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Indiana University Bloomington

April 30, 2010

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

Filed under: Events,New acquisitions — Lilly Library @ 2:32 pm

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Professor of English at IU, will honor his memory and literary legacy by reading selections from his published and unpublished writings.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 or 443-622-3277.  The event is free and open to the public; a reception will follow.

Photo courtesy of Indiana University

April 28, 2010

Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly

Filed under: Books,In the news — Lilly Library @ 1:45 pm

Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly_cover_small

Joel Silver, Associate Director and Curator of Books for the Lilly Library, has written a book about the collector for whose family the Lilly Library was named, Josiah Kirby Lilly, Jr., and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, from whom Mr. Lilly bought many books and manuscripts. Published in limited first edition by Bird & Bull Press, Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly: Book Collecting in a Golden Age not only tells the story of these two particular men but also brings to light the golden age of book collecting in the earlier decades of the twentieth century.

For most of his life, J. K. Lilly, Jr. (1893–1966), of Indianapolis, was a devoted collector in many different fields. For some three decades, beginning in the mid–1920s, Mr. Lilly’s collecting attention was focused on assembling one of the finest private libraries of rare books and manuscripts in the world. Mr. Lilly’s collection, which was quite wide–ranging in scope, was particularly strong in American and British literature, American history, voyages and travels, and the history of science and medicine. In the mid–1950s, Mr. Lilly donated his collection of 20,000 books and 17,000 manuscripts to Indiana University, where it became the founding collection of the Lilly Library.

View more images and ordering information.

April 23, 2010

Elizabeth L. Johnson receives 2010 Jenkins Librarian Award

Filed under: In the news — Lilly Library @ 3:01 pm

The William Evans Jenkins Librarian Award Committee is pleased to announce that the 2010 recipient is Elizabeth L. Johnson. Named for IU’s chief librarian from 1904–1932, the William Evans Jenkins Librarian Award recognizes the outstanding professional contributions of a present or former librarian and is awarded by the Bloomington Library Faculty Council.

Elizabeth Johnson received her MLS from The University of Texas in 1976, garnering the Outstanding Student Award in the process and earning membership in the Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Phi Mu societies. Since March 1980, she has held the position of Head of the Technical Services Department, Lilly Library. Elizabeth has been instrumental in securing a number of grants, notably the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant which enabled the cataloging of the Elizabeth Ball Collection of Children’s Literature (June 1985 – Dec. 1986) and The Library Construction and Services Act Grant for the retrospective conversion of Lilly Library serials (April, 2000–April, 2001). She has also been the recipient of several individual grants throughout her career, which have facilitated her participation in international programs in her specialty and enabled her to flourish into one of the Rare Books & Manuscripts Section’s (RBMS) “most respected  — even beloved — and enduring leaders” (Jackie Dooley, Consulting Archivist, OCLC Research and the RLG Partnership).

Over the past three decades, Elizabeth has curated or co-curated several exhibitions, both at the Lilly Library and at other institutions, and has authored several publications in her field. Her works can be found among conference proceedings and in a variety of journals, including Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship.   Some have been reprinted, while others have been translated into Japanese. Elizabeth has also served as secretary of the Bloomington Library Faculty (1992–2003), secretary of the Bloomington Library Faculty Council (2001–2002) and Unit Representative to the Bloomington Faculty Council (1999–2000; 2003–2004).

Elizabeth credits her love of special collections librarianship to her experience as a student employee at the University of Texas Humanities Research Center (Austin, Texas 1965–1968) and with Bertram Rota of London (1969–1971). For over two decades, she has helped to chart the course of rare books librarianship in myriad ways through her multifaceted service to RBMS: Executive Committee (5 years), Secretary (1991–1993), Vice–Chair/Chair–Elect, Chair, and Past–Chair (1995–1997), Bibliographic Standards Committee, Thesaurus editor, Chair, Nominating Committee, Budget and Development Committee, as well as the Continuing Education Committee, Seminars Committee and Conference Development Committee, Chair (2007–2010). Randal S. Brandt, Principal Cataloger, The Bancroft Library, Berkeley, states: “As an ambassador for RBMS and for the rare materials library profession in general, Elizabeth has few equals.”

