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October 27, 2015

Halloween Countdown: Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 4

Filed under: Books,In the news,Manuscripts — Rebecca Baumann @ 8:55 am

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 4: Cat Marionettes

lilly-library_00118Sometimes there’s a fine line between cute and creepy—a very fine line. These cat marionettes are charming, whimsical—even downright adorable (just look at those cute kitty faces!). But over the years at the Lilly Library, they have frightened more than one staff member. What seems to unnerve people in particular are their hands—their white porcelain human hands. We’ve seen many a face move from “awwww!” to “ahhhh!” as the eyes drop from the figures’ faces to their hands. It’s the juxtaposition of the realistic human hands and bodies with the cat faces that creates an uncanny effect (and the many horror movies about dolls that come to life and kill people don’t help either!). Despite their creepy vibe (or perhaps partially because of it) these cat marionettes are a great favorite among the Lilly Library staff. They were purchased in Europe by former Library Director Bill Cagle because of the objects they hold in their hands—books for one cat and manuscripts for the other—representing the major parts of the Lilly Library’s collections. Originally intended as decorations (and hanging for many years in the Curator of Manuscript’s office), they have since become part of the collections. Current staff members have affectionately named them Becky and Saundra after two of the Lilly Library’s greatest librarians of the past.





Number 3: EC Comic Books (1950s)

comics-groupThe stereotypical view of America in the 1950s comes straight out of Leave it to Beaver. But can you imagine Wally and the Beav reading these comic books?! Believe it or not, these were among the most popular and successful comic books of the early 1950s. When William Gaines (later famed as the founder of Mad magazine) inherited “Educational Comics” from his father in 1947, he changed “EC” to “Entertaining Comics” and began publishing the type of comics that soldiers who had become hooked on comic books during WWII wanted to read—crime, suspense, horror, westerns, and science fiction. EC published such notorious titles as Tales from the CryptVault of HorrorCrime SuspenStoriesShock SuspenStoriesTwo-Fisted TalesWeird Science, and Weird Fantasy. Many of these comics were sexually suggestive, graphically violent, gruesome, and gory. They also tackled contemporary issues such as racism and drug use. They usually had their own bizarre morality as well—after a rousing bloodbath, the criminal elements were usually dispatched in an equally gruesome way, showing that “crime does not pay.” These comics were popular with adults and children; the latter audience caused a moral panic that eventually went all the way to the United States Congress. Psychiatrist Frederick Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent in 1954, a book that claimed that these type of comic books were the direct cause of juvenile delinquency; he also famously claimed that Batman was “obviously” gay and that Wonder Woman was far too strong to be a “natural” woman. The ensuing public outrage caused a Congressional inquiry into comic books in which publishers such as William Gaines were asked to defend themselves.  No laws against comics were passed, but instead the comics industry chose to censor itself.  They created the Comics Code Authority in 1954 which “certified” comics as being reasonably wholesome.  William Gaines, publisher of EC, refused to join, leading to the company’s ultimate demise, as distributers would not carry non-Code comics.  The “Code” banned the words “horror,” “terror,” and “weird” from covers.  Even though these comics were killed by censorship, their influence is enormous.  Writers such as Stephen King and directors including George Romero and Steven Spielberg read these comics as children, and their colorful, cinematic, and at times almost gleeful violence had an impact on their own work.


Number 2: Weird Anatomy (1701-16)

qm21-r9_00001This engraving is found in Dutch anatomist Frederick Ruysch’s Thesaurs Anatomicus. Ruysch was a professor of anatomy at Leyden and Amsterdam, notable for his developments in anatomical preservation. The engravings in this volume are exquisitely whimsical and delicate. Infant skeletons are posed in quaint attitudes—playing a violin or weeping into a tissue—surrounded by human organs arranged in landscapes that resemble deep sea flora. Although they do not serve an educational or anatomical purpose, these fold-out engravings are not only spooky but stunningly beautiful.

Stay tuned the #1 Spooky Treasure in our countdown on October 30 and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.

