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October 23, 2014

Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy

Filed under: Manuscripts — Cherry Williams @ 2:15 pm

Please visit and enjoy a new exhibition opening Friday, October 31, 2014, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville Tennessee, Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy. According to a press release by the Frist, this will be the “first exhibition dedicated to Italian Renaissance art in Nashville since 1934. The exhibition explores the role of two major religious orders in the revival of the arts in Italy during the period 1200 to 1550. It presents drawings, illuminated manuscripts, liturgical objects, paintings, prints , printed books, and sculptures drawn from American and European collections, including works of art from the Vatican Library and the Vatican museums that have never before been exhibited in the United States.”

The Lilly Library is honored to have been included in this exhibition, with three of our medieval manuscripts on display. The exhibition is on-going until January 25, 2015. For additional information please visit the Frist’s website.

Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts

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October 9, 2014

Lilly Library and Folger Shakespeare Library link provenance of manuscripts

Filed under: Manuscripts — Kristin Leaman @ 12:43 pm

Making connections with other libraries and their staff is an important and rewarding part of the work we do as librarians and teachers, especially in special collections. These relationships can lead to important discoveries that may bring more understanding to specific materials, which in turn can be shared with a larger audience through digital media.

For example, a series of emails with Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library, about the transcription of a Latin abbreviation, led to the realization that both the Lilly Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library possess related Star Chamber dinner accounts. It all began when I attended the Mellon Summer Institute in English Paleography at the Folger, taught by Heather. After many fun and fruitful weeks spent in the Folger, I then ventured back to the Lilly as a newly trained paleographer of secretary hand. In order to keep up on my training, I researched secretary hand manuscripts at the Lilly that I could transcribe. One of my findings were the Star Chamber Dinner Accounts 1591-1594, a collection of two manuscripts that list the food provided for the dinners, the cost, along with the individuals who attended. These dinners took place in the Inner Star Chamber at the end of a day’s work. Wednesday and Friday were the customary Star Chamber days; Fridays were “fishdays.” These dinners occurred during Michaelmas, Hilary, Easter, and Trinity, the four legal terms, and were provided at the public expense. The growing costs of these lavish dinners apparently concerned William Cecil, Lord Burghley, who signed off on these dinners as Lord Treasurer.*

The manuscripts are fascinating, so I took them to my desk and got straight to work. When I came across a Latin abbreviation I did not recognize, I emailed Heather for help. Her response was both helpful and surprising, as she asked if the Lilly copies of the Hilary term dinners looked similar to their copy of the Hilary term dinners from their collection, Expenses of the diet provided for the council in the Star Chamber [manuscript], 1591-1605. After a series of emails and digital images, the shared provenance was confirmed. This discovery was a happy accident, which made me even more appreciative to have been a part of Heather’s paleography class at the Folger.

For more images of the Folger Library and Lilly Library’s copies of the Star Chamber dinner accounts for the Hilary terms and for more information concerning the manuscripts, please visit Heather Wolfe’s blog post on the Collation. I am currently transcribing the Lilly copies, while the Folger will be transcribing their copies as part of their EMMO project. Please contact Kristin Leaman at kbleaman@indiana.edu for digital images of the Lilly copies, or to schedule a time to come in and see the manuscripts.

*Cora L. Scofield, “Accounts of Star Chamber Dinners, 1593-4,” The American Historical Review 5, no. 1 (1899): 83-95

Paper covers for Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1594/95, Lilly Library, Indiana University, TX360.G8 Lilly mss. (photo by Zach Downey and permission of the Lilly Library).

Paper covers for Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1594/95, Lilly Library, Indiana University, TX360.G8 Lilly mss. (photo by Zach Downey and permission of the Lilly Library).

Page from Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1594/95, Lilly Library, Indiana University, TX360.G8 Lilly mss. (photo by Zach Downey and permission of the Lilly Library).

Page from Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1594/95, Lilly Library, Indiana University, TX360.G8 Lilly mss. (photo by Zach Downey and permission of the Lilly Library).

Paper covers for Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1591/2, Folger MS V.b.105 (photo by Heather Wolfe and permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library).

Paper covers for Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1591/2, Folger MS V.b.105 (photo by Heather Wolfe and permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library).

Page from Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1591/2, Folger MS V.b. 105 (photo by Heather Wolfe and permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library).

Page from Star Chamber dinners for Hilary Term 1591/2, Folger MS V.b. 105 (photo by Heather Wolfe and permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library).