In the course of her service to the RBMS, Elizabeth has been as attentive to the challenges posed by the physical aspect of rare materials as to their intellectual content, and has been a key player in the drafting of standards and guidelines currently in use by rare book libraries worldwide.  Her “incisive grasp of cataloging rules, their application and implications” (Elaine Smyth, Head, Special Collections, Louisiana State Library), combined with “her interest in meeting new challenges and needs” (R. Arvid Nelsen, Archivist, Charles Babbage Institute) earned her a spot on the Working Group charged with revising The Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books — a multi-year effort. As Chair of the RBMS Seminars Committee, Elizabeth has also made a significant contribution to pre-conferences, as an organizer, presenter and moderator.

In summary, “Elizabeth exemplifies all the best qualities of a topnotch professional librarian. She has authoritative mastery of her professional specialty, she is energetic and forward-thinking, and her organizational and leadership skills are notable. As a colleague, she is warm and collegial, offering welcome mentoring and support to novice and seasoned colleagues alike.” (Elaine B. Smyth) The Jenkins Award Committee concurs.

Elizabeth was recognized for her accomplishment at the Libraries’ Retirement & Recognition Reception, on April 22 and will be presented with her award at the Bloomington Library Faculty meeting, on May 17, 2010.

April 21, 2010

Lovecraft at the Lilly Library

Filed under: Manuscripts — David Frasier @ 2:46 pm

Starrett letter_small, Dec. 6, 1927

In an April 15, 1927 letter to Vincent Starrett, fellow horror fiction writer Frank Belknap Long, Jr. recommended the work of an author largely unknown outside the insular world of pulp magazines like Weird Tales. “Howard Lovecraft says (writes) that he has sent you several tales,” wrote Long. “His best stories are really immense! Not in Poe, Bierce, or M.R. James have I found such an abundance of sheer spiritual horror. He writes of great bat-winged things from outer space that brood over this and other worlds–he doesn’t secure his astounding effects by applying the conventional pinch of salt to open wounds. His methods are restrained and genuine. He works up his unhallowed atmosphere slowly until his prose fairly glitters with the light that never was – witch-fires glow on every page…”

Although H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) had only one book (The Shadow Over Innsmouth, 1936) published in his lifetime, the Providence, Rhode Island born author of weird fiction doggedly submitted his work to various publishers and suffered numerous rejections. In a series of five letters written in 1927–1928 to Starrett, an occasional writer of weird tales destined to be best remembered as a noted Sherlock Holmes scholar, Lovecraft candidly discussed his “sadly uneven” fiction and noted his chief literary influences (see image 1 – Dec. 6, 1927). A prodigious correspondent with other writers in the genre and its fans, Lovecraft was saved from literary obscurity by August Derleth (1909–1971), a precocious teenager when he first began corresponding with the author in the mid-1920s. Soon after Lovecraft’s untimely death in 1937, Derleth with friend Donald Wandrei (1908–1987) founded Arkham House in Sauk City, Wisconsin to collect and publish his writings. The publisher’s initial offering, The Outsider and Others (1939), was limited to 1200 copies and sold poorly. Today, the book is highly prized by collectors as are all Arkham House editions of Lovecraft’s work. The Lilly Library holds many Arkham House first editions including those pictured: Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1943), The Dunwich Horror and Others (1963), and Dagon and Other Macabre Tales (1965).

In addition to numerous monographs by and about Lovecraft accessible through IUCAT, the Lilly Library is home to manuscript collections of interest to the study of the writer Stephen King has identified as “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” The Starrett mss. contains the above cited correspondence while the Derleth mss. II features the Wisconsin writer’s thoughts on Arkham House. The Mosig mss., the letters and papers of academic Dirk Walter Mosig, chronicle his editorship of the Lovecraftian review, The Miskatonic, and features detailed correspondence with two of Lovecraft’s biographers, L. Sprague de Camp (Lovecraft: A Biography, 1975) and the aforementioned Frank Belknap Long, Jr. (Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Nightside, 1975).

–David K. Frasier, Reference Librarian

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April 14, 2010

Mediaevalia at the Lilly Library on April 26-27

Filed under: Events — Lilly Library @ 4:54 pm

Ricketts 218

Join us on Tuesday, April 27 at 5:00 p.m. for a public lecture followed by a reception in the Slocum Room of the Lilly Library. Dr. Falk Eisermann, director of the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (Union Catalogue of Incunabula) at the Berlin State Library in Berlin, Germany, will give a talk entitled “Secrets of Success: Printers, Patrons, and Audiences in 15th Century Leipzig.”

