentric detective, all aspects of this genre–plot, setting, and character—hinge on tricks, ploys, and clever strategies designed to fool, confound, frustrate, charm, and enchant devoted readers who are always looking for increasingly ingenious ways of thwarting their expectations.

Some authors, however, have gone beyond the normal shenanigans of the genre to create gimmicks that push their fiction into the territory of the bizarre. This summer, the Lilly Library pays tribute to some of the genre’s odder authors and also to the publishing houses that deployed truly ingenious marketing strategies to make their detective fiction all the more puzzling and appealing to readers for whom tricks are true treats.

Case #1 present a gamut of gimmicks, including Edgar Wallace’s 1905 novel The Four Just Men, which Wallace published without a solution and offered a huge prize (£250) to the reader with the correct solution; unfortunately, he forgot to specify that only one reader would win the prize, leaving many would-be sleuths disappointed. Also included are Dennis Wheatley’s innovative “Crime Dossiers,” in which the reader is presented with all of the evidence that a team of investigating detectives would need to solve a crime. Print material includes cablegrams, transcripts of interviews, handwritten letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Also included are bits of physical evidence: hair, cigarette butts, a fragment of a bloodstained curtain, and “poison” pills. After carefully considering all the clues, the reader is invited to tear open the sealed solution to see if he or she has solved the case.

Case #2 celebrates the work of Harry Stephen Keeler, the strangest writer of detective fiction ever to have lived. He created a gimmicky writing style that is almost unique in literature that he dubbed the “webwork plot.” He takes different “strands” (characters, objects, and events) that have nothing to do with each other and weaves them into a web of outrageous coincidences and odd events that end in a surprising and utterly implausible denouement. Keeler was born and raised in Chicago, and most of his novels are set there. His version of Chicago, “the London of the West,” is brimming with eccentrics, freaks, murderers, madmen, and thieves. Within the pages of his books readers can meet such characters as Luke McKraken (a yeggman, or safecracker), Sophie Kratzenschneiderwümpel (a husband-baiting temptress), Legga the Human Spider, Simon Grundt (the mentally handicapped janitor-turned-detective), Wah Hung Fung (Chinese mafia boss and rare book collector), André Marceau (known midget-hater), and Screamo the Clown (a dead clown).

Cases #3 and 4 display some of the gimmicks that paperback publishers of the 1930s and 40s used to make books more appealing to consumers. These cases show off Ace Doubles and Dell Mapbacks newly-acquired by the Lilly Library. Ace Doubles offer the readers two novels in one; read one (such as Weep for a Wanton), flip it over and read another (such as Dally with a Deadly Doll). Dell Mapbacks featured a map of a key location from the story on the back cover—the scene of the crime, an English Manor, or a small town with a terrible secret.

Most fans of detective fiction are drawn to the genre for a peculiarly paradoxical pleasure. On the one hand, the detective story is very familiar—the format, rules, character types, and plot points have changed little since the days of Sherlock Holmes; however, the mystery reader is always also craving something new, different, and strange. This exhibition showcases authors and publishers who successful captured the fleeting tension between familiarity and innovation that makes gimmicky detective fiction so much fun.

Curated by Rebecca Baumann, Education & Outreach Librarian