July 14, 2014

The Zener Cards of Upton and Mary Sinclair: A Story of Psychical Research

Filed under: Manuscripts — Rebecca Baumann @ 1:00 pm

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Upton Sinclair, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer perhaps better known for his novel The Jungle, a scathing critique of the meat-packing industry, was a sometime investigator of occult and mystical phenomena. In 1930, Sinclair published Mental Radio, a book that purported to demonstrate evidence of his wife Mary Craig Sinclair’s telepathic powers. The respected, and often skeptical, psychical researcher William McDougall wrote the introduction for the book’s English edition and Albert Einstein introduced the German edition.

Mary claimed to have developed telepathic abilities after the deaths of several close friends. Initially, her husband was irritated by his wife’s gifts which would manifest, inopportunely, in the middle of the night and Mary would wake him in order to recount her visions which often featured her husband doing everyday activities. Eventually, however, Sinclair decided to test his wife’s claims in a methodical manner and this investigation formed the basis of his book. Sinclair would draw whatever came to mind on a piece of scrap paper and would put each scribble on his wife’s belly. His wife, who could not see these drawings, would then reproduce or describe her impression of them.

Concerning these phenomena, Sinclair concluded: “Either there is some super-human mind or else there is something that comes from the drawings, some way of ‘seeing’ other than the way we know and use all the time.”

The Lilly Library’s archive of Upton Sinclair’s papers is comprised of over 150,000 items, including the original research notes and drawings for Mental Radio, examples of which are currently on display as part of the summer exhibition “Spiritualists, Sorcerers, and Stage Magicians: Magic and the Supernatural at the Lilly Library.”

Several items of correspondence in the Lilly’s collection add further insight into the story of Mrs. Sinclair’s alleged telepathy.  On March 18, 1935, Upton Sinclair received a letter from J.B. Rhine, founder of the parapsychology lab at Duke University.  Rhine was a psychologist who helped found the (now largely discredited) branch of science known as parapsychology, a discipline concerned with investigating paranormal and psychic phenomenon.  He was one of the scientists who published articles against the famous Boston medium Mina Crandon, known a “Margery.”  These skeptical revelations led Arthur Conan Doyle, a fervent believer in spiritualist phenomenon, to publish an article in a Boston newspaper titled “J.B. Rhine is an Ass.”  But despite his early attempts to debunk paranormal phenomenon, Rhine himself became quite caught up in his own beliefs in psychic phenomenon, particularly Extrasensory Perception (ESP).  In 1934 he published a book on the subject based on research using Duke students.  The book made him something of a celebrity, and he received letters from all over the world asking him to investigate their paranormal experiences.  The research was supported by institutions such as the Rockefeller Foundation and individuals such as Alfred P. Sloan, the CEO of General Motors.  During the mid-20th century, it genuinely appeared as though parapsychology was on its way to becoming a recognized scientific discipline.

One of Rhine’s tools in his ESP experiments was a set of cards designed by his colleague Karl Zener.  These cards had five different symbols on them: a circle, a plus sign, three wavy lines, a square, and a star.  Most people today recognize these cards from a scene in the 1984 film Ghostbusters in which the parapsychologist Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) conducts an experiment with the cards, shocking his male subject even when he guesses correctly and letting his pretty female subject pass with flying colors.  The cards were used by Rhine to test subjects for ESP.  The experimenter would look at the symbol on the card, and the test subject would then try to guess what symbol was on the card.  Any percentage higher than that of pure chance (20%) was considered significant.  Unlike the character in Ghostbusters, Rhine did not use electric shocks in any way, and his research turned up a number of test subjects with high hit rates.  Even the CIA was interested and purchased some of these cards to conduct their own tests.

Many factors can lead to high hit rates, including poor shuffling of the deck, sensory leakage (in which the subject can see the card in a reflection, see through the card, or pick up on cues from the experimenter), or outright cheating.  In short, these experiments have now been shown to have dubious scientific validity.

J.B. Rhine’s letter to Upton Sinclair asked him if he would mind testing his wife with the Zener cards.  That letter and the deck of cards is now held in the Lilly’s archive.  Sinclair responded promptly and enthused that his wife had “had one of those experiences when she was absolutely sure that he had got the correct answers.”  Without even looking at the cards, he alleged, she had been able to correctly guess the symbols.

Rebecca Baumann, Reference Associate, The Lilly Library

L. Anne Delgado, Visiting Lecturer, Department of English

 

Sources consulted:

Mock, Geoffrey.  “Synchronicity at Duke.” Duke Today.  March 23, 2009.  http://today.duke.edu/2009/03/rhine.html

“Zener ESP Cards.” The Skeptic’s Dictionaryhttp://www.skepdic.com/zener.html

 

 

 

July 10, 2014

Planting the Raintree: A Tribute to Ross Lockridge, Jr.