Rebecca Baumann

Education and Outreach Librarian / The Vault-Keeper

October 22, 2015

Halloween Countdown: 13 Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 3

Filed under: Books,In the news,Manuscripts — Rebecca Baumann @ 11:35 am

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 7: The Muller Mouse (ca. 1945-1964)

muller_01723I bet you didn’t know that there’s a mouse in the Lilly Library. While we have never spotted any live rodents (save the flying squirrels that occasional come down the chimney), there is a mouse skin in the Lilly Library’s collections. The mouse resides among the papers of Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967) geneticist and Nobel prize laureate. Among numerous other prestigious appointments, Muller was a Research Professor in the Indiana University Department of Zoology from 1945 until his retirement in 1964. A year after his arrival at IU, Muller received the Nobel Prize for his discovery that genetic mutations can be induced by x-rays. He received many more awards and tributes over the years, including the Bossom Award, the Kimber Genetics Award, and several honorary doctorates. In his work in genetics, Muller worked with innumerable mice and fruit flies; we don’t know why this particular mouse was so special that his skin was preserved. It was kept with Muller’s papers and the material from his desk along with a genetic pedigree (seen in photo). You can learn more about Muller and his papers here.




Number 6: Momento Mori (late 15th century)

ricketts-130_00002The extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at the Lilly Library are usually described as “beautiful,” “breathtaking,” and “inspiring”–seldom as “spooky.” However, some medieval texts contain images called “Momento Mori,” a Latin phrase meaning, “Remember you will die.” These are reminders that all beauty and all things are transient and earthly life and material objects are, in the end, mere vanity. This skull wearing a belled hat (the symbol of the fool) and spitting blood is found in Ricketts 130, a late 15th-century French Book of Hours. It is not part of the intentional design but rather a doodle added by an owner or reader.






Number 5: Postmortem Photograph (19th century)

woodward_00014Postmortem photography is the practice of taking pictures of the recently deceased. While this may seem horrendously morbid today, in the 19th century, the practice helped families to remember the beloved dead and move forward in the grieving process. It was an especially common practice for infants who died in the home; these photos would be the only image and record for a family to remember a departed child. Infant mortality was high, but families still wanted to remember those who were with them even for only a short time. The photo here comes from the papers of the Woodward family of Buena Vista, Monroe County, Indiana. Learn more about the collection here.





Stay tuned the next installment of Spooky Treasures on October 27 and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.

Rebecca Baumann

Education and Outreach Librarian / She-Who-Lurks-in-the-Stacks

October 19, 2015

Halloween Countdown: 13 Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 2

Filed under: Books,In the news,Manuscripts — Rebecca Baumann @ 1:20 pm

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 10: “As a hungry Eagle was Seeking for Prey…” (ca. 1734-1745)

johnson-j_00018The Lilly Library is well known for its vast collection of children’s literature, and most of this literature is delightful, whimsical, and charming. However, our modern-day view that children should be protected against the grimmer elements of life is not one that is always reflected in items crafted for children in the past. This card—handmade on Dutch paper by a mother for her children—shows an eagle swooping down on a helpless infant. The back of the card reads:

As a hungry Eagle was / Seeking for Prey, / He spy’d a young Child in / A Cradle that lay; / The Mother was absent, / And no creature by, / So the Baby he Seiz’d, and / Flew up to the Sky: / The Child cry’d and Scream’d, / But his Tears were in vain, / For his Life, was soon ended, / And with it all pain.

While it may seem cruel to read such a rhyme to a child, this card taught two important lessons to its 18th-century audience. First, don’t leave your mother’s side, and second, the inevitable end of life brings a release from pain and suffering. Even in wealthy families, infant mortality rates were high–childbirth was a dangerous undertaking for both mother and baby. Children needed to be taught to understand and accept deaths in their families. We can also imagine that a precocious child might delight in and even laugh at this rather morbid image.

This card comes from one of the Lilly Library’s most remarkable collections, the manuscripts of Jane Johnson, which consist of teaching tools made by hand by Johnson for the basic primary and moral instruction of her four children. They offer a rare peek into the life on an 18th-century family and portray a mother’s sense of how to entertain children as well as introduce them to the discipline and pleasure of reading. Read more about the Jane Johnson collection here.

Number 9: Stereoscopic Skin Clinic (1910)

rl81-r35-1910_00001Another of the Lilly Library’s major strengths is its collection of medical books, dating back to such landmarks in the history of medicine as the second edition of Johannes de Ketham’s Fasciculus Medicinae (1493) and the first edition of Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica (1543). More recently added to our holdings is a spectacular array of dermatological books and atlases. This item from the dermatology collections was devised by entrepreneur Selden Irwin Rainforth in early 20th-century America to aid American doctor in the diagnoses of skin disease. The stereoscopic device allowed viewers to see two nearly identical photographic images in 3-D. This set, the first edition of the device, includes 132 cards, each with a listing of the disease’s symptoms and notes for treatment. Ailments include psoriasis, eczema, acne, scabies, and syphilis. This device was invaluable to doctors who, without today’s methods of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, might very well encounter a patient with an ailment that they had never seen. Certainly photography revolutionized the literature of dermatology. See all books in the Lilly Library’s dermatology collection here.


