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August 21, 2013

Elmore Leonard at the Lilly Library

Filed under: In the news,Manuscripts — Craig Simpson @ 8:53 am

A small, interesting collection of author Elmore Leonard’s papers (http://purl.dlib.indiana.edu/iudl/findingaids/lilly/InU-Li-VAC2547) is available for research use at the Lilly Library. Leonard, who passed away at the age of 87 on Aug. 20, 2013, revolutionized the crime fiction genre (which had become grim and heavy-handed) with his distinctively snappy dialogue and fast-paced, often comedic storylines in novels like Get Shorty, Rum Punch, Freaky Deaky, Out of Sight, and LaBrava (winner of the 1984 Edgar Award). Many of these works were adapted into notable feature films, sometimes by Leonard himself. Late in his career, he turned to writing and producing TV drama with the successful “backwoods noir” series Justified.

The Leonard, Elmore mss. contain materials from the crucial period of 1970-1988, when Leonard transformed himself from a writer of Westerns into a crime novelist. Correspondence includes letters from Leonard recounting his struggles (“I’ve been getting by… on the strength of style and characterization in lieu of a good story… So what I’m going to do now is plot better stories. I’ll show ‘em.”) and eventual successes to his literary agent H.N. Swanson; letters from Leonard to Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglas, and Burt Reynolds concerning their respective screen adaptations (Joe Kidd, Posse, Stick) of Leonard’s work; as well as a letter from Paul Newman, who starred in the movie adaptation of Leonard’s novel Hombre, regarding the author’s script The Hunted. Publishing materials include ad copy, press releases, and a rejection notice from Random House. Legal documents include contracts, copyright assignments, and agreements.

-Craig Simpson, Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivist

Excerpt from a letter from Elmore Leonard to his literary agent H.N. Swanson, dated September 31, 1981.

Excerpt from a letter from Elmore Leonard to his literary agent H.N. Swanson, dated September 31, 1981.

August 8, 2013

Scrapbook of Bicycle Accidents from 1896

Filed under: Manuscripts — Isabel Planton @ 2:57 pm

A new addition to the Lilly Library collections is the Cycling mss. The collection consists of images, clippings, and ephemera documenting the sport of cycling in in the U.S. in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

A scrapbook of newspaper clippings detailing cycling accidents and cycling news from 1896 was created for the Statisticians Department of the Prudential Insurance Company of America. This snapshot of late 19th century cycling culture gives us some perspective on current tensions between motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Bicycle accidents covered in the scrapbook involve scorching (i.e., speeding), railroad stunts, and an array of collisions. Cycling collisions in the 1890s appear to have included everything from roosters and canal boat mules to trains and trolley cars. Perhaps the most amusing article in the scrapbook is one describing a cycling path made slippery by caterpillars.

cycling_00004

 

Another unsettling problem was the absence of dependable brakes on most bicycles.

cycling_00010

 

A major controversy of the era was whether or not cycling was appropriate for women. Some community leaders such as Mrs. Charlotte Smith, President of the Woman’s Rescue League, argued that straddling bicycle seats posed a threat to women’s purity. Perhaps even more dangerous was the idea that bicycles would give women a newfound sense of independence.

cycling_00007

 

The collection is in the process of being digitized. The digitized content can be accessed through the finding aid: http://purl.dlib.indiana.edu/iudl/findingaids/lilly/InU-Li-VAD0285. Interested visitors also may view the Cycling mss. in the Reading Room at the Lilly Library.

Isabel Planton, Reference Associate, Lilly Library

July 31, 2013

Lincoln at the Lilly

Filed under: Illustration — David Frasier @ 2:24 pm

The Oldroyd mss., the letters and papers of Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd (1841-1930), a museum director and a well-known collector of Lincolniana, includes a pencil sketch rendered by Union Army Major General Lew Wallace (1827-1905) of Lincoln assassination co-conspirator Lewis Powell (1844-1865), a.k.a. “Lewis Paine” (often misspelled as “Payne”). The 24-year-old Florida-born Powell attacked and grievously wounded United States Secretary of State William H. Seward in the bedroom of the Cabinet member’s Washington, D.C. home on April 14, 1865. General Wallace, best known as the author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880), was a member of the nine person military tribunal that found Powell (tried as “Payne”) and three others guilty in the conspiracy that killed Lincoln and injured Seward and others. The general’s “drawn from life” sketch of Powell (here “Payne”) is undated, but the assassin and his co-conspirators were tried, found guilty, and later hanged on July 7, 1865 at the Arsenal Penitentiary in Washington, D.C.


Sketch of Lewis Payne

Pencil sketch of Payne by Army Major General Lew Wallace.

Lewis Payne carte de visite

Carte-de-visite photograph taken ca. 1865.

