Indiana University

“The collection on display right now is phenomenal: it's like walking past a history of rare books, all laid out in cases to be seen,” said Alisa Beer, School of Library and Information Sciences student, 2nd to the left. “The books displayed, from Albrecht Durer's Apocalypse to the First Folio to Kurt Vonnegut's manuscripts, are all items that any library would be proud to own: having them all on display at once is an incredible experience for the visitor.”

William Shakespeare's First Folio

Addtional photos of the Lilly's Open house and items on display

Check out upcoming exhibits at the Lilly Library

Treasures of the Lilly Library

Celebrating Fifty Years

The Lilly Library for rare books and manuscripts showcased some of the most valuable items in its collection during a spring exhibition, Treasures of the Lilly Library, to commemorate the library’s 50th anniversary.  Narrowing a collection of more than 400,000 books, 100,000 pieces of sheet music, and 2,700 named manuscript collections was no easy feat for librarians and curators. The Lilly Library kicked off their 50th anniversary with an Open House to invite the public to view this rich collection.

"We’ve assembled the best of the best," said Breon Mitchell, director of the Lilly Library. "The items on display are not only rare and intriguing, they are also cultural touchstones—pivotal works of literature, history, and our shared culture."

A few of the memorable treasures included:

  • William Shakespeare's First Folio
  • George Washington's letter accepting the presidency
  • Albrecht Dürer's Apocalypse
  • The first edition of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, printed in the 1470s
  • The Gutenberg Bible
  • The first edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • George Washington’s letter accepting the presidency
  • Manuscripts of Ezra Pound, Orson Welles, Sylvia Plath, and more

The Lilly Library will present an exhibition entitled, Of Cabbages and Kings: Unexpected Treasures of the Lilly Library from May 24 – September 4, 2010.  The exhibition will feature uncommon and unexpected books, manuscripts and other items from the collection.  Some items that will be featured are, A Catalogue of the Different Specimens of Cloth Collected in the Three Voyages of Captain Cook, Rita Hayworth’s makeup case, the earliest known manuscript of Auld Lang Syne autographed by Robert Burns, and more.