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January 26, 2012

New online home for Slocum Puzzles

Filed under: In the news,Online exhibitions — Lilly Library @ 2:47 pm

The Lilly Library and Indiana University’s Digital Library Program are thrilled to announce the debut of the new online presence for the Jerry Slocum Mechanical Puzzle Collection: http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/slocum/ The collection is one of several featured in the Indiana University’s new Image Collections Online site.

The Jerry Slocum Collection of mechanical puzzles embodies a lifetime pursuit of the intriguing and the perplexing. The collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with over 34,000 puzzles. Unlike word or jigsaw puzzles, mechanical puzzles are hand-held objects that must be manipulated to achieve a specific goal. Popular examples include the Rubik’s cube and tangrams. The puzzles in the collection represent centuries of mathematical, social, and recreational history from across five continents.

The online database currently allows researchers and puzzle enthusiasts to search and browse over 23,000 items from the Slocum collection, and soon it will include the entire puzzle collection. Users will also be able to request delivery of some items to the Lilly Library’s Reading Room for hands-on use and research.

The images in the database may be used for non-commercial educational or research purposes. If you use or reproduce our materials in any format, we ask that the Lilly Library always be cited as the source of the material with the credit line: Courtesy, The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. For commercial uses, please contact the Lilly Library at 1200 East Seventh Street, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405-5500 or at http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/. For more information about the Slocum puzzle collection, please visit the Lilly Library web page: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/collections/overview/puzzles.shtml

January 10, 2012

New exhibition on Charles Dickens

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lilly Library @ 12:24 pm

Portrait of Charles Dickens

“Conducted by Charles Dickens: An Exhibition to Commemorate the Bicentennial of His Birth”
January 23 through May 5, 2012

Charles Dickens is one of the most beloved and well-known authors in the English language. The stories of characters such as Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Oliver Twist, and David Copperfield have moved beyond the pages of fiction and into the realm of popular myth.

The Lilly Library will display an exhibition from January 23 to May 5, 2012 commemorating the bicentennial of Charles Dickens’s birth. The title of the exhibition refers to the way in which Dickens denoted his editorship of his periodicals Household Words and All the Year Round: “Conducted by Charles Dickens.” Like the conductor of a train or an orchestra, Dickens masterfully channeled the cultural currents of his age into works of literature that still resonate with readers today.

The exhibition showcases the Lilly Library’s eclectic holdings relating to Charles Dickens’s life, literature, and the Victorian world from which he drew inspiration. Highlights include first editions of Dickens classics such as The Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, and Great Expectations as well as examples of Dickens novels issued in serial monthly parts. The exhibition also explores Dickens’s love of theatre, the novels and stories that inspired him as a child, the numerous illustrators with whom he worked, and practices of Victorian readership and publishing. One section is devoted to the colorful and chaotic world of Victorian London, featuring London “low life” and the social reform movements which were such an integral part of Dickens’s fiction.

November 30, 2011

Experimental film on female mysticism

Filed under: Events,Manuscripts — Lilly Library @ 4:15 pm

Hildegard Keller, professor of Germanic Studies and Medieval Studies, presents The Ocean in a Thimble, an experimental journey through the works of four extraordinary women who have a fictive encounter beyond time: Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Mechthild von Magdeburg (1208-1282/94), Hadewijch (13th century), and Etty Hillesum (1914-1943).

The film will be presented in German, with no subtitles, at the IU Cinema, Friday, December 2nd, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. This abbreviated film version of her audio book of the same title was specially produced for the IU Cinema and exploits the theater’s sound technology.

The audio play The Ocean in a Thimble (Der Ozean im Fingerhut) was written in 2011 by Keller, produced with a group of actors in Switzerland and enriched with music in the form of the oud played by Mahmoud Turkmani, performed for this production. The accompanying book includes essays by various authors and numerous images, including a large number from the Lilly Library of Indiana University.

More information on the event can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences News.

November 7, 2011

Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles

Filed under: Exhibitions,Manuscripts — Cherry Williams @ 1:58 pm

Opening Wednesday, October 26th at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, is an exhibition celebrating the life and work of poet and activist, Emma Lazarus, author of the poem affixed to the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

This exhibition explores many of the facets of Lazarus’ life as a fourth generation Sephardic-American, her work as an early advocate for immigrants and a Jewish homeland as well as her life in the “gilded” intellectual and artistic circles in which she moved in turn of the century New York City. It is this aspect of her life in which the Lilly Manuscripts Department provides some insight and documentation.

