Spock’s Ears: The Story of an Unexpected Donation

Visitors often ask Lilly Librarians where we get all of our wonderful treasures. Of course we began with a generous donation of over 20,000 books and 17,000 manuscripts from J.K. Lilly, Jr. Since his gift in the mid-1950s, we have acquired many fascinating, beautiful, and unexpected items through purchase and donation, and we’ve learned that you never know when someone you meet might have an interesting story to tell and item to add to the library’s collections.

This blog post tells the story of a recent and unexpected donation. Lilly Librarians Rebecca Baumann and Maureen Maryanski worked with other IU Librarians and Archivists to organize the Primary Source Immersion Grant Program, which kicked off in August with a three-day workshop for sixteen IU faculty members. Our keynote speaker for this series was Professor Ben Motz, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Instruction for IU’s Department of Psychological & Brain Science. Ben inspired teaching faculty and librarians with ideas about how brain science can be applied to concepts of active learning. When Ben discovered that the Lilly Library has a Star Trek collection (including the original scripts for Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, comic books, and the papers of IU alum and Trek producer Jeri Taylor), he realized that he had something in his own collection that might find a new home among the Lilly Library’s treasures. Ben explains:

“Even in elementary school, I was a big Star Trek fan.  Growing up I remember being anxious to watch episodes on Sunday evenings instead of playing outside.  So in 1992, as a gift for my sixth grade graduation, my parents (Barbara and David Motz) placed the winning bid on a pair of authentic Spock ears from Star Trek 6.  Leonard Nimoy was a member of our family’s synagogue, and had donated them as an auction item for a temple fundraiser; I think their winning bid was around $75 at the time, and it included a certificate of authenticity and a signed photo portrait of Nimoy.  For the last 17 years, I’ve kept them safe with all my other most prized childhood collectibles, but I’d always imagined that these ears should eventually be accessible to the public, under the care of people who would know how to preserve them.”

Ben Motz's donation of a pair of Spock's ears, worn by Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek VI, with signed photo.
Ben Motz’s donation of a pair of Spock’s ears, worn by Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek VI, with signed photo.

The original prospectus for Star Trek, dated March 11, 1964, is already part of the Lilly Library’s collections. It includes Gene Roddenberry’s initial description of the character of Spock, which is quite different from his final incarnation:

“The captain’s right-hand man, the working level commander of all the ship’s functions from manning the bridge to supervising the lowliest scrub detail. His name is “Mr. Spock.” And the first view of him can be almsot [sic] frightening—a face so heavy-lidded and satanic you might almost expect him to have a forked tail. Probably half Martian, he has a slightly reddish complexion and semi-pointed ears. But strangely—Mr. Spock’s quiet temperament is in dramatic contrast to his satanic look. Of all the crew aboard he is the nearest to Captain April’s [later changed to Captain Pike, then Captain Kirk] equal, physically and emotionally, as a commander of men. His primary weakness is an almost cat-like curiosity over anything the slightest ‘alien.'”

As Spock transformed from Martian to Vulcan, from red-skinned to green-blooded, and from catlike to logical, one thing remained: the pointed ears. As Ben Motz points out,

“There’s an interesting backstory about the popular and sociocultural significance of making someone look alien, which motivated Gene Roddenberry’s interest in Spock having pointy ears.  Leonard Nimoy was initially opposed to them, but they took on a life of their own in the series.  They provided a sort of sociological reference point, making the differences between different humans seem, relatively speaking, pretty minuscule.”

The IU campus recently welcomed George Takei, who played Sulu on Star Trek, and his powerful talk reminded us of Trek’s longstanding commitment to diversity, curiosity, and exploration—all values shared by Indiana University and the Lilly Library.

We love the story of Spock’s ears, we extend very warm gratitude to Professor Ben Motz for his kind donation, and we look forward to continuing to share all our Star Trek collections with fans on campus and around the world.

You can request Spock’s ears through our online request system.

Rebecca Baumann, Head of Public Services

Songs fit for the son of a Prime Minister

In November 1901, Herbert John Gladstone was presented with Universal Harmony, or The Gentleman and Ladie’s Social Companion, a collection of songs printed in London by J. Newbery in 1745. The book is inscribed “From the Directors & Secretary of the Bath Clubs log. To the Right Hon. Herbert J. Gladstone M.P. their Chairman, on the occasion of his marriage with best wishes for long life & happiness November 1901.” One hundred and thirteen years to the month, the same book found its way to the Lilly Library.