The Lilly Library is a major repository for manuscripts, books, and other items related to Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the nation’s 16th president. The respective links below provide descriptions of these Lincoln-related manuscript collections and a short title list of miscellaneous uncataloged materials including a bronzed Lincoln life mask:

www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/subject/lincoln.html

www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/shorttitle/lincoln.html

A fuller description of many of these holdings may be found in the Lilly’s in-house Manuscripts Index Catalog while monographs may be located in IUCAT and the Public Card Catalog in the library’s Reading Room.

In addition to the Lincoln-related collections, the Lilly also holds the papers of General Lew Wallace including the original manuscript for Ben-Hur and other novels (see collection descriptions at www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/index.php?p=wallace and www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/index.php?p=wallace2).

David K. Frasier, Reference Librarian, Lilly Library

July 8, 2013

Anthony Arnove: Dirty Wars

Filed under: Events — Cherry Williams @ 2:02 pm

We recently received notice that Anthony Arnove’s production of Dirty Wars, will be playing at the Indiana University Cinema for one night only: THURSDAY, August 8, at 7 pm, and that Mr. Arnove will be on hand for a question and answer session after the screening.

The Lilly Library is honored to be the repository of Anthony Arnove’s papers and the archive of Haymarket Books.

The film features independent journalist Jeremy Scahill, the New York Times bestselling author of Blackwater and now Dirty Wars (the book of the same title as the film).

Dirty Wars won the Cintematography Prize at Sundance. Variety says it is “astonishingly hard-hitting” and adds: “This jaw-dropping, persuasively researched pic has the power to pry open government lockboxes.” Below is a poster with some of the highlights of this and other write ups.

You can see the trailer here: http://dirtywars.org/trailer

Details on the screening are here:
http://www.cinema.indiana.edu/?post_type=film&p=4690

And details on ticketing are here:
http://www.cinema.indiana.edu/about/visiting-the-cinema/

Tickets are $3 students and $6 public. Tickets are required for all screenings. You can pick up tickets at the IU Auditorium Box Office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or — if they are not sold out — 30 minutes prior to any IU Cinema screening.

May 1, 2013

The Curious Story of the Electropoise

Filed under: Books — Rebecca Baumann @ 4:18 pm

The Electropoise was a fraudulent medical device invented and patented by huckster Hercules Sanche, the self-proclaimed “Discoverer of the Laws of Spontaneous Cure of Disease.” Initially marketed in the early 1890s (sources differ on the exact date), it was the first of several devices that provided “gas pipe therapy,” and its story provides an interesting portrait of late 19th –century American alternative medicine, the power of advertising, and the potent mix of gullibility and desperation that allows quack cures to flourish.

rz420-b7_00014 There is nothing electric about the Electropoise, and the “Plain Directions” (which are actually anything but plain) that accompany the object tell its user, “Do not expect any sensations of current or shock. Nature does not work that way.” The Electropoise is simply a brass lozenge called the “Polizer” to which is attached at one end a flexible uninsulated cord. At the end of the cord is a small metal disc with an elastic band, which the user attaches to her ankle for a general cure or to whatever part of the body ails her for specific therapy. The user is directed to put the tube in a bucket of cold water (the exact temperature of the water and the amount of time for the therapy being determined by a complex series of disease classifications and formulae) and then let healing oxygen flow through the cord and into the body. The instructions claim that “[t]he oxygen … is carried into the general circulation and oxidizes the blood, thus burning out all manner of poisonous impurities, destroying bacteria and preventing their further propagation.” Of course in reality, the Electropoise did absolutely nothing at all. Its makers relied on the principle that a portion of those who are sick – and, more importantly, those who believe they are sick – will get better without any treatment. A contemporary promotional feature in an 1894 issue of The New York Evangelist promises that the Electropoise could cure “an alphabet of ailments” from abscesses to vertigo. The brochure that accompanies the instrument includes seventy pages of testimonials from satisfied customers who believe they have been cured of headaches, insomnia, “female complaints,” rheumatism, malaria, pneumonia, paralysis, nervous disorders, consumption, and cancer. The directions include further serious ailments that the device is supposed to cure; for example, they advise that sufferers of “apoplexy, apparent death, congestion of the brain … drowning and epilepsy” can be aided by “chang[ing] the plate from one wrist to the other every twenty or thirty minutes during continuous application.”

According to an advertisement in an 1895 issue of The Cosmopolitan: A Monthly Illustrated Magazine, the cylinder is filled with, “a composition, the nature of which is not made public.” In the December 1, 1900 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, N.C. Morse, M.D. writes, “I have had it sawed into sections and alas, like the goose that laid the golden egg of fable fame, there is nothing in the carcass!” However, despite its literally hollow claims, the Electropoise was very popular, so much so that the Electrolibration Company, founded in Birmingham Alabama, soon added offices in New York and London and began marketing new devices such as the Oxydonor, which was the same as the Electropoise except that instead of being hollow, it contained a stick of carbon inside. Other companies followed with their own versions. In 1899, Sanche tried to prevent the sale of the rival Oxygenor but it was held by the court that there was insufficient evidence to show that Sanche’s invention was useful or valuable enough to be afforded protection. The American Medical Association released official statements, such as a 1915 book on “Mail-Order Medical Fraud,” condemning this kind of ersatz medical treatment.