The Lilly is home to the Gilder manuscript collection (1781–1984), which consists of the correspondence and papers of poet and editor Richard Watson Gilder and his wife, the artist Helena de Kay Gilder, and their family. Emma Lazarus was a part of the Gilder’s social and artistic milieu.

This exceptionally rich and interesting collection consists of 23,000 items and is open for use by researchers and the interested public.

November 1, 2011

Sanders and Thom manuscripts continue to build impressive Lilly collection

Filed under: Manuscripts — Lilly Library @ 1:48 pm

The Lilly Library continues to develop an impressive collection of Indiana authors’ manuscripts, most recently with the processing of the Sanders, Scott Russell mss. and the Thom, James Alexander mss.

Indiana University professor Scott Russell Sanders has enjoyed a long and successful writing career. His twenty books include novels, collections of short stories, collections of essays and personal nonfiction. His writing often explores the human place in nature, the character of community, the relation between culture and geography, and the search for a spiritual path. Sanders has won the Indiana Authors Award, the Mark Twain Award, and several other accolades for his literary achievements; his 2006 memoir, A Private History of Awe, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The Sanders, Scott Russell mss. documents his writing career and provides insight into his writing, his editing, and his publishing history. In addition to an extensive series of correspondence written to Sanders, the collection also contains a letter written by Sanders to Joyce Carol Oates, as well as a letter of recommendation, written also by Sanders, for Barbara Kingsolver.

James Alexander Thom is a best-selling author who was born in Gosport, Indiana, began an early reporting career at the Indianapolis Star and later joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Journalism. His major historical novels include From Sea to Shining Sea, Follow the River and Panther in the Sky, the last two of which were turned into television movies. The Thom, James Alexander mss. provides researchers access to the drafts and proofs of Thom’s works as well as insight into the extensive research that Thom is known for performing. The collection also contains Warrior Woman, the novel Thom co-wrote with his wife Dark Rain Thom. Another highlight is Thom’s correspondence with fellow Indiana authors Richard Cady, Scott Russell Sanders and Kurt Vonnegut. Other correspondents include former Indiana Governor Otis R. Bowen, politician and writer Ken Coates, and historian and author Howard Zinn. Drawings, clippings and biographical materials in the Thom, James Alexander mss. help to complete the picture of this significant Indiana author.

A manuscript subject guide is available for researchers to search for more collections of Indiana-related literature.

-Cassie Brand and Danielle Emerling, Lilly Library Manuscripts Interns, Summer 2011

October 26, 2011

Paper Dolls by Sylvia Plath

Filed under: Exhibitions,Manuscripts — Cherry Williams @ 10:59 am

Well-known as one of the Lilly Library’s manuscript treasures is the collection of the papers of poet Sylvia Plath. Perhaps less well-known, but very engaging are her works of juvenile art, particularly her paper dolls, currently the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Owens Art Gallery, in Sackville, New Brunswick. We were very pleased to participate in this exhibit, guest curated by Dr. Anne Koval, associate professor in the fine arts department at Mount Allison University in Sackville. Dr. Koval discovered the handmade paper dolls and doll’s clothes in the Plath Archive of juvenilia during a visit to the Lilly.

The exhibition also showcases the responses of several well-known contemporary artists to the paper dolls, including an early short film by Cindy Sherman, a new immersive installation by Ed Pien, exquisite miniatures by Cybèle Young, large scale steel-cut dresses by Barb Hunt, the colourful embroideries of Anna Torma, an installation of cutouts by Jeannie Thib and the ephemeral paper doll chains of Lynne Yamamoto.

The exhibition opened September 16th and is scheduled to run until November 6th 2011 at the Owens Art Gallery. It then will travel to the Mendel Gallery (Saskatoon, SK) in spring 2012 accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with an essay by the curator, produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, artsnb and a CultureWorks Development Grant from Mount Allison University. We would also like to express our appreciation to the Sylvia Plath Estate for their support and kind permission to exhibit the paper dolls.