Front cover of Universal Harmony, 1745.
Front cover of Universal Harmony, 1745.
Engraved title page.
Engraved title page.

The engraved title page reads Universal Harmony, or, The Gentleman & Ladie’s Social Companion, consisting of a great Variety of the Best & most Favourite English & Scots Songs, Cantatas &c. &c., With a Curious Design, By way of headpiece, Expressive of the sense of each particular Song, All neatly Engraved on quarto Copper Plates, And set to Music for the Voice, Violin, Hautboy, German & Common Flute, with a Thorough Base for the Organ, harpsichord, spinet, &c. By the Best Masters, The whole calculated to keep People in good Spirits, good health, & good humour, to promote Social Friendship in all Companys and Universal Harmony in every Neighborhood.

Herbert Gladstone was the youngest son of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone. He was a political figure who served as Home Secretary, as well as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa. A dedicated athlete, Gladstone served as the chairman of the Bath Club and the president of the Physical Recreation Society. Perhaps a lesser-known fact is that he was a musician and glee singer, supporting and serving on the council of the Royal College of Music. An 18th century book of songs meant to “keep people in good spirits, good health, & good humour” would have been quite the appropriate wedding gift for Gladstone. Every page is beautifully engraved on copper quarto plates and printed only on the recto side of the page. Many of the pages include an engraved headpiece that represents the song shown beneath it, such as the two plates pictured below.

Plate 49 The Hunting Song in Apollo and Daphne.
Plate 49 The Hunting Song in Apollo and Daphne.
Plate 61 Old Chiron’s Advice to Achilles.

Plate 61 Old Chiron’s Advice to Achilles.

The book is elegantly bound by W. Pratt and contains 129 engraved plates of music, along with an index of songs listed alphabetically. Many of the individuals who set the lyrics to music are listed with the song. Parts for flute are sometimes present, as seen above in The Hunting Song in Apollo and Daphne and below in The Power of Musick and Beauty. The illustrations are filled with little details; the woman in the illustration for The Power of Musick and Beauty is singing from a book of music, while the man and dog are pictured listening attentively. As the lyrics go, “Musick enchants the list’ning Ear, And Beauty charms the Eye.”

Plate 9 The Power of Musick and Beauty.
Plate 9 The Power of Musick and Beauty.

To see the full record for Universal Harmony, visit IUCAT. Call Number: M1613.3.U55 1745

Reference: H. C. G. Matthew, ‘Gladstone, Herbert John, Viscount Gladstone (1854–1930)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2010 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/33417, accessed 1 Dec 2014]

Photography by Zach Downey.

Lilly Library to Receive Unique Additon to Vonnegut Collection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 25, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Lilly Library has received a unique piece of Kurt Vonnegut memorabilia to add to their outstanding Vonnegut Collection, donated by Mark Saunders, an Indiana University alumnus.

Vonnegut Transparency“We are so appreciative that Mark has chosen the Lilly Library for his generous gift of Kurt Vonnegut memorabilia,” says Cherry Williams, Manuscripts Curator for the Lilly Library. “A transparency, hand-drawn by Vonnegut will be a unique addition to our Vonnegut collection which includes correspondence, writings and personal letters to his daughter.”

When Kurt Vonnegut visited Indiana University in October of 1983, he gave a lecture titled “How to Get a Job Like Mine.” During the course of the evening, he fielded a variety of questions from students ranging from his dislike of word processors and his dismal outlook on the “terrifying” technological revolution on how it is affecting our culture. Elaborating, Vonnegut explained that too many men and women expect their lives to unfold as dramatic stories with intense highs and lows. He demonstrated this theory on an overhead projector and this image on transparency was the product of his explanation. Using Cinderella and Hamlet as character examples he explained, by line graphs, the differences between their storybook lives and those of us rooted in reality.

This transparency will join the impressive Vonnegut Collection at the Lilly Library. Comprised of Vonnegut mss., 1941-2007, which includes correspondence, writings, Farber files, and publishing records and the Vonnegut mss. II, 1965-2002, which consists of letters the novelist had written to his youngest daughter, artist Nanette Vonnegut.

