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Indiana University Bloomington

March 26, 2009

Student scholar from Harvard reflects on Lilly Library visit

Filed under: In the news,Manuscripts — Lilly Library @ 5:12 pm

In the March/April 2009 issue of Harvard Magazine, Harvard senior Brittney Moraski writes about her visit to the Lilly Library to use the papers of poet Sylvia Plath. Moraski reflects on her experiences working in libraries and archives and concludes that “we have to be curators of our own lives”. Read the full article: http://harvardmagazine.com/2009/03/life-in-detail

The Lilly Library first acquired a small collection of Sylvia Plath’s poetry manuscripts in 1961. The extensive collection of Sylvia Plath letters, papers, and memorabilia that the Lilly Library acquired in 1977 came from her mother, Aurelia. Included in that collection are diaries, letters, poetry manuscripts, school papers, articles and prose pieces submitted for publication, scrapbooks, memorabilia, drawings and paintings, and more than 200 books from her library. To learn more about these materials, see the Guide to the Sylvia Plath Materials in the Lilly Library.

March 24, 2009

One Book One Bloomington discussion tomorrow

Filed under: Books,Events — Lilly Library @ 2:58 pm

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is the 2009 selection for One Book One Bloomington.

The Lilly Library will host a book discussion for The Book Thief — tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25 at 4:00 p.m. Breon Mitchell, Director of the Lilly Library, will lead the discussion in the Lilly Library Slocum room.

March 13, 2009

Islamic manuscripts on exhibition at the IU Art Museum

Filed under: Exhibitions,In the news,Manuscripts — Cherry Williams @ 9:02 am

Allen mss 10

Highlights from the Lilly Library’s collection of illuminated Islamic manuscripts and books were the focus of a Saturday morning symposium held on March 7, 2009, at the Hope School of Fine Arts. Papers presented by Prof. Christiane Gruber and her students, who have been studying the collection in detail, elaborated on previously unexamined aspects of the collection. The papers will be published by the Indiana University Press in December, 2009, with accompanying illustrations. The symposium complemented the on-going exhibit at the IU Art Museum:

From Pen to Printing Press: Ten Centuries of Islamic Book Arts
March 6–May 10, 2009
Special Exhibitions Gallery, first floor

The exhibition and related programs are made possible with support from Indiana University’s New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Program, funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research; the Thomas T. Solley Endowment for the Curator for Asian Art; and IU Art Museum’s Arc Fund. The exhibition was curated by: Judy Stubbs, The Pamela Buell Curator for Asian Art, organizing curator, and Professor Christiane Gruber, guest curator.

– Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

View a larger image of Allen mss 10.

March 10, 2009

Masaryk in Egypt

Filed under: New acquisitions,Photographs — Breon Mitchell @ 11:34 am

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.

March 5, 2009

Christmas Poems from the Madhouse

Filed under: Manuscripts,New acquisitions — Breon Mitchell @ 3:36 pm

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

March 2, 2009

Earliest Printing in Sarawak?

Filed under: Books,New acquisitions — Breon Mitchell @ 11:26 am

Spelling Book of the Dyak Language

Little seems to be known about the early history of the Mission Press in Sarawak, which is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. The arrival in 1847 of Christian missionaries among the Dyaks, who were famous as headhunters, must soon have been followed by a small printing press. The Lilly has recently acquired two early examples of the Mission Press, a twenty-page “Spelling Book of the Dyak Language” dated 1853, along with a Catechism in Dyak dated 1854.

The Lilly’s copy bears a presentation inscription from the probable author, William Gomes. Of Sinhalese-Portuguese descent, Gomes arrived in Sarawak in 1852, worked in the Home School in Kuching, and served as missionary at Lundu from 1853 to 1867. The recipient, Rev. Hawkins, arrived in Sarawak in 1865, as the wife of Bishop McDougall later recorded in her memoirs:

“After the Banting expedition, the Bishop took Mr. Waterhouse to Lundu, and Mr. Hawkins, a missionary lately come out, went with them. They arrived on a Saturday. On Sunday there was a great gathering of Christian Dyaks: fifty-two people were confirmed, eighty received the Holy Communion, so that they were more than three hours in church, the Bishop preaching to them in Malay. On Monday Mr. Waterhouse and Mr. Hawkins paid a visit to a beautiful waterfall, about two miles from the town; and on Tuesday all the party, Mr. Gomes included, went in boats forty miles up the river Lundu, with three hundred Dyaks, to tuba fish.”

No doubt Mr. Gomes took this opportunity to present his new colleague with a copy, already twelve years old, of the spelling book shown here, along with the Dyak catechism—precious tools in the life he now faced. If anyone knows of an earlier surviving example of the Mission Press in Sarawak, we would appreciate hearing of it.

– Breon Mitchell, Director

View more images from the the “Spelling Book of the Dyak Language”

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