Paper Doll

[img alt="" src="http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_cindy.jpg"]Cindy Sherman's untitled 1975 work of 11 black and white photographs mounted on board. The piece is a document from her Super-8 film, 'Doll Clothes.' Edition unique Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures.[img alt="" src="http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_dress.jpg"]Barb Hunt's 1994 piece 'Small Dresses.' The multiple tiny dresses are plasma-cut into cold-rolled steel. The work was purchased by the Canada Council Art Bank.[img alt="" src="http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_miniatures.jpg"]'Did you plan this?' one of Toronto-based artist Cybèle Young's exquisite miniatures made from Japanese paper.[img alt="" src="http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_paper.jpg"]Some of Sylvia Plath's, 'Paper Doll Clothing,' circa 1945. Courtesy: The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana[img alt="" src="http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_pien.jpg"]Toronto-based artist Ed Pien created his site-specific installation 'Revel,' shown partially installed above, made with intricately cut Mylar as a part of 'Paper Doll' at Owens Art Gallery this past week.[img alt="" src="http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_torma.jpg"]Two details of Baie Verte-based textile artist Anna Torma's large embroidered work 'Party with Dionysos.' The piece explores the passage from girlhood to womanhood through various incantations of paper dolls, puppet dolls and dancing dolls dressed in white.[img alt="" src="http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_torma2.jpg"]

Images courtesy of Canada’s Telegraph-Journal. Read their article about the Owens’ exhibition here.

October 17, 2011

James I and the English Bible

Filed under: Exhibitions — Lilly Library @ 11:25 am

King James 1Starting today, the Main Gallery will be featuring the exhibition “James I and the English Bible.” “James I and the English Bible” showcases the Lilly Library’s collection of early English Bibles, from the Coverdale Bible of 1535 to the King James Bible of 1611. This exhibition, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, also features a number of other important books related to James I and his reign, including the great Shakespeare First Folio of 1623. This exhibition will run through December 21.

To kick off this exhibition, Joel Silver, Associate Director and Curator of Books, will be giving a gallery talk on the subject. Silver has written numerous essays on rare books, book collecting, and the antiquarian book trade. The talk will start at 5:30pm with a reception sponsored by the Friends of the Lilly Library following.

October 14, 2011

Tell Me a Story

Filed under: Exhibitions — Lilly Library @ 9:15 am

The Brown Fairy Book front coverCurrently on display in the Lincoln Room, the exhibition Tell Me a Story: Folklore and Folkloristics at the Lilly Library highlights materials of interest to folklorists visiting Bloomington for the 2011 Annual Conference of the American Folklore Society, October 12-15. The exhibition includes selections from the manuscript collections of Indiana University folklore scholars Stith Thompson and Richard Dorson, as well as materials from the library of British folklorists Peter and Iona Opie, books and manuscripts by Andrew Lang, and examples of several different types of collections of tales including legends, ballads, fairy tales, and nursery rhymes.

front cover of The Brown Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang ; with eight coloured plates and numerous illustrations by H.J. Ford. London, New York and Bombay : Longmans, Green, and Co., 1904.

August 11, 2011

Critical Collections at the Lilly Library

Filed under: Books,Exhibitions,Film,Manuscripts — Craig Simpson @ 11:56 am

photograph of Pauline Kael, film critic A new exhibition highlighting
“Critical Collections” at the Lilly Library will be on display in the Lincoln Room through the month of August. The exhibition features the papers of some of the most significant, controversial writers of cultural criticism in the modern era. Noteworthy items include: American literary critic Anthony Boucher’s pioneering reviews of J. R. R. Tolkien and Ian Fleming; British literary critic Desmond MacCarthy’s correspondence with James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw; drama critic Kenneth Tynan’s original handwritten journals; and materials pertaining to the Orson Welles/Citizen Kane screenplay debate between film critics Peter Bogdanovich and Pauline Kael (pictured here).

—Craig Simpson, Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivist and exhibition curator

June 27, 2011

Repairs to Lilly Library building to be completed July 1

Filed under: Lilly Library building — Lilly Library @ 11:03 am

Lilly Library re-roof project

On May 9, 2011, contractors began working on a re-roofing project at the Lilly Library. The original copper roof sections were thinning in some areas so new roofs were needed to make sure water does not enter the building. Since ice in the gutters during the winter months can cause leaks, the gutters of the copper roofs will have new gutter melt devices installed.