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. His writings include articles, short stories and scripts, but he is most well-known for his novels from his first, Player Piano in 1952, through Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five, to his last Timequake in 1997.

For more information, please visit the Lilly Library at: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/

Or contact Heather Edelblute, Director of Communication for IU Libraries at: hedelblu@indiana.edu

London Low Life database

Tallis's Illustrated Plan of London and Its Environs

Under the Lilly Library’s guidance, Adam Matthew Digital recently digitized many items from a variety of Lilly Library collections, including the Michael Sadleir Collection of London Low Life, the Chapbook Collection, and the Virginia Warren Collection of Street Cries, to create London Low Life: Street Culture, Social Reform and the Victorian Underworld.

London Low Life includes Fast literature, Street ephemera, posters, advertising, playbills, ballads and broadsides, Penny fiction, Cartoons, Chapbooks, Street Cries, Swell’s guides to London prostitution, gambling and drinking dens, Reform literature, and Maps and views of London. Among its topics are the underworld, slang, working-class culture, street literature, popular music, urban topography, ‘slumming’ , Prostitution, the Temperance Movement, social reform, Toynbee Hall, police, and criminality.

Access to this searchable resource is available through the IUB Libraries: http://www.libraries.iub.edu/index.php?pageId=400&resourceId=16924590.

View larger image

So Blessed to Be Here: A Celebration of Don Belton’s Life in Literature

Don Belton

On Wednesday, May 5, at 7 p.m. in the Slocum Room of the Lilly Library, former students of the late Don Belton, Assistant Professor of English at IU, will honor his memory and literary legacy by reading selections from his published and unpublished writings.

Don Belton was the author of the novel Before Midnight and the editor of Speak My Name, a groundbreaking anthology exploring the gulf between real and represented black masculinity.  Belton’s writings have appeared in literary reviews, literature anthologies, cultural journals, and popular magazines and newspapers. The event will also celebrate the transfer of Don’s literary estate, including his extensive journals, to the Lilly Library.

If you have questions about the event, please contact Christoph Irmscher at cirmsche@indiana.edu or 443-622-3277.  The event is free and open to the public; a reception will follow.

Photo courtesy of Indiana University

The Broken-Hearted Sailor

Broken-hearted sailor

The Lilly Library recently acquired an extraordinary new addition to our collection of military manuscript diaries. In a series of illustrated letters to his fiancée, Miss Elise Buckingham of Zanesville, Ohio, Lt. Mason Abercrombie Shufeldt documents his voyage on the U.S.S. Enterprise from Cape Henry, Virgina to Capetown, South Africa, from December 27, 1882 to March 31, 1883. Describing his travels and his devotion to his “far-off sweetheart” in depth, Shufeldt decorated each of the three volumes with an elaborately hand-drawn and colored cover with nautical themes and incorporated a series of hand-drawn maps and views throughout. Included in the archive is a small envelope dramatically labeled “The Lash.” Enclosed in the envelope is a letter from Miss Buckingham ending their engagement.

A son of Robert Wilson Shufeldt, an important naval officer who played a major role in opening trade with Korea and China in the early 1880’s, Mason Shufeldt served as an officer under his father’s command aboard the Ticonderoga during its around-the-world voyage in the late 1870’s and became deeply interested in the largely uncharted island of Madagascar during an extended stop there. After receiving news of the end of his engagement, Shufeldt received permission to explore the Madagascar interior, leading a team of men of which only 153 survived to reach the waters of Mozambique Channel. At least fifty are said to have “perished in the battles which he fought with the Sakolava slave-dealers” according to a New York Times article published October 8, 1884. Shufeldt died in Capetown in 1892 at the age of thirty-nine.

— Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

View more images from The Broken-Hearted Sailor.

New illustrated works with military themes

Odelette Guerriere, title page

The Lilly Library has recently received two new works charmingly illustrated with remarkable depictions of military themes. The first, Odelette Guerrière (1870), by Catulle Mendès, is a small ode characterized by an erotic or jovial theme with a predominately descriptive narrative. The Lilly Library’s copy is unique because it is illustrated with 5 original water colors signed by French artist/illustrator Albert Bligny interspersed throughout the text. In addition, the luxurious volume was bound by Marius Michel in full red Morocco with gilt decorations, green silk and marbled end papers.