As well as being potentially dangerous, the Electropoise was also expensive. Advertisements from the period indicate that this model of the Electropoise was priced from $10 to $35. The booklet included with the Lilly Library’s copy lists the price of the pocket model as $25 and the standard model (a large device which was mounted on a wall) as $50. This may sound like an inexpensive cure for all ills, but $25 at the turn of the century was comparable to several hundred dollars today. The testimonials included in the literature make it clear that consumers could pay in installments. The two books included with the Lilly Library’s copy of the Electropoise are undated. The book which includes testimonials has the name L.A. Bosworth on the cover, and many of the testimonials are addressed to him in the form of letters. Bosworth was a reverend in Boston, MA, but his connection with Sanche or the Electrolibation Company of Birmingham is not clear.

rz420-b7_00002So who used the Electropoise? The illustration included in the literature that accompanies the device gives us a clue. A woman in the “Gibson Girl” style lounges prone on a settee, reading a book while the cord of the Electropoise snakes delicately from her ankle into a vase on the floor. This woman in her lacy dressing gown is the perfect consumer for the product. She is clearly of the middle or upper-middle class and she has leisure time in which to convalesce. While the testimonials reveal that both men and women used the product, it would have been especially appealing for vague “female complaints” or the ubiquitously-diagnosed condition of “hysteria” – in other words the types of ailments that may well be “cured” by a device that doesn’t do anything except make the sufferer believe that he or she will get better. The Electropoise enjoyed its reign of popularity at the same time that the vibrator was invented to “cure” hysterical women by means of genital massage – a method practiced manually by doctors and midwives since the times of Galen and Avicenna and brought into the age of electricity in the late 19th century by enterprising inventors who aspired to save doctors the trouble of inducing “hysterical paroxysm” manually. In the Paris Exposition of 1900, over a dozen medical vibratory devices were available for the perusal of visiting doctors, from low-priced foot-powered models, to the $200 elaborately-designed “Chattanooga.” The Electropoise was perhaps a distant cousin of these devices designed to cure hysteria, the great bugaboo of 19th-century medicine, a catch-all for everything from serious mental illnesses to boredom and sexual frustration. The instructions for using the Electropoise includes a section for female complaints and advises that “[i]n many cases the internal female generative organs can be treated more successfully by local application to the organ itself. For this purpose the Uterine Electrode [a long metal rod that could be attached to the device] should be used. Agents can furnish it. Price, $2.50.” Specific male complaints, including hydrocele, varicocele, and “self abuse” could be treated by applying the metal disc to the scrotum. In its promise to provide relief to even the most intimate of problems, bypassing the process of visiting a real doctor, this curious little device illustrates the allure of quack medicine and is not so different from placebo products shilled on late night infomercials today. There will always be a market for the phony miracle cure.

Rebecca Baumann, Reference Associate

Sources Consulted:

American Medical Association. Medical Mail-Order Frauds. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1915. Hathi Trust Digital Library.

“The Electropoise.” New York Evangelist. December 6, 1894. ProQuest American Periodicals.

“The Electropoise.” The Cosmopolitan: a Monthly Illustrated Magazine. 1895. ProQuest American Periodicals.

Rachel Maines. The Technology of Orgasm : “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

N.C. Morse. “Modern Empirical Inventions.” The Journal of the American Medical Association. Volume 35, part 2. December 1, 1900. Hathi Trust Digital Library.

Carolyn Thomas de la Peña. The Body Electric: How Strange Machines Built the Modern American. New York: New York University Press, 2003.

April 10, 2013

Roger and Pauline

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lilly Library @ 12:52 pm

Ebert

Roger Ebert (1942-2013), who passed away on April 4, 2013 at the age of 70, leaves behind an enduring legacy as a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times (where he worked for 46 years) as well as a pioneer in both television (with Gene Siskel) and online criticism. Ebert’s impact on his profession, and on the countless number of individuals whose paths crossed with his, was enormous. To name one example relevant to Bloomington: In his 2011 memoir, Life Itself (New York: Grand Central Pub.), Ebert writes in glowing terms about the Vickers Theatre, an independent art-house cinema located in Three Oaks, Michigan, originally co-owned and operated by Jon Vickers, now Director of the Indiana University Cinema.