In addition to replacing the three copper roof sections of the building, some mortar joint repair is also part of the project. The mortar joint repair is being done on part of the upper outside walls of the building. This should ensure that water does not enter those upper walls through cracks in the mortar joints of the stone. The installation of the new roofs has gone smoothly despite the bad weather. Wind and rain caused a few snags but the roofers have been very helpful and know the importance of keeping the building dry.

The projected is scheduled to be completed Friday, July 1.

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June 18, 2011

Many thanks to Marty Joachim

Filed under: Books — Lilly Library @ 4:18 pm

Marty Joachim, IU Librarian Emeritus

Seen here in a photo taken in the Lilly Library Reading Room using one of his favorite reference sources is Indiana University Librarian Emeritus Marty Joachim. Since his retirement from the IU libraries at the end of 2002, Marty has given valuable service to the Lilly Library, devoting thousands of hours adding records to IUCAT (IU’s online library catalog) for the Lilly Library’s early printed books. Marty’s own academic background in Classical Studies and his knowledge of Latin and Greek made him the perfect cataloger to do this work. He estimates that at least 75% of the incunabula are in Latin. The remainder are mostly in Italian, French, German, Greek, and Spanish with an occasional work in English. Marty notes that working with the Lilly’s incunabula was endlessly fascinating. He often marveled at working with items that were unique to the Lilly Library or existed in only a few known copies. He completed the project in early June 2011. During his second retirement, Marty plans to do a lot of traveling; so far this year he has already been to Israel and Austria and will be going to China in August.

Before Marty’s stellar accomplishment, most of the Lilly Library’s holdings in books printed before 1501 were found only in the manual card catalog in the Lilly Library Reading Room, and most of these records were brief with a minimum of description and entries. Now fully cataloged records with multiple access points for all titles are available in the online catalog. Since the time these materials were originally cataloged, scholarship has added greatly to what is known about the early years of printing in Europe. Major bibliographical tools such as the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue and the Bodleian Library incunabula catalogue have been developed or published. Marty was able to benefit from the work of other scholars and incorporate new information into the bibliographic records he created. Genre headings on each record provide access by the term Incunabula, further subdivided by place and date. Try searching IUCAT for the keyword phrase Incunabula Italy Venice.

A big thank you to Marty Joachim for bringing our 15th century books out into the 21st century.

May 31, 2011

Severe storms damage trees near Lilly Library

Filed under: In the news — Lilly Library @ 3:47 pm

Broken sidewalk and fallen tree

Last week’s storms in central Indiana hit the Bloomington campus twice: Monday night (May 23) and Wednesday night (May 25). Nearly 300 trees on the campus were affected. Several were downed in the area of the Lilly Library, but fortunately there was no damage to the building. Clean up continues this week with the sound of chain saws and shredders all around.

Read about the storms in the Indiana Daily Student or read the IU News Room press release.

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May 27, 2011

Lilly Library contributes to new digital collection

Filed under: Manuscripts,Online exhibitions — Lilly Library @ 9:37 am

1860 Photo of Everyone in Town

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Monroe County Public Library and the Monroe County History Center have partnered with the Lilly Library and the Wylie House Museum to create a new, publicly accessible digital collection: At War and At Home: Monroe County Timeline 1855–1875. Many of the materials included come from the Lilly Library’s manuscripts collections, from diaries and letters to church records and meeting minutes.

At War and At Home is part of the Indiana Memory Digital Library and is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the Indiana State Library.

Learn more about the Civil War era in Bloomington and Monroe County. Click here to search the collection.

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May 18, 2011

IU Cinema explores the Lilly Library

Filed under: Film,Manuscripts — Lilly Library @ 4:23 pm

Craig Simpson, Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivist

For a recent (May 9, 2011) IU Cinema podcast entitled “Exploring The Lilly Library”, Craig Simpson, Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivist, spoke with Andy Hunsucker and Jason Thompson about some of the film manuscripts at the Lilly Library. Andy and Jason examine pieces from the Orson Welles, the John Ford, the Pauline Kael, the David Bradley, and the Willis Pyle manuscript collections with genuine relish.