Number 8: Manuscript of “The Ash-tree” by M.R. James (before 1904)

pr6019-a6-g6_00001Our list of spooky treasures would hardly be complete without at least one truly terrifying horror story… and no one wrote terrifying horror stories better than M.R. James, English antiquarian and medieval scholar best remembered for his chilling ghost stories such as “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad,” “A Warning to the Curious,” and “The Ash-tree.” In “The Ash-tree,” Sir Richard Castringham inherits a country estate, only to discover that his ancestor condemned a woman to death as a witch, and she cursed the estate before she died. The root of the evil is in the ash tree outside his window. In one of the story’s most spine-tingling moments, Richard sees something abhorrent emerging from the tree:

“And now you would guess, so deceptive is the half-darkness, that he had several heads, round and brownish, which move back and forward, even as low as his chest. It is a horrible illusion. Is it nothing more? There! something drops off the bed with a soft plump, like a kitten, and is out of the window in a flash; another — four — and after that there is quiet again.”

You’ll have to read the story yourself to discover what these accursed things might be. The Lilly Library holds both the first edition of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), in which the story was first published, and also the manuscript draft—with corrections in James’ hand—of the story itself. The manuscript can be found in the Lilly Library’s English Literature mss.

Stay tuned the next installment of Spooky Treasures on October 22nd and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.

Rebecca Baumann

Education & Outreach Librarian / Scream Queen

October 14, 2015

Halloween Countdown: 13 Spooky Treasures of the Lilly Library, Part 1

Filed under: Books,In the news,Manuscripts — Rebecca Baumann @ 9:51 am

To celebrate Halloween, we’ll be counting down thirteen of the weirdest, creepiest, and most unusual items found in the depths of the Lilly Library’s collections. Among the most beautiful and hallowed books treasured by collectors throughout generations, we’ve accumulated some objects that also excite the dark side of our imagination… and what better time to revel in the dark, strange, and fantastic than Halloween? We’ll be posting all thirteen here on our blog, but you can also follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooky treasures.

Number 13: “Awful Murder and Mutilation of a Woman, in Whitechapel” (ca. 1875).

Believe it or not, this pamphlet is not about Jack the Ripper. The Ripper didn’t stalk the alleys of Whitechapel until 1888, fourteen years after this was published. This pamphlet describes a murder that was, in its time, as famous as those of the Ripper. Henry Wainwright was a bankrupt owner of a brushmaking business who murdered his mistress Harriet Lane. Wainwright had been living for over three years as both himself–with a wife and five children–and also as “Mr Percy King,” an alias he used for his life with his mistress who he “married” in 1871. When he lost his business and could no longer sustain his double life, he shot Harriet, dismembered her, and attempted to dissolve her body in chloride of lime.

Wainwright’s crime might never have been discovered if it weren’t for his former employee Alfred Stokes. A year after the murder, Wainwright asked Stokes to help him move some parcels from his warehouse. Stokes smelled a foul odor seeping from one of the packages, and, suspecting that Wainwright was stealing the human hair used in brushmaking, opened it. He found not hair but a human hand. He quickly covered it up and allowed Wainwright to get into his cab and leave. Stokes ran at a discreet distance behind the cab until he found a police officer willing to listen to his tale–which took several tries. When they opened the parcels, they found human remains and arrested Wainwright and his new lady companion, the dancer Alice Day. At the brushmaking warehouse, police found an open grave filled with chloride of lime, a hammer, a chopper, and a spade. They arrested Wainwright, along with his brother Thomas and mistress Alice Day as accessories. The arrest and trial filled the penny papers and scandal sheets for months. Victorians loved nothing so much as a good murder, and they followed the story with avid interest. The story had many elements that made it exciting–the double life of Wainwright and Harriet, his new mistress, the beautiful dancer Alice Day, and the dramatic nature of the crime’s discovery, including Alfred Stokes’ heroic jog after a murderer in a cab. This pamphlet from the Lilly Library’s collection is a rare relic of that time… though perhaps we are not so different today in our interest in morbid scandals and hidden crimes. Henry Wainwright was sentenced to death and hanged on December 21, 1875.

