The Lilly Library posted its first online exhibition in 1997, and we have added new ones to the web site on an irregular basis. Sometimes graduate students in library science develop online exhibitions for course credit, then bring them to us for official posting. Sometimes, Lilly Library staff and student employees develop an exhibition at the request of a Curator or the Director.
In some ways the online exhibition is a creature of 1997. The current buzz in libraries is all about Google Books and creating online collections of materials scanned in their entirety. But our staff believes there is still a place for the online exhibition. We can promote specific groups of material in a way that goes beyond the cataloging records without the expense of a large digitization project. Online exhibitions are easily found in web search engines. Once researchers find the exhibition online, they can arrange a visit to the Library or contact us about ordering photocopies or more digital images.
For the past year, Denise Griggs, a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science, has worked part-time to develop new online exhibitions for the Lilly Library. This week, Daniel Defoe: The Collection of the Lilly Library debuts. It features pamphlets, books, and newspapers published by the prolific English writer, best known for his novel, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.