Filed under: Events,Manuscripts — Guest Blogger @ 12:33 pm
image of groundsmen Chuck Burleson (right) and Tony Albanese planting the raintree

IU groundsmen Chuck Burleson (right) and Tony Albanese planted the Lilly golden raintree on the morning of June 26, 2014.

Bloomington author Ross Lockridge Jr.’s 1948 book Raintree County has been touted by some contemporary critics as a candidate for that elusive goal, the Great American Novel. To honor Lockridge’s legacy, the Lilly Library has partnered with the IU Office of Landscape Architecture to plant a golden raintree at the historic Raintree House in Bloomington. The raintree was featured as part of the Lilly exhibition “Raintree County: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Ross Lockridge Jr.,” which went on display this spring in tribute to the author’s centennial.

Special thanks go to the Lockridge family for making the exhibition possible through their gift to the Lilly Library of thousands of the author’s personal belongings, including letters, mementos, unpublished writings, and a portion of the original manuscript for the famed novel. The Lockridge family has also been very generous in sharing their family story, which includes their father’s success, his suicide, and other details of his life and work.

Lockridge was familiar with raintrees through their prominent population in New Harmony, Indiana. In 1937 he wrote A Pageant of New Harmony, which was performed in the town as part of the second annual Golden Rain Tree Festival. Years later he employed the raintree as a symbol of knowledge, fertility, and life in his epic novel and appropriated its name for his title.

Native to eastern Asia, the raintree was introduced to the West in the 1700s and blooms in early summer with clusters of mildly-fragrant yellow flowers. In the fall, the leaves turn buttery yellow and the tree produces brown, papery seed capsules which somewhat resemble Chinese lanterns. The tree will be located on the west side of Raintree House, visible to visitors and passers-by.

Built in 1845, Raintree House is currently home to three young golden raintrees but was once home to one of the largest such trees in southern Indiana. In 1969 the IU Foundation purchased the property, and the Organization of American Historians moved into it the following year, occupying it ever since. Constructed from locally produced brick and virgin walnut timber, the house is designated an Indiana historic site and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Given the role and sense of history in Raintree County, the ceremonial planting at Raintree House is a fitting coda to the Lilly’s recently-concluded Ross Lockridge Jr. centennial exhibition. “For Raintree County is not the country of the perishable fact,” the author stated in the novel’s epigraph. “It is the country of the enduring fiction. The clock in the Court House Tower on page five of the Raintree County Atlas is always fixed at nine o’clock, and it is summer and the days are long.” This tree serves as a reminder of the sturdy and renewable power and beauty of literary art that emerged from the rich imagination of one Indiana writer in the middle years of the 20th century.

David Brent Johnson, Guest Blogger

Built in 1845, Raintree House is part of Indiana University and is currently home to the Organization of American Historians.  It is also now home to three golden raintrees.

Built in 1845, Raintree House is part of Indiana University and is currently home to the Organization of American Historians.  It is also now home to three golden raintrees.

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.

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

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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.

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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

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

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.

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 src=http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_cindy.jpg]00Cindy Sherman
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 src=http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_dress.jpg]00Small Dresses
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 src=http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_miniatures.jpg]00Miniatures
'Did you plan this?' one of Toronto-based artist Cybèle Young's exquisite miniatures made from Japanese paper.
[img src=http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_paper.jpg]00Sylvia's paper dolls
Some of Sylvia Plath's, 'Paper Doll Clothing,' circa 1945. Courtesy: The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
[img src=http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_pien.jpg]00Ed Pien
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 src=http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_torma.jpg]00Anna Torma
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 src=http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/blog/wp-content/flagallery/paper-doll2/thumbs/thumbs_torma2.jpg]00Anna Torma

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

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

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.

View image in collection

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.

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 17, 2011

Slocum Manuscripts Now Available for Researchers

Filed under: Manuscripts — Craig Simpson @ 10:21 am

Jerry Slocum

The Slocum mss. is a newly processed collection of more than 100 boxes of personal papers donated by American puzzle collector, author and historian Jerry Slocum. Notable materials include: individually-indexed correspondence, featuring letters from New York Times editor of crossword puzzles Will Shortz, longtime Scientific American columnist Martin Gardner, and magician/actor Ricky Jay; records pertaining to the Slocum Puzzle Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting the use of puzzles for educational purposes; transcripts from the “Rubik’s Cube Trial,” a highly publicized 1982 patent infringement suit in which Slocum was a key expert witness; and numerous drafts, page proofs, and accompanying research files for The Book of Ingenious & Diabolical Puzzles, The Tangram Book, Puzzles Old & New, and other Slocum-authored works. The 15 Puzzle Book, in which an exhaustive case is made for the actual inventor of the wildly popular 19th-century brainteaser, has a particularly impressive array of research materials.