This pamphlet–which tells the whole story of Wainwright’s crime, trial, and death–can be found in the Lilly Library’s London Lowlife Collection. See the inventory here: or see the digitized collection here: (IU affliated users only).

Number 12: Theodore Dreiser’s death mask (1945)




There’s no question that death masks are creepy–they are wax or plaster casts of a person’s face made after they are deceased. The practice dates back to the middle ages and continued into the 20th century. Death masks served many purposes; in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were used to record the features of unknown corpses for later identification. More commonly, they were used as the basis for portraits or simply as a reminder of a beloved friend or relative.

The Lilly Library has several death masks in its collections, including Frederick Tennyson (Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s brother) and Clifford Odets. We also have a life mask (made while the subject is still living) of Abraham Lincoln. We chose to feature Dreiser because of his gloomy visage and reputation in life for being a rather nasty fellow. Along with the mask, the Lilly Library holds manuscript drafts of Dreiser’s Dawn: An Autobiography of Early Youth, a memoir of his difficult childhood and adolescence in Indiana, written from 1912-1915 but ultimately suppressed by the author, who came to have misgivings about the blunt quality of the work, especially his own depiction of teen sexuality. Learn more about the Dreiser papers here:


Number 11: Photograph of Lizzie Borden (ca. 1889)

pearson-ii_00002Perhaps you’ve heard this charming rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an ax / And gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done, /She gave her father forty-one.

Most of us have heard the story of Lizzie Borden at one time or another–it is one of America’s most famous unsolved murder cases. In 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Andrew and Abby Borden–the father and stepmother of 32-year-old Lizzie–were brutally murdered. Actually, Abby was given 19 “whacks” and Andrew 11–one of which split his eyeball clean in half. Lizzie was acquitted after a huge public trial, the circumstantial evidence (a burned dress and hatchet) dismissed. Ever since then, people have wondered if Lizzie really did it. This photograph of Lizzie comes from the papers of Edmund Lester Pearson, a librarian who wrote several volumes of true crime in the early 20th century. He was fascinated by the Bordon case and collected this photograph, along with a letter, of Lizzie. The photo was taken around 1889, several years before the murder. Learn about Pearson’s papers here: or his books here:

Stay tuned the next installment of Spooky Treasures on October 19th and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IULillyLibrary to see more images of these spooktacular items.



Rebecca Baumann

Education and Outreach Librarian / Resident Ghoul

September 30, 2015

Celebrating Banned Books Week

Filed under: Books,In the news — Guest Blogger @ 1:40 pm

rg136-k73-1833_00002Banned Books Week 2015 (September 27–October 3) is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) to “promote awareness of challenges to library materials and celebrate freedom of speech.”

ALA promotes your freedom to choose any material to read as well as the freedom for authors to express their opinions even if that opinion might be considered unpopular.

Libraries and schools around the country face attempts to remove or restrict materials, based on the objections of a group or sometimes a single person; this attempt to restrict is considered a challenge. Materials that are removed from reading lists and bookshelves are considered banned.

“Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.” (ALA website)

Books have been subject to censorship for centuries, and the Lilly Library has many books that were considered sensational, scandalous, or vulgar at some point in history.

One such controversial book is The Fruits of Philosophy, or the Private Companion of Young Married People by Charles Knowlton. It is a miniature book published in 1832 about birth control. The text contained a summary of what was then known on conception, listed a number of methods to treat infertility and impotence, and explained birth control in plain language and without moral judgements. The monograph was printed small–81 millimeters to be exact–so that it could easily be hidden by the patients to whom Dr. Knowlton gave it.

Knowlton was prosecuted, fined, and later (after a second edition was more widely circulated) imprisoned for three months hard labor for publishing the book. In the UK, social reformers Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant were also prosecuted for publishing and distributing the book. The publicity from these trials only increased the popularity of the little volume, and it is credited by scholars for popularizing contraception in Great Britain and America.

The Lilly Library’s copy of The Fruits of Philosophy comes from the library of miniature book collector Ruth Adomeit, whose over 16,000 tiny volumes are now housed among the Lilly Library’s collections. The case in which she stored it is wrapped with baby-themed wrapping paper—a somewhat cheeky housing for a book that once sent men and women to prison.