Listen to the entire “Exploring the Lilly Library” podcast, or explore IU Cinema’s A Place for Film – The IU Cinema Podcast.

May 17, 2011

Donald Friedman opens Literary Sketches Exhibition at the Lilly Library May 23

Filed under: Events,Exhibitions — Lilly Library @ 5:14 pm

sketch of William Shakespeare by Lewis Carroll

Donald Friedman, author of The Writer’s Brush: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture by Writers, called “one of the most fascinating books of the year” by The London Times, will speak informally on authors and their art at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 23, 2011. Friedman’s talk celebrates the opening of the Lilly Library’s exhibition entitled “Literary Sketches: Authors as Artists,” which will include works of art by Kurt Vonnegut, Sylvia Plath, Lewis Carroll, G.K. Chesterton, Amiri Baraka, James Whitcomb Riley, Gunter Grass, Orson Welles, Henry Miller, Jean Cocteau, Federico Fellini and others.

Donald Friedman received his J.D. from Rutgers University and an L.L.M. from New York University Law School, started practicing law, married and raised two children. He also began to study fiction writing. In 2000, his novel The Hand Before the Eye won the Mid-List Press First Series Award and he was launched into a new career as a novelist.

Mr. Friedman’s book will be available for purchase at the event and is now in stock at the Friends of Art Bookshop (foabooks@indiana.edu, 812-855-1333).

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May 10, 2011

Judge a Book by its Cover May 11

Filed under: Events — Guest Blogger @ 8:57 am

Go ahead and judge a book by its cover at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts at the Lilly Library, will lead this program on how the Arts & Crafts Movement influenced books and the printed media. See examples of rare books hand-picked from the Steele’s own library. Participants are welcome to bring a few of their own from this time period to share. End the evening making a book of your own that you can take home to enjoy. The cost is $15 per person and registration is requested but not required. For more information or to register, please contact tcsteeleshs@dnr.in.gov or 812.988.2785. You can register online at www.tcsteele.org.

T.C. Steele State Historic Site is located on Hwy 46 just west of Nashville in the heart of artistic Brown County. Part of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, a division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the site is where nature’s beauty meets the artist’s canvas. The home, studio and gardens of this noted Hoosier artist still provide inspiration today through site tours, outdoor painting competitions and artist-in-residence programs. For more information, call 812.988.2785 or visit indianamuseum.org/tc_steele.

—Christine Atkinson, Arts Program Developer
T.C. Steele State Historic Site

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April 15, 2011

17th century music at the Lilly Library May 21

Filed under: Events,Music — Guest Blogger @ 2:23 pm

On Saturday, May 21 at 1:00 PM, the Friends of the Lilly Library will sponsor the concert Pastoral Dialogues: Amorous Duets from Mid–17th Century England in the Slocum Room of the Lilly Library on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. Christopher Goodbeer and friends will perform selections from Ayres and Dialogues (1653-1658) and Select Ayres and Dialogues (1659) as written by Henry Lawes, his brother William, and other mid–17th century English composers.

‘Dialogues’ refers to a music genre of conversational style duets set as solo exchanges in alternation with chorus.

Come and celebrate spring and hear the witty banter as shepherds and shepherdesses muse on the nature of a kiss, propriety in courtship, advice for the lovelorn, the misbehavior of Cupid, and their fortunate lives of Arcadian bliss.

Ensemble Performers:

Mary Roosma — Soprano
Priscilla Borges — Soprano
Thea Smith — Soprano
Jeremy Woodard — Tenor
Christopher Goodbeer — Bass
Beth Garfinkel — Harpsichord

The program was developed by Christopher Goodbeer, a recent graduate of the Jacobs School of Music and School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington.

A bound volume of four music books, originally published separately by John Playford in London from 1653 to 1659, on which this program is based, will be on display during the performance.

Light refreshments will be served.

—Jocelyn Karlan, Graduate Intern, The Lilly Library

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April 13, 2011

Celebrating the Charles C. Deam Wilderness

Filed under: Events — Lilly Library @ 11:55 am

How did a forest near Bloomington become Indiana’s only national wilderness area—the Charles C. Deam Wilderness? People made it happen, and some of them will gather at the Lilly Library on the Indiana University campus on Wednesday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. to remember how it all came about.