Complementing The Lilly Library’s Jerry Slocum Collection of approximately 30,000 mechanical puzzles and 4,000 puzzle-related books, the Slocum mss reveal the breadth and depth of a lifelong pursuit.

—Craig S. Simpson, Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivist

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February 10, 2011

Sci-fi and Mystery writer/editor extraordinaire

Filed under: Manuscripts — David Frasier @ 2:10 pm

William Anthony Parker White [Anthony Boucher]

William Anthony Parker White, better known under his pseudonym Anthony Boucher, has since his death in 1968 achieved iconic status as a writer, editor, book reviewer, and critic of mystery, science fiction, and fantasy literature during the mid–1930s to late–1960s. The Mystery Writers of America three times bestowed upon Boucher its highest honor, the Edgar, in the field of criticism while the eponymous Bouchercon, an annual convention held since 1970 of writers, publishers, and fans of mystery and detective fiction, continues to ensure his immortality in the field. The White mss. in the Lilly Library contains an estimated 30,000 items ranging from Boucher’s editorial and personal correspondence with now legendary writers (Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson) to his own script work for radio (Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen), television (Kraft Suspense Theater), and print anthologies like Best Detective Stories of the Year and A Treasury of Great Science Fiction. In addition to manuscripts for many of his novels (Nine Times Nine, 1940), the collection also contains Boucher’s translations for works by Pierre Boileau, Jorge Luis Borges, and Belgian mystery writer Georges Simenon. Of special interest are the transcripts of interviews with noted science fiction writers (Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Rod Serling) conducted for a Playboy magazine panel discussion moderated by Boucher entitled, “1984 and Beyond.” The final text for the discussion was published in two parts in Playboy (July & August 1963).

A brief description for the White mss. is available at http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/html/white.html. A more detailed inventory for the collection including a partial list of correspondents, a list of writings (articles, short stories, scripts, screenplays, translations) is available in the Reading Room of the Lilly Library.

The Lilly Library also holds the Mystery Writers of America mss. Access to this largely uncataloged collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information (liblilly [at] indiana.edu).

—David K. Frasier, Reference Librarian, Lilly Library

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November 18, 2010

Researching Ann Quin at the Lilly Library

Filed under: Manuscripts — Guest Blogger @ 4:11 pm

Berg dust jacket

At Easter-time 2010 I made a research trip to the Lilly Library at Bloomington, all the way from the University of East Anglia in the U.K., to read papers contained in the Calder and Boyars manuscript collection concerning my PhD subject, the British writer Ann Quin (1936–1973).

With trembling fingers, I sat in the reading room at the Lilly and opened the first box. Quin’s surviving papers are rare, and working with the papers held at the Lilly Library was my first experience of reading and handling her papers at first hand. What I found were a collection of letters and papers that not only charted the story of Quin’s professional career, but also revealed much about her personally. These letters, between Quin and her publishers, John Calder and Marion Boyars, reveal her to have been very anxious about money, demanding, difficult, sporadic, impulsive, and seeking stability. In the letters, her tone is at times, not so much inappropriate, as overly personal, the letters mix detailed discussion of matters to do with the printing of this or that novel, or of issues surrounding what royalties are owed etc, with newsy descriptions of and responses to place, as well as revelations about personal feelings. The tone and composition of these letters expose much about her as a person, and the corresponding responses by her publishers give Quin’s comments a context that has provided me food for thought: she does not always emerge in a pleasant or professional light, and this has aided my thinking about her relationship with her work as well as the people around her. The letters are also revealing in their charting of her ongoing and increasing lack of commercial success, from the frustrations brought by the endless soliciting of the short stories by Boyars, to repeated rejections by foreign publishers.

Many of the letters confirmed what I had already suspected, but some brought unexpected and surprising things to light. Of course, the collection not only contains letters by or directly responding to Quin, but also ones about her. From these, I gleaned vital information about periods of her life when she was suffering from increasingly severe bouts of mental illness and both her fiction and letter writing ground to a halt. It was fascinating to know, for example, that her novels were requested and put forward as evidence to a Doctor treating Quin after one serious breakdown in 1970.

Working with the letters has provided my project with the depth of knowledge and understanding crucial for developing a more sensitive eye when drafting my interpretations of Quin’s fiction. I find echoes of the letters in her fiction, and this conversation between her life and work is something that my experience of visiting the archive has allowed to become an integral part of my project. I am grateful to the Lilly Library not only for providing me the opportunity of reading such papers, but also for their generous financial support of the Ernest Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship which made the trip possible.

—Nonia Williams Dodd, University of East Anglia

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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, perfoste@indiana.edu, 812-855-2452 and at the Friends of Art Bookshop, foabooks@indiana.edu, 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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