Modern books are still being challenged. The Lilly Library has copies of these controversial titles–and many more:

  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    • Considered “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and just plain filthy.”
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    • “Lord” and “Oh Lord” used as expletive
  • To Kill a Mockingbrid by Harper Lee
    • Portrays racial inequality, rape, has objectionable language
  • Adventures of Huckelberry Finn by Mark Twain
    • Racially offensive, uses “coarse” vernacular language
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    • Portrays alcohol/cigarettes, has sexual content, uses vulgar language
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    • Portrays magic and witchcraft

For more information about Banned Books Week visit

Kelsey Emmons
Graduate Student in Library Science; Lilly Library Public Services Intern

September 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, Bilbo Baggins!

Filed under: Books,Exhibitions — Guest Blogger @ 8:03 am

September 22nd is Hobbit Day! Hobbit Day, first proclaimed by the American Tolkien Society in 1978, marks the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, characters from J. R. R. Tolkien’s books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In Tolkien’s lore, Bilbo was born in the year 2890 and Frodo in the year 2968 of the Third Age.

When did “hobbit” become a word? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, in 1710 “hobbit” was a variant spelling of the word “howitz” or “howitzer,” which was a piece of artillery. The first instance of the word “hobbit” meaning creature appeared in an English folklorist’s collection of pamphlets called the “Denham Tracts: A Classified Catalogue of Antiquarian Tomes, Tracts, and Trifles.” The pamphlet containing “hobbit”  was printed in 1853 and is titled: “To all and singular The Ghosts, Hobgoblins, and Phantasms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, these brief pages are fearlessly inscribed, in utter defiance of their power and influence, by their very humble servante to com’aund, M. A. D.” Some scholars theorize that hobbit could be a derivative of the word hobgoblin. Tolkien certainly would have had access to this pamphlet at Oxford University. In Middle-Earth, however, hobbits are hole-dwelling, easy-going people who are shorter than men, have hairier feet, and are the only species in Middle Earth humble enough for the wizard Gandalf to entrust with the task of carrying the One Ring to its annihilation.

Tolkien first published The Hobbit, or There and Back Again in England on September 21, 1937. The first edition has light green covers stamped in dark blue. Smaug, the dragon of the fantasy novel, can be seen lurking in the cover’s corners. Tolkien, a philologist and creator of languages, actually wrote the runic inscription around the edges of the dustjacket. Translated it reads: “The Hobbit or There and Back Again being the record of a year’s journey made by Bilbo Baggins of Hobbiton compiled from his memoirs by J. R. R. Tolkien and published by George Allen and Unwin Ltd.”

The Lilly Library’s first edition of The Hobbit can be seen until September 26th in the Main Gallery as part of the “One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature” exhibition. Hurry! You only have a few days left!

“howitz, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 16 September 2015.
“hobbit, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 16 September 2015.
Gilliver, Peter, and Jeremy Marshall. The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.
Hammond, Wayne G., and Douglas A. Anderson. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography. Winchester, UK: St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 1993. Print.


Kelsey Emmons

Graduate Student in Library Science and Lilly Library Public Services Intern


June 25, 2015

New Exhibition: Death by Gimmick!!! The Weird Side of Detective Fiction

Filed under: Books,Exhibitions — Rebecca Baumann @ 9:43 am


On display in the Lincoln Room this summer is a new exhibition, “Death By Gimmick!!! The Weird Side of Detective Fiction.”

Detective fiction by its very nature abounds with (or, some may argue, is plagued by) gimmicks. From the locked room to the twist ending to the eccentric detective, all aspects of this genre–plot, setting, and character—hinge on tricks, ploys, and clever strategies designed to fool, confound, frustrate, charm, and enchant devoted readers who are always looking for increasingly ingenious ways of thwarting their expectations.

Some authors, however, have gone beyond the normal shenanigans of the genre to create gimmicks that push their fiction into the territory of the bizarre. This summer, the Lilly Library pays tribute to some of the genre’s odder authors and also to the publishing houses that deployed truly ingenious marketing strategies to make their detective fiction all the more puzzling and appealing to readers for whom tricks are true treats.

Case #1 present a gamut of gimmicks, including Edgar Wallace’s 1905 novel The Four Just Men, which Wallace published without a solution and offered a huge prize (£250) to the reader with the correct solution; unfortunately, he forgot to specify that only one reader would win the prize, leaving many would-be sleuths disappointed. Also included are Dennis Wheatley’s innovative “Crime Dossiers,” in which the reader is presented with all of the evidence that a team of investigating detectives would need to solve a crime. Print material includes cablegrams, transcripts of interviews, handwritten letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Also included are bits of physical evidence: hair, cigarette butts, a fragment of a bloodstained curtain, and “poison” pills. After carefully considering all the clues, the reader is invited to tear open the sealed solution to see if he or she has solved the case.