Early in his career, Roger Ebert was a protégé of Pauline Kael (often referred to as “Paulettes”), the influential film critic for The New Yorker. Two of his letters are in the Kael mss., a voluminous collection of her personal papers and correspondence. All his life invested in politics and social issues, Ebert tells her about the 1974 Conference on World Affairs he attended at the University of Colorado, and names a few notable panelists whom he speculates were invited “to add variety to the academics, politicians and fanatics.”

The Kael mss. is one of several collections featuring professional criticism in the arts available at the Lilly Library.

April 2, 2013

Performing Arts Ephemera

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lilly Library @ 10:06 am

This year’s Rare Books and Manuscript Section (RBMS) preconference, http://www.preconference.rbms.info/, is focusing on performing arts and the use of these materials in an academic and research library setting. At the Lilly Library, there are many pieces of performing arts history that reveal to us connections between our culture and art. This post provides a glimpse of such collections in the Library’s holdings.

theatre log

A truly extraordinary item in the collection is a Theatre Log circa 1934-1946. This log was printed with the intention that the owner would fill in the pre-printed sheets with information about the plays and/or movies they attended. The blanks are to be filled with not only things like the name of the performance and the theatre that it was performed in, but also who accompanied them to see the show, with plenty of room to express your opinion of the show.

The example in the Lilly’s collection was compiled by an unknown author. Even without the identity of the author, their detailed evaluations bring to life this author’s criticism and appreciation of theatre.

One entry of interest reflects on a performance at the Mercury Theatre in New York in 1938. The author saw Orson Welles portray Brutus onstage in “Julius Caesar.” “The only thing that annoyed me was the manner in which Welles kept poking his chin out and skyward in the Mussolini manner – a little too exaggerated at times to be pleasant,” she expresses quite bluntly. She adds: “This was an ingenius (sic) production in the true Orson Welles manner.”

We are fortunate to have the Orson Welles manuscript collection here at the Library, filled with correspondence, photos, and much more relating to Welles’ radio, theatre, and film productions. For “Julius Caesar”, he was not only the star, but also the director, editor, and producer. The play was produced in modern dress on a barren stage. While it was assumed by audiences that he was reflecting on European dictatorship of the time, Welles was insistent that this was not his intention. “I’m trying to let Shakespeare’s lines do the job of making the play applicable to the tensions of our time,” Welles states in the Mercury Theatre weekly bulletin written by Henry Senber. Many more of Welles’ productions have materials here that are waiting to be explored.

The Lilly Library’s holdings also include many theatre playbills; fascinating sources that shed light on our culture. We see performances placed in a specific place and time in history, and advertisements that provide a window into the culture of the time. A wide variety of products were advertised, from automobiles to fur coats. The most common advertisements promoted cigarettes. Endorsed by many different celebrities, cigarettes were certainly a symbol of sophistication.

Much more can be discovered amongst the Lilly Library’s collections of performing arts ephemera. Please contact us if you’d like to come and take a look at some of our fascinating historical items.

Courtney Brombosz
MLS Candidate
Rare Books and Manuscripts Specialization Indiana University – School of Library and Information Science Bloomington, IN

March 21, 2013

Joel Silver appointed director of Lilly Library

Filed under: In the news — Lilly Library @ 2:31 pm

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries Brenda L. Johnson has announced the appointment of Joel Silver as the director of the Lilly Library, effective April 1.

“Joel is known internationally within the academy for his impeccable credentials as a rare books curator, a prolific scholar and brilliant professor,” Johnson said. “Over the past decade that Joel has served as associate director and most recently as interim director, Joel has become known for his collaborative leadership style and diligent work ethic. I have full confidence that he will be an outstanding director for the Lilly Library.”

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An undergraduate English major at the University of California, Los Angeles, Silver went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Whittier College School of Law and his MLS at Indiana University. He began his long-standing career with the Lilly Library in 1983 and has served in multiple capacities: operations manager, curator of books, associate director to former Lilly director Breon Mitchell and interim director for two separate appointments. In addition, Silver is an adjunct associate professor and director of the special collections specialization in the IU School of Library and Information Science and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of English.

Silver has also made significant academic contributions with his scores of published articles, multiple books and numerous exhibition catalogs. He has a distinguished record as a lecturer and leader of rare-books-related workshops, and he has curated many exhibitions at the Lilly Library, including “The Reign of Charles II,” “J.K. Lilly, Jr.: Bibliophile,” “English Renaissance Prose” and “Five Centuries of Music.” His most recent book, “Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly: Book Collecting in a Golden Age,” was published by Oak Knoll Press in 2011.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as the director of the Lilly Library, one of the greatest repositories of rare books and manuscripts in the world,” Silver said. “The Lilly Library is known internationally for its broad and deep collections in many different subject areas, as well as for its commitment to serve all who wish to use them. I’m looking forward to continuing to build these collections, and to taking advantage of emerging technologies to help make them available to new audiences around the world.”