This event is part of Mediaevalia at the Lilly Library, a series directed by Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts at the Lilly Library, and Professor Hildegard E. Keller, IU Department for Germanic Studies, which aims to both better utilize and publicize the great collection of medieval manuscripts and early prints here on campus. The Lilly Library has a large collection of medieval manuscripts and incunabula (books printed before 1501). Once a year, established scholars and experts will come to give lectures and hands–on workshops, bringing abstract ideas about media of the past, their function and audiences to life.

Dr. Eisermann will be on campus from April 26–27, 2010.

Michael Uslan at MCPL on May 9

Filed under: Books,Events — Virginia Dearborn @ 4:43 pm

Batman comic book

Michael Uslan, executive producer for the Batman films and author of America at War: A History of War Comics as well as other books and comic books, will give a talk at the Monroe County Public Library in downtown Bloomington on Sunday, May 9 at 2:00 p.m. about the Golden Age of comic books. Mr. Uslan’s visit is part of this year’s One Book One Bloomington and Beyond, which is centered on Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

The Lilly Library holds the Michael E. Uslan Collection of comic books, graphic novels, action figures, and popular culture collectibles. The comic books and graphic novels from this collection may be searched in a special database and requested through the IU Libraries’ online catalog, IUCAT. Collection inventories for the action figures and popular culture collectibles can be found here.

To learn more about comic books at the Lilly Library, please join us on April 19, when Literature Cataloger Whitney Buccicone will present “Whiz! Bam! Pow! Collecting Comics at the Lilly Library,” showcasing the Lilly Library’s comic book collections and providing instruction on how to access this excellent resource.

April 1, 2010

Lilly Library collections aid Middle Eastern poetry event at IU Art Museum

Filed under: Events,Manuscripts,Online exhibitions — Virginia Dearborn @ 4:55 pm

al-Bukhari cover small

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and the IU Art Museum, in association with the Near Eastern Language and Culture Student Organization and the Turkish Student Organization are presenting a series of events at the IU Art Museum entitled Intersections: Middle Eastern Poetries in/and the Arts, April 1, 8 and 15 from 7–9 p.m.

The striking image seen here, the cover of al-Bukhari’s Sahih, is part of the Allen Mss. collection and was used in creating the poster for this series of events.

Yasemin Gencer, IU Ph.D. student in Islamic Art, also drew on these collections 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, which was launched earlier this year.

View a schedule for Intersections: Middle Eastern Poetries in/and the Arts and other images from the Allen Mss. collection.

Ensemble Lipzodes performs at the Lilly Library on April 6

Filed under: Events,Manuscripts,Music — Virginia Dearborn @ 2:20 pm

Ensemble Lipzodes CD

This coming Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Slocum Room at the Lilly Library, Ensemble Lipzodes, currently in Quito, Ecuador to perform at the Festival de Música Sacra, will give a concert and lecture celebrating the release of the group’s most recent CD, Oy Hasemos Fiesta.

“The ensemble’s unique name comes from a creative misinterpretation of the writing on the flyleaf of MS 1, Santa Eulalia, from the Guatemalan Music Manuscripts. What at first glance seems to say ‘Lipzodes,’ actually is the first part of a passage which continues further: ‘LibRodeSancta olaya Puyumatlan. Este libro de canto hize yo franc de Leon maestro deste pueblo de sancta olaya. hizelo En el año De mill y quinientos y ochenta y dos annos. Franc De Leon.’ In an orthographic transformation typical of the region, the letters ‘b’ and ‘p’ became exchanged, and the ‘R’ lost its vertical bar, to become what appeared to be a ‘Z.'” (From press release)

This flyleaf will be on display the evening of this concert; other items from the late 16th–early 17th century Guatemalan Music Manuscripts collection will be on display in this summer’s Main Gallery exhibition: Of Cabbages and Kings: Unexpected Treasures of the Lilly Library.

Come hear Juan Carlos Arango (shawms), C. Keith Collins (dulcians), Yonit Kosovske (organ), Anna Marsh (dulcians, recorder), Kelsey Schilling (dulcians, recorder), and Wolodymyr Smishkewych (voice, percussion) here at the Lilly Library next Tuesday, April 6.

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