Case #2 celebrates the work of Harry Stephen Keeler, the strangest writer of detective fiction ever to have lived. He created a gimmicky writing style that is almost unique in literature that he dubbed the “webwork plot.” He takes different “strands” (characters, objects, and events) that have nothing to do with each other and weaves them into a web of outrageous coincidences and odd events that end in a surprising and utterly implausible denouement. Keeler was born and raised in Chicago, and most of his novels are set there. His version of Chicago, “the London of the West,” is brimming with eccentrics, freaks, murderers, madmen, and thieves. Within the pages of his books readers can meet such characters as Luke McKraken (a yeggman, or safecracker), Sophie Kratzenschneiderwümpel (a husband-baiting temptress), Legga the Human Spider, Simon Grundt (the mentally handicapped janitor-turned-detective), Wah Hung Fung (Chinese mafia boss and rare book collector), André Marceau (known midget-hater), and Screamo the Clown (a dead clown).

Cases #3 and 4 display some of the gimmicks that paperback publishers of the 1930s and 40s used to make books more appealing to consumers. These cases show off Ace Doubles and Dell Mapbacks newly-acquired by the Lilly Library. Ace Doubles offer the readers two novels in one; read one (such as Weep for a Wanton), flip it over and read another (such as Dally with a Deadly Doll). Dell Mapbacks featured a map of a key location from the story on the back cover—the scene of the crime, an English Manor, or a small town with a terrible secret.

Most fans of detective fiction are drawn to the genre for a peculiarly paradoxical pleasure. On the one hand, the detective story is very familiar—the format, rules, character types, and plot points have changed little since the days of Sherlock Holmes; however, the mystery reader is always also craving something new, different, and strange. This exhibition showcases authors and publishers who successful captured the fleeting tension between familiarity and innovation that makes gimmicky detective fiction so much fun.

Curated by Rebecca Baumann, Education & Outreach Librarian


May 5, 2015

Christoph Irmscher on recovering Birds of America printer

Filed under: Books,Events — Lilly Library @ 3:06 pm

Audubon volume IV-402On the occasion of the first Rare Book School course to be taught at Indiana University, the Lilly Library invites you to a public lecture by IU Provost Professor Christoph Irmscher.

“Recovering Havell: A New Look at Birds of America

While we are used to referring to the magnificent Birds of America (1827-1838) as Audubon’s work, it is really also that of his printer, Robert Havell, Jr. His contribution to the finished product has been marginalized by generations of devoted Audubon admirers. This talk is a first attempt to recover Havell’s impact on individual plates (which ranged from supplying backgrounds to adding in entire specimens) as well as on the work as a whole. One underlying theme of these reflections will be the extent to which an Englishman who had never seen the United States shaped a work usually defined as quintessentially “American.”

Audubon scholar and IU Professor Christoph Irmscher will speak in the Lilly Library Slocum Room at 5:30 pm on May 12. A reception will follow the talk.

A Rare Book School Lecture sponsored by the Friends of the Lilly Library.

December 22, 2014

Songs fit for the son of a Prime Minister

Filed under: Books,Music,New acquisitions — Kristin Leaman @ 5:20 pm

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

Front cover of Universal Harmony, 1745.

Front cover of Universal Harmony, 1745.

Engraved title page.

Engraved title page.

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

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

Plate 49 The Hunting Song in Apollo and Daphne.

Plate 49 The Hunting Song in Apollo and Daphne.

Plate 61 Old Chiron’s Advice to Achilles.

Plate 61 Old Chiron’s Advice to Achilles.

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

Plate 9 The Power of Musick and Beauty.

Plate 9 The Power of Musick and Beauty.

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

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

Photography by Zach Downey.

August 29, 2014

Calendrier Magique Featured on Slate Vault

Filed under: Books,In the news — Rebecca Baumann @ 1:36 pm

bf1532-c76_00034The Lilly Library’s copy of a rare 19th-century Parisian occult calendar is featured today on’s history blog, The Vault. The book, with text by Austin de Croze and colored lithographs by Manuel Orazi, was produced in a limited run of 777 copies (777 being considered a sacred number in occultist practice). The Lilly’s copy is one of an unknown number of even rarer presentation copies, with numerous manuscript annotations and an inscription from the author.  The beautiful and darkly ornate imagery recalls the vogue of Satanism amid the decadence of fin de siècle Paris.