Consistently ranked among the nation’s top libraries for rare books, Indiana University’s Lilly Library contains more than 400,000 rare books, more than 150,000 pieces of sheet music and more than 7.5 million manuscripts — pivotal works of literature, history and shared culture.

The Lilly holds some of the university’s most important treasures, including the New Testament of the Gutenberg Bible; the first printed edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”; the First Folio of Shakespeare; John James Audubon’s “The Birds of America”; an extensive Abraham Lincoln collection; personal papers of Orson Welles and Sylvia Plath; and George Washington’s letter accepting the presidency.

The Lilly Library, on Seventh Street on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, is part of the IU Bloomington Libraries. Regular business hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free and open to the public.

March 4, 2013

Mediaevalia at the Lilly

Filed under: Events,Exhibitions — Lilly Library @ 12:55 pm

As one of Indiana University’s greatest resources, The Lilly Library’s rich collection of materials bears witness to the development of the history of the book and of European media culture. The series Mediaevalia at the Lilly aims to better publicize our collection of medieval and renaissance manuscripts by bringing established scholars and experts for lectures and hands-on workshops for students and faculty. The series is organized under the auspices of the Medieval Studies Institute, and run by Hildegard Elisabeth Keller (Germanic Studies) in collaboration with Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts at the Lilly Library. One seminar per year is conducted by a scholar from the field of manuscript study, the history of the book, or early printing. In seeking to combine lectures with workshops, our goal is to make abstract ideas, as presented in the classroom, concrete by confronting students with the intractable nature of sources and giving them some sense of just how much can be gleaned from handwriting, type, parchment, paper, watermarks, title pages, musical notation, format, decoration, in short, all material aspects of the book over the course of the period stretching from Late Antiquity to the Reformation.

This year, Mediævalia 2013, featured Dr. Roger S. Wieck, Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library & Museum. In addition, Dr. Wieck has held curatorial positions at the Walters Art Museum and the Houghton Library at Harvard. He is the author of The Prayer Book of Claude de France (2010), The Hours of Henry VIII: A Renaissance Masterpiece by Jean Poyet (2000), Painted Prayers: The Book of Hours in Medieval and Renaissance Art (1997), Time Sanctified: The Book of Hours in Medieval Art and Life (1988), and many other books and articles on medieval manuscripts. Prof. Keller’s interview with him can be seen on Youtube:

February 22, 2013

A student encounters Sylvia Plath at the Lilly Library

Filed under: In the news — Lilly Library @ 6:10 pm

February 11th was the fiftieth anniversary of Sylvia Plath’s suicide. Two new biographies appeared this month to mark the occasion, see the New York Times review for an assessment of the works. Both authors paid a visit to the Lilly Library during their research, but a more unusual account of an experience of the Plath collections at the Lilly Library appeared online in the The Daily Beast. Former student employee Jessica Ferri describes her encounter in Touching Sylvia Plath’s Hair.

February 4, 2013

Lilly Library to Receive Unique Additon to Vonnegut Collection

Filed under: Manuscripts,New acquisitions — Lilly Library @ 11:03 am

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

January 20, 2013

Lilly Library closed Saturday, January 26, 2013

Filed under: Lilly Library building — Lilly Library @ 3:22 pm

The Lilly Library will be closed for scheduled maintenance on Saturday, January 26. We apologize for any inconvenience this closing may cause.

November 23, 2012

Faking the War of 1812

Filed under: Events,Exhibitions,Film,Online exhibitions — Lilly Library @ 9:00 am

Faking the War of 1812
A talk by Lawrence Hott, producer/director of the documentary film, The War of 1812
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
6:30 p.m., reception to follow
The Lilly Library

Lawrence Hott will discuss the problem of historical truth in documentary film, particularly in the context of the War of 1812, a period which presents a number of challenges to a documentary filmmaker. Hott is producer/director of the documentary film, The War of 1812, broadcast on PBS in October 2011. The War of 1812 film and bonus features can be viewed online, courtesy of PBS/WNED: http://www.pbs.org/wned/war-of-1812/the-film/watch-film-and-bonus-features/

Lawrence Hott and his partner Diane Garey have been making documentary films since 1978 as part of Florentine Films, and later Hott Productions. Their productions are among the most-watched broadcasts on public television. Notable titles include John James Audubon: Drawn from Nature and Wild by Law, the story of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and three men responsible for its passage, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Hott’s awards include an Emmy, two Academy Award nominations, the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, five American Film Festival Blue Ribbons, and Fourteen CINE Golden Eagles. He received the Humanities Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities in 1995; a Massachusetts Cultural Council/Boston Film and Video Foundation Fellowship in 2001; and the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in 2001. He has been on the board of non-fiction writers at Smith College and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Cultural Commission, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hott is a former juvenile court investigator and a lawyer by training, who has said that the law and documentary filmmaking have more in common than one would think: “a lot of legal practice has to do with the presentation of arguments, working with people, and being clear in your correspondence. I can’t think of a better training for a filmmaker than three years of law school.”

