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News from the UIUC Rare Book and Manuscript Library


In This Issue:

  • Opening 25 January : "Names Swallowed by the Cold"

  • Guy Fraker, Expert on Lincoln's Legal Career, to Speak 18 February

  • "Casino Royale" Exhibit Opens
    12 April


Opening in January:

Names Swallowed by the Cold:
Hidden Histories of Arctic Exploration
25 January—8 April 2013
Curated by Adam Doskey

Ross Expedition

This two-part exhibition of unique materials about Arctic exploration commemorates the centenary of the Crocker Land Expedition, an Arctic expedition co-sponsored by the University of Illinois, which included recent University of Illinois graduates W. Elmer Ekblaw and Maurice Tanquary.

The exhibition in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library features manuscript materials from Sir William Parry, Sir John Franklin, and Sir John Richardson, and many association copies of works by important explorers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on the Anglo-American contribution to Arctic exploration. The exhibits include items from the Palmer-Parry Collection, the Sir John Richardson Collection, the Schwatka Arctic Library, and the Mercanton Polar Library. The companion exhibition in the Library's First Floor North-South Hallway will include a pictorial timeline of Arctic exploration and will highlight the connections between the European Arctic explorers that are also represented in our collections.

The opening reception on Friday, 25 January at 3 pm will feature a lecture by Gillen Wood, Professor of English Literature at the University of Illinois. Entitled "The Icemen Cometh: Forgotten Pioneers of British Arctic Exploration," the lecture will highlight the contributions made by Bernard O’Reilly and William Scoresby Jr. to the British search for the Northwest Passage in the early nineteenth century. Dr. Wood received his Phd in 2000 from Columbia University. He is the Director of Sustainability Studies Initiative in Humanities, and the Nicholson Professor of English.

On Thursday, 7 February at 3 pm, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library will be celebrating Charles Dickens’s birthday with a staged reading of Wilkie Collins’s play, The Frozen Deep. This play was based on Sir John Franklin’s expedition to discover the Northwest Passage and was written by Collins in collaboration with Charles Dickens. Both authors acted in the original performances. The  play will be read by actors from the University of Illinois Department of Theatre, led by Thomas Mitchell.

Adam Doskey, the exhibition's curator and Project Supervisor of the Rare Book Cataloging Project  in RBML, will give a guided tour of the exhibition at the February No. 44 Society meeting, on Wednesday, 13 February 13 at 3 pm. Don't miss it!

polar bear

On 3 April at 4 pm, Mark Safstrom (Ph.D. University of Washington 2010), Lecturer of Swedish and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Illinois, will give a lecture on the literary aspects of Arctic exploration narratives.

On 8 April at 3 pm, The Rare Book & Manuscript Library welcomes Dr. Dag Avango of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) at Stockholm, who will deliver a lecture to close the Library's exhibition: "The Industrial Archaeology of Polar Exploration."

Dr. Avango studies the history of technology in the polar regions and has written about industrial archaeology on Svalbard and South Georgia Island.


Abraham Lincoln

"Lincoln's Legal Career:"
Talk and Book-signing 
3 pm 18 February 2013

RBML Welcomes Guy Fraker, Author of Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is very pleased to host Bloomington-based lawyer and Lincoln-expert, Guy Fraker for a talk about his new book. 

Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: the Eighth Judicial Circuit (Southern Illinois University Pr., 2012) traces the formation of Lincoln's political network to the obscure Springfield, Illinois attorney's work "riding" a downstate court circuit.

Copies of Fraker's book will be available for purchase and signing at the talk.

Opening in April:

Casino Royale

Casino Royale: Sixty Years of Bond
12 April—12 July 2013
Curated by Michael VanBlaricum

University of Illinois alum Michael VanBlaricum '72 ENG, MS '74 ENG, PHD '76 ENG, has amassed perhaps the finest collection of Ian Fleming material in private hands. He is also President of the Ian Fleming Foundation.

To celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Fleming's first book featuring secret agent 007, "James Bond," the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Spurlock Museum, and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music have invited VanBlaricum to curate a multi-venue exhibition.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library will display all manner of editions of Casino Royale, as well as letters, reviews, photos, and other works. The Spurlock Museum will host showings of the three film versions of the work (including the rare television show from 1954 with a blonde, American Bond), and exhibits of objects (including a Bond car!) related to the films. The Sousa Archives will concentrate on the music of Casino Royale and the Bond films, particularly the music from the 1967 film made famous by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.

Other planned events include a special concert of Bond music and a presentation by VanBlaricum on April 12. Stay tuned for further updates!

Rare Book & Manuscript Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

346 Main Library, 1408 W. Gregory Drive., Urbana, IL 61801 MC-586
217-333-3777    Ask A Curator

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