You can view the full Slate article here:

The calendar will be on display in the Lilly’s summer exhibition through August 30th, after which it can be viewed in its full glory in the Lilly Library’s Reading Room.

July 23, 2014

Fantastic Fairy Tales: From the Archives to the Classroom

Filed under: Books,Programs and Services — Rebecca Baumann @ 9:19 am
An early 19th-century chapbook of Cinderella with hand-colored engraved illustrations.  Students were particularly interested in the ways that illustrations of Cinderella reflected changing fashions and standards of female beauty over time.

An early 19th-century chapbook of Cinderella with hand-colored engraved illustrations. Students were particularly interested in the ways that illustrations of Cinderella reflected changing fashions and standards of female beauty over time.

The Lilly Library Public Services Department conducts over 200 class sessions a year for diverse audiences, from elementary school children to retirees. Many class sessions for IU undergraduates focus on introducing students to primary sources and archival research. This summer, Laura Clapper, an Associate Instructor and PhD candidate in the Department of English, brought the students from her Introduction to Fiction class for a session to compare different versions of classic fairy tales.

Students had a class session at the library in which they learned about the history of publishing children’s literature and examined historical examples from the 18th through 20th centuries of the stories “Cinderella,” “Bluebeard,” and “Jack the Giant Killer.”  Students noted differences as the stories were published over time.  They examined not only changes in the plot and moral of the story but also differences in illustrations and the physical attributes of the books themselves, taking into consideration how the stories might be presented and marketed for different historical audiences.

After examining these fairy tales in the Lilly’s Reading Room, students completed projects in which they imagined themselves as library curators and created exhibitions for adults and children based on their research and presented them to their peers in class.  Creative responses ranged from colorful posters to an interactive digital walkthrough, and students made insightful deductions about how and why these tales have changed over time.

If you would like to schedule a class session at the Lilly Library, please fill out our online form ( or contact the Public Services Department at or 812-855-2452.

Rebecca Baumann, Reference Associate

In this 1954 comic book retelling, Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters are vampires.  Cinderella steals a magic book and helps herself rather than relying on a fairy godmother.  Students thought that the shocking twist ending (spoiler alert: the prince is a vampire too!) was to die for.

In this 1954 comic book retelling, Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters are vampires. Cinderella steals a magic book and helps herself rather than relying on a fairy godmother. Students thought that the shocking twist ending (spoiler alert: the prince is a vampire too!) was to die for.

May 6, 2014

The Little Prince home from Morgan Library exhibition

Filed under: Books — Lilly Library @ 12:16 pm

You may have seen some of the great press that the Morgan Library and Museum received for its exhibition The Little Prince: A New York Story. We at the Lilly Library were delighted to see the Lilly’s contribution to the exhibition highlighted in an interview with Curator Christine Nelson in the Morgan newsletter, pictured below.

The script Orson Welles wrote for the never-produced film version of The Little Prince is now back home at the Lilly Library. If you are interested in seeing the script for yourself, stop by the Lilly Library. It just takes a few minutes to register. Then ask to see Welles mss., Box 20, folders 23-27.


April 28, 2014

Lilly Library Catches that Catch Can from 1652

Filed under: Books — Kristin Leaman @ 3:40 pm

The Lilly Library recently acquired a lovely English book of music titled Catch that Catch Can, or A Choice Collection of Catches, Rovnds, & Canons for 3 or 4 Voyces. Printed in London by John Hilton for John Benson and John Playford in 1652, the book remains in its original, speckled calf, oblong boards. There are 144 songs by several composers, including William Lawes, Henry Lawes, and John Hilton. Catches appear as early as 1580 in English manuscript, while catches and rounds first appeared in print in 1609 with a collection published in London by Thomas Ravenscroft. Hilton’s Catch that Catch Can is considered an important later collection (Grove).

Catches are humorous songs that were usually written for three or four voices; drinking and women dominate as the main subjects of the lyrics. This is demonstrated in the lyrics by William Lawes on page 37 of Hilton’s book: “Let’s cast away care, and merrily sing, there is a time for every thing: he that / plays at his work, or works in his play neither keep working, nor yet Holy – day: / set businesse aside, and let us be merry, and drown our dry thoughts in Canary and Sherry.” Rounds were also particularly popular in late 16th and 17th century England among men for “convivial social gatherings.” While the social class of men who sang catches and rounds has not been determined, it is thought that their popularity “spread to lower social groups during the reign of James I” (Grove).