The talk will be followed by a reception. Both the talk and the reception are sponsored by the Friends of the Lilly Library and take place in concert with the exhibition, The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library, on view through December 15, 2012, in the Main Gallery of the Lilly Library. An expanded version of the exhibition is available online at: http://collections.libraries.iub.edu/warof1812/

October 18, 2012

Verbi-Voco-Visual Explorations: Language in Art and Text

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lilly Library @ 2:44 pm

“Verbi-Voco-Visual Explorations: Language in Art and Text”
Oct 15-November 3, Lilly Library Foyer

In this exhibition, artists, designers and publishers explore the connections between text and form. These selections from the Lilly Library demonstrate the cutting-edge yet playful experimentation of Fluxus art and visual poetry, which pushed the boundaries of textual conventions and investigated the production of meaning in language and art. Many of the works featured in “Verbi-Voco-Visual Explorations” come from the personal collection of Mary Ellen Solt, 1920-2007, a concrete poet and former professor of creative writing at Indiana University. The title “Verbi-Voco-Visual Explorations” is borrowed from artist Marshall McLuhan, who in turn borrowed it from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake–an example of not only the multidimensional iterations of meaning conveyed in the exhibition, but also how influences can be sampled creatively into new works.

The exhibition includes big names like John Cage, whose centennial is celebrated this year, and also lesser known but still influential writers and artists. Cage’s M: Writings ’67-’72, in which he explores words, names and concepts through textual visualization techniques such as mesostics, a form of poetry in which words are spelled horizontally using letters from the middle of lines. Another iteration of the complicated nature of textuality and reading is Bruno Munari’s thought-provoking Libro illeggibile or “Illegible Book.” The work’s absence of text and red string threaded through the pages makes the book more of a sculptural object than a learning tool; while the codex format engenders understanding through familiarity. Johanna Drucker, a highly influential scholar of artist’s books, visual poetry, digital humanities, also demonstrates her artistic ability through her artist’s book The Word Made Flesh, which celebrates the embodiment of text through rich all-over page design and consummate deployment of fonts and colors to enrich meaning. Lilly’s edition of Jorge Luis Borges’ Ficciones illustrated by Sol LeWitt presents an intriguing melding of two highly-regarded figures. A number of the works included were published by the German imprint Hansjörg Mayer, a major publisher of artist’s books and an early innovator of the use of computers in graphic design.

The exhibition was crafted to highlight the upcoming show “Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf,” opening October 19th at the Grunwald Gallery. “Off the Shelf” features both Spector’s large, sculptural installations of books and his Polaroid works. The installations, including “The Library of Babel” inspired by Borges’ short story of the same name, and a piece featuring books by Indiana University authors, are all borrowed from Indiana University’s libraries. These installations invite commentary on the logic and poetry of the arrangement of books, and ask the audience to consider the function of the book object. Spector’s oversized Polaroid prints further investigate the themes of meaning and form, authorship and ownership, and the physical experience of reading.

Spector is an eminent figure in the artists’ book and book arts communities and an internationally known artist and writer. He has published numerous artists’ books as well as editing the critical volume The Book Maker’s Desire: Writings on the Art of the Book.

Additionally, The Fine Arts Library is hosting a complementary exhibition “On the Page: Artists’ Take on the Book and Library” October 6-November 8 in the Fine Arts Library lobby, which gathers examples of thoughtful, artistic engagement with the materiality and symbolic functions of the book object, stacks of books, and entire libraries. For more information, visit the Fine Arts Library blog: https://blogs.libraries.iub.edu/FAL/

September 24, 2012

Opening reception this Friday for War of 1812 exhibition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lilly Library @ 12:09 pm

Battle of New OrleansThe Friends of the Lilly Library will host an opening reception on Friday, September 28, 2012, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., for the exhibition, The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library.

The War of 1812 is one of the least known wars in American memory, despite the fact that it was fought on United States territory. Yet the War of 1812 deserves closer attention. A generation of political leaders was forged in the war. It brought us the song that became the national anthem and delivered a death blow to Native American resistance to American expansion.

The exhibition provides an overview of these significant developments, as well as a glimpse of moments of high drama. Pro-war Baltimoreans tar-and-feather an anti-war newspaper publisher. Generals surrender and face court martial. Battles are fought on land and sea and lake. Washington burns!

Items on display range from the official declaration of war to a receipt for the sewing of signal flags, and include such resources as anti-war pamphlets, a letter describing the burning of Washington, D.C., and a satirical print of James Madison boxing King George III. The exhibition will be on view September 18 – December 15, 2012.