The second, a folio collection of 115 drawings and water colors by A. Rochet and R.P. Germain, depicts daily life on the home front in Dijon, France during the First World War (1914-1918).

— Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

View additional images from Odelette Guerrière and the Rochet and Germain folio

Dvorak in America

Jeanette Thurber portrait

The Lilly Library is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of the Dvořàk/Thurber mss., ca. 1885-1937, which consists of documents, correspondence and ephemera relating to Antonìn Dvořàk, Jeanette M. Thurber, and the history of the National Conservatory of Music in America (NCMA). These materials were a gift from Prof. Robert Aborn, whose dissertation “The Influence on American Musical Culture of Dvořàk’s Sojourn in America,” may be read in its entirety at: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3462.

Jeanette M. Thurber founded the National Conservatory of Music in 1885, which was based on the Paris Conservatoire model. In addition to replicating the European Conservatories to which American students had been turning in order to obtain a first class musical education, she also hoped to train as yet untrained students, the handicapped, and blacks as well as to encourage an indigenous music culture in the United States. Initially tuition free, the Conservatory was originally located at 126-128 East 17th Street; however that building was demolished in 1911. Unsuccessful attempts to revive the school and relocate it in Washington DC persisted through the 1920’s. The staff included Victor Herbert, Rafael Joseffy and Henry Finch as well as the noted composer, Antonìn Dvořàk, who was the director from 1892-1895. It was at the Conservatory that Dvořàk met his pupil, Harry Burleigh, one of the earliest African-American composers. Burleigh introduced traditional American Spirituals to Dvořàk at the latter’s request.

Antonìn Leopold Dvořàk (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music. During his time in America, among other compositions, Dvořàk wrote Symphony No.9 “From the New World,” String Quartet in F (the “American”), and the String Quintet in E flat, as well as a Sonatina for violin and piano.

— Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

Image: Jeanette M. Thurber (photo)

View a copy of letter (copy made by Mrs. Thurber) from Dvořàk to Littleton discussing his initial contract with the NCMA.

Masaryk in Egypt

Masaryk in Egypt

Tomàš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937), shown here at Luxor during a semi-private trip to Athens, Jerusalem and Cairo in 1927, was still active at the age of seventy-seven. Re-elected for the third time as president of Czechoslovakia, he was one of the leading statesmen in Europe. Almost three hundred of these small-format photographs were taken as part of the official record of his visit. Each photo bears a contemporary inscription on the back indicating date, place and occasion. Taken as a whole, they provide an unusually detailed day by day record of his journey. We are not sure whether this box was part of an official issue of these original photographs, and would welcome further information about them.

The Lilly’s holding in Czech literature and political history are particularly strong, thanks in large part to the generosity of Ruth Crawford Mitchell, long-time friend of the Masaryk family, and an important figure in international social work. Her papers, along with those of two of Masaryk’s daughters, Alice and Olga, are held at the Lilly. The Lilly continues to actively build its collection of Czech material, with an emphasis on the period of Tomàš Masaryk’s life. A display of the works of the Ĉapek brothers, Karel and Josef, is presently on view in the Ball Room.

— Breon Mitchell, Director

View a larger image of the photograph above and of the box of photographs.

Christmas Poems from the Madhouse

Haringer woodcut

This Expressionist portrait of Jakob Haringer (1898-1948) at age 22, by Emil Betzler, may well be a rare survival. It reached the Lilly together with five small groups of poems in manuscript, written on the back of old letters and scraps of paper, and hand-bound by Haringer as Christmas greetings to a few friends. Each copy is unique. On the copy shown here, Haringer has noted “written in prison and the madhouse.”

Following his early discharge from the military in WWI on medical grounds, Haringer took up the life of a vagabond. Accused of various petty crimes, including insulting officials, falsifying papers, and blasphemy, he spent most of the rest of his life on the streets, in hospitals, and in mental institutions. He lived largely by begging from friends. In 1936 the Nazis revoked his citizenship and he fled to Switzerland. From 1939 on he lived for a time in Paris, then, illegally, in Switzerland, where he was interned in various refugee camps during WWII. He died during a visit to Zurich in 1948. Arnold Schönberg set three poems by Haringer to music in 1933.

— Breon Mitchell, Director

View more images of the Haringer manuscripts