– Day, Cyrus Lawrence and Eleanore Boswell Murrie. English Song-Books 1651-1702, A Bibliography. London: Printed for the Bibliographical Society at the University Press, Oxford, 1940.
– The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2rd ed. Ed. Stanley Sadie. Vol. V. New York: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2001, 2002. Print.

Images: (1) The engraved title page. (2) Tenor and bass parts of Now we are met lets merry, merry bee by Mr. Symon Ives (p 95).



Photography by: Zachary Downey

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.

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 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.

December 16, 2010

Lilly Library Director Breon Mitchell Earns MLA Prize

Filed under: Books,In the news — Lilly Library @ 2:53 pm

Breon Mitchell

Indiana University Professor of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature and Lilly Library Director Breon Mitchell recently received the 2010 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for an Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work from the Modern Language Association of America for his 2009 translation of Günter Grass’ 1959 novel Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum).

Read the official IU News Room press release.

A video clip from a discussion between Mitchell and Grass is available on YouTube.

Photo courtesy of Indiana University

October 6, 2010

Lilly Library announces publication

Filed under: Books,Exhibitions,Illustration,In the news,Manuscripts — Lilly Library @ 4:44 pm

Gilding the Lilly book coverThe Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington is very pleased to announce the arrival of its latest publication: Gilding the Lilly, A Hundred Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts in the Lilly Library, written by Christopher de Hamel, Donnelley Fellow Librarian, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Fully illustrated, the book showcases a selection of a hundred items, described chronologically by Dr. de Hamel.

The Lilly Library manuscripts tell the unfolding story of European book production, art, language and literature, over more than a thousand years from the seventh century to the high Renaissance. The result is a graphic and engaging narrative of the survival and dissemination of culture in the pre-industrial world. Many of the manuscripts are described here for the first time, and they include items of extreme rarity and delicate beauty. The title, Gilding the Lilly, refers both to the burnished gold illumination used in many of these manuscripts and to the golden jubilee of the Lilly Library itself, founded in 1960.

The book is available for purchase at the Lilly Library by contacting Penny Ramon,, 812-855-2452 and at the Friends of Art Bookshop,, 812-855-1333.  The perfect bound soft cover edition is $50.00; the Smyth Sewn hard cover edition is $100.00; the limited edition, of one hundred signed and slip cased hard cover copies, is $175.00.

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September 17, 2010

Warm impressions of the Lilly Library

Filed under: Books — Virginia Dearborn @ 1:38 pm

Alexander McCall Smith, best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series (among others) mentions the Lilly Library with his usual warmth and gentleness on page 156 of his 2009 Isabel Dalhousie novel The Lost Art of Gratitude London: Little, Brown, 2009, in Isabel’s voice:

“‘And there’s to be a major conference to mark each new volume.  Bloomington, Indiana. Tel Aviv. Helsinki. Siena. Sydney.
She watched him.  He was quite still. ‘Starting off in Bloomington,’ she went on. ‘Have you been there, Professor Lettuce?’ Lettuce shook his head. He had coloured slightly, she noticed.
‘I had a wonderful visit there,’ Isabel said. ‘A few years ago—in the spring.  The blossom was out and it was just perfect. I was very well looked after.  They took me to the Lilly Library.  They have the most remarkable collection there—literary papers from all sorts of people, all neatly boxed away.  And an astonishing collection of miniature books. Tiny ones. Smaller than that plum tomato you’re trying to eat. You should impale it on your fork, you know.'”

McCall Smith visited Bloomington in April 2009 to give a public talk in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Whittenberger Auditorium as a guest of the College Arts and Humanities Institute at Indiana University.

Special collections in the Lilly Library — including the miniature books and works by Alexander McCall Smith — may be requested for use in the library’s reading room during operating hours.

June 3, 2010

Robert Klein Collection of Comics

Filed under: Books,web site — Whitney Buccicone @ 12:04 pm

Shadow comic_small

A new database has been added to the Lilly Library’s comic book page. The Robert Klein Collection is the Lilly Library’s newest collection of comic books. Ranging from the 1970s forward, the collection spans the independent and international sides of the comic book world. An intriguing gem is an Arabic comic of Superman as well as several Japanese comics. The collection focuses on independent publishers and provides an interesting frame of reference for those interested in a non–mainstream view of the comic book community.

For more information, please see our page on the Klein comic book collection.

—Whitney Buccicone, Literature Cataloger

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