The reception will feature an historical miniature war game recreating the Battle of New Orleans, in which American forces led by Andrew Jackson defeated the British army on January 8, 1815.

Visitors can participate in the game again on Saturday, September 29, at 9:30 a.m. in the Lilly Library Slocum Room. The games are organized by the IU Conflict Simulations Club. Both the reception and the games are open to the public.

All the historic materials on display, and more, are also available in the online project of the same name: http://collections.libraries.iub.edu/warof1812/. Hundreds of manuscripts, books, maps, and prints are included online, digitized in full. Viewers of the exhibition can find a interesting book on display, and then have access to the entire volume online.

August 9, 2012

Jonathan Williams on fortifying New York

Filed under: Manuscripts — Lilly Library @ 12:32 pm

Plan of fortifications of the Narrows Though he had been commissioned as an officer for less than a year, Jonathan Williams was already an expert on military matters and fortification when President Thomas Jefferson appointed him inspector of fortifications and superintendent of the military post at West Point in December of 1801. Jefferson saw in Williams a like-minded gentleman-scientist, and his resume was top-notch for his time. Williams’ interest in scientific matters was nurtured under the influence of his great-uncle, Benjamin Franklin.

Williams quit his post at West Point in 1803, frustrated by a lack of funding for the academy and conflict with other officers who resisted reporting to an engineer. As conflict with Britain developed in the years preceding the War of 1812, Williams returned to West Point in 1805, this time with his authority, if not sufficient funding, assured. During his time at West Point, Williams was a key figure in developing a system of fortifications to protect New York.

Jonathan WilliamsThe Lilly Library holds one of two major collections of the papers of Jonathan Williams, which include a bounty of material on the design and construction of fortifications. The most famous of these fortifications is probably Castle Williams on Governor’s Island, designed by Williams and named in his honor. Men needed to staff Castle Williams Castle Williams was built between 1807 and 1811, as part of system of fortifications that discouraged the British navy from attempting any sort of attack during the War of 1812. Castle Williams was recently restored and is now open the public.

Williams hoped to command the Castle when war was declared, but the commission went to someone else. He resigned his position at West Point and took up a military commission as a brigadier general in the New York militia.

Shown here is a document from the collection dated July 2, 1812, which outlines the number of men needed to staff Castle Williams. It was made just a few weeks before he resigned. The portrait reproduces an 1815 painting by Thomas Sully. The illustration at the top of the post is a lovely depiction of defenses of the Narrows, the channel that connects Upper New York Bay and Lower New York Bay. It was made on August 8, 1812, exactly two hundred years ago.

The Lilly Library’s War of 1812 collection includes a short pamphlet, published in 1807, in which he advises New York leaders on appropriate defenses for the Bay and the Narrows. Read the pamphlet online in our new digital resource, The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library.

July 26, 2012

War of 1812 Captured Online through Lilly Library Collections

Filed under: Exhibitions,Online exhibitions,web site — Lilly Library @ 9:29 am

During the War of 1812, British troops set fire to the Library of Congress, destroying the collections within. Two hundred years later, however, a library has now captured the war: Indiana University’s Lilly Library, have digitized hundreds of manuscripts, books, maps, and prints that illuminate the history of the War of 1812.

A new website, The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library, tells the story of this little-understood war through digitized primary source documents which have been made available for the first time thanks to technology and technical services staff at the IU Libraries. These items range from the official declaration of war to a receipt for canteen straps and include such resources as anti-war pamphlets, a letter describing the burning of Washington, D.C., and a satirical print of James Madison boxing King George III. Visitors to the site can access high-resolution images of the documents by following the timeline of events, browsing by tag (from Aaron Burr to Zachary Taylor), or searching by keyword.

“There aren’t many large digital projects on the War of 1812, especially not originating from the United States,” said Lilly Library Director Breon Mitchell. “This site makes a major contribution by providing not just the story of the war, but also a wealth of original books and documents that draw people into the history of the conflict in the way only primary sources can.”

The broadsides, books, and pamphlets in the project include early printings of the Star-Spangled Banner, government publications, sermons, reports, histories, and memoirs. Manuscript materials include correspondence, log books, legal documents, diaries, speeches, letter copybooks, and orderly books.

The digital archive precedes a major exhibition on the War of 1812 in the Main Gallery of the Lilly Library that will open September 2012 and run through December.

“Never before has the Lilly Library created an exhibition where every item on display is also digitized online,” said Brenda Johnson, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries. “In this case, the online archive actually includes more fully digitized items than we can fit into the gallery exhibition. Our ability to share these documents with a broader audience makes this an especially exciting time to explore this period in American history.”

For media inquiries, contact Erika Dowell edowell@indiana.edu (812) 855-2452

About the Lilly Library

The Lilly Library is the principal rare books, manuscripts, and special collections repository of Indiana University. It is part of the Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington, under direction of the Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries. The IU Libraries support and strengthen teaching, learning, and research by providing the collections, services, and environments that lead to intellectual discovery.