This event celebrates the Indiana Forest Alliance’s donation to the Lilly Library of Deam Wilderness papers collected by Claude Ferguson, supervisor of the Hoosier National Forest when the creation of the Deam began. A panel discussion consisting of those involved in the establishment of the Deam Wilderness will moderated by David Haberman, president of the board of the Indiana Forest Alliance. Participants who will share Deam Wilderness memories include Bill Hayden, Jeffrey Stant, Bill Miller, and Jeffrey St. Clair.

The files and the recollections to be shared at this session could provide inspiration and ideas for expanding the Deam Wilderness, a goal of the Indiana Forest Alliance. After the one-hour session in the Slocum Room of the Lilly Library (1200 East 7th Street), there will be a reception and an exhibit of selected items from the Deam Wilderness collection.

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Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Lilly Library

March 21, 2011

Do I call you Dash? Dashiell Hammett and his correspondence with Muriel Alexander

Filed under: Manuscripts — Craig Simpson @ 11:23 am

He: “I’m glad you finally got around to facing the problem of what you’re going to call me. Dash is all right with me, though things like darling and sweetheart have their good points too.”

She: “I feel mighty familiar using that salutation. ‘Hey, you!’ is usually my speed.”

If this sounds like snappy banter out of a hard-boiled detective novel, perhaps it should. These excerpts of correspondence, between Maltese Falcon author Dashiell Hammett and his secretary Muriel Alexander, come from the Hammett, Dashiell mss., now available to researchers.

The Hammett–Alexander correspondence consists of sixty letters exchanged over a three-year period, 1949–1952. Most were written while Hammett was in Hollywood writing a screenplay (called, appropriately, Detective Story) and Alexander remained on the East Coast tending to his finances and other affairs. Monetary and political issues are alluded to frequently in the communiqués: During this time, Hammett was accused of both tax evasion and communist proclivities; eventually, he was imprisoned (1951) and blacklisted (1953). Yet their bicoastal exchanges—he complains about the script, the rain and bad luck at the racetrack, she heralds airmail deliveries of books, clothes and cigarettes—suggest a platonic, affectionate relationship built around shared interests and mutual wit. In one letter, Alexander announces that a “very snooty voiced dame called and asked for you. I gave her the so-sorry-but-you-were-away routine. Could I help?” In another, Hammett writes, “(L)ast night I went to the studio to see a showing of SUNSET BOULEVARD…It was a stinkeroo, I thought,” adding that he overheard John Huston rave about the movie. “It’s easier for me to think John is crazy than to think I am.”

— Craig Simpson, Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivist

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February 23, 2011

IMU exhibition showcases Slocum puzzles

Filed under: Exhibitions — Guest Blogger @ 2:24 pm

Propaganda and Politics is an exhibition of puzzles from the Jerry Slocum Puzzle Collection that is currently located in the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) across from Starbucks. The puzzles in the exhibition support a cause or portray a certain ideology, thus making them more than just a neutral pastime. It is interesting to see how puzzles could be used to support candidates and causes, and puzzles from several different eras are featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: politics, propaganda, war, and wartime. The political puzzles feature different candidates running for office, as well as governmental programs and issues. The propaganda puzzles are puzzles that have an overtly biased message that they want to get across. These puzzles are usually very patriotic or nationalistic and are meant to encourage people to support a cause or mindset. Puzzles of this type have messages like “Katch the Kaiser” or “Good Luck,” but there are also puzzles that supported the German cause as well. The puzzles in the war category feature different wars and battles and are more educational in that they portray specific battles or generals in the war. For instance, people playing with the puzzles can attempt to get the allies in Berlin or help Dewey maneuver his way into Manila Bay. Lastly, the wartime puzzles are very similar to the puzzles in the war category, but these puzzles are less informative and were more useful in helping people feel like they were a part of the war effort. Included in this section are puzzles that were sent to the soldiers fighting in the trenches in World War I, as well as a “blackout” puzzle, in which the lights must be blacked out before the air raid.

This exhibition features a variety of puzzles, and it is interesting to see how puzzles could be used to support different causes and candidates. The exhibition will be on display in the IMU until March 6, 2011.

—Brenna Henry, Exhibition curator

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