July 19, 2012

New Film-Related Manuscripts Collections

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lilly Library @ 9:55 am

The papers of David Bradley and Carlo Lizzani, respectively, are newly processed additions to the Lilly Library’s film-related manuscripts collections.

The Bradley mss. include correspondence, screenplays, publicity materials, business records, writings, and biographical items pertaining to David Bradley (1920-1997), film director, collector and historian. At an early age Bradley became a pioneer in amateur filmmaking and went on to direct his friend Charlton Heston in Peer Gynt (1941) and Julius Caesar (1950). (The former film was Heston’s film debut; the latter got Heston a successful screen test with MGM.) Bradley also directed Macbeth (1947), Talk About a Stranger (1952), Dragstrip Riot (1958), 12 to the Moon (1960), and The Madmen of Mandoras (1963, and later re-released as They Saved Hitler’s Brain in 1968). The Bradley papers complement the film elements and photographs already in the collection, along with the nearly 4,000 reel-to-reel films he collected during his lifetime.

The Lizzani, Carlo mss. feature the writings, photographs, scripts, audio-visual materials, correspondence, awards, newspaper and periodical articles, and unpublished diary of Italian filmmaker Carlo Lizzani. Born in Rome in 1922, Lizzani began as a film critic and eventually collaborated with prominent directors in the Italian neorealism movement. He served as assistant director on Roberto Rossellini’s Germany Year Zero (1948) and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Story for Giuseppe De Santis’s Bitter Rice (1949). Lizzani’s own films include numerous spaghetti westerns and the internationally acclaimed crime thriller Banditi a Milano (Bandits in Milan), released in the United States as The Violent Four (1968). The Lizzani papers are mainly in Italian and were processed by Austin Alexander, a graduate student in the Department of French and Italian.

February 24, 2012

The Incredible Shrinking Man Meets The Exorcist

Filed under: Film — Lilly Library @ 12:21 pm

While a great faceoff for a Midnite Movie feature, the above represents two titles from the Lilly Library’s sizeable and eclectic science fiction and horror film script collection. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), scripted by Richard Matheson from his 1956 novel, The Shrinking Man, is an acknowledged sci fi classic while The Exorcist (1973) is still considered by many to be the scariest motion picture ever made. Unlike the majority of the scripts in the collection which feature dialogue, The Incredible Shrinking Man is a “picturization,” the entire film story boarded in over 600 drawings (see Figs. 1 and 2). Like many scripts in the collection, The Exorcist is a revision and contains dialogue not included in the final version of the film (see Fig. 3). The scripts representing these genres run the gamut from classic films like The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Forbidden Planet (1956), Planet of the Apes (1968), to lesser known B movies like The Vampire’s Ghost (1945), Monster from the Ocean Floor (1954), The Brain Eaters (1958), and Blood Orgy of the She-Devils (1972). Hammer Films, the British studio which redefined horror in the late 1950s, is represented by The Quatermass Experiment (1955), The Mummy (1959), The Phantom of the Opera (1962), Quatermass and the Pit (1967), and Lust for a Vampire (1971). Scripts for the films of legendary independent producer/director Roger Corman include The Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (1957), and two films from his well-regarded Edgar Allan Poe cycle, The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964). Fans of serials should consult Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) and two Republic Studio chapter plays, Flying Disc Man from Mars (1950) and Canadian Mounties vs. Atomic Invaders (1953). To browse the collection (many are not listed in IUCAT), ask the Lilly’s Reading Room attendant for the Shelf List call number PN6120 .S42 for a complete alphabetical list of scripts with detailed descriptions. Copying of any kind is prohibited without prior permission of the studio and/or the script’s author.

David K. Frasier, Reference Librarian, Lilly Library

Fig. 1. Artist sketch of the spider fight sequence in The Incredible Shrinking Man (Universal-International Pictures, 1957).


Fig. 2. Closely corresponding scene from the film with actor Grant Williams.


Fig. 3. Sample page from The Exorcist script (PN6120 .S42 E97) written by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel featuring dialogue not used in the original 1973 Warner Bros. release.

February 8, 2012

History, Memory and Campus Protest during the Long 1960s

Filed under: In the news — Lilly Library @ 10:23 am

Craig Simpson, Lilly Library manuscripts archivist, and his colleague Gregory Wilson, University of Akron, History Department, discussed “Above the Shots: The Kent State Shootings and the Politics of Truth, Trauma and Reconciliation” at this year’s Oral History Association Annual Conference recently held in Denver. Craig and Gregory joined a panel of scholars who described how oral histories have been used to present a more complete picture of the protests on college campuses in the 1960s and 1970s. C-SPAN 3 recorded the presentation. You can view the session online.

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