Click here to see this online

News from the UIUC Rare Book and Manuscript Library

MARCH 2013
(Best viewed online)

In This Issue:

  • Spring Exhibit: "Names Swallowed by the Cold"

  • Dag Avango, Swedish Arctic Expert, to Speak 8 April

  • Stephen Scher, Curator of the Renaissance, to Speak 13 March

  • Student Essay Contest Entries Now Being Taken

  • "Casino Royale" Exhibit and Campus Celebration Opens 12 April

  • Shakespeare's Birthday Party!


Now Open:

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 that focus 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 includes a pictorial timeline of Arctic exploration and highlights the connections with European Arctic explorers that are also represented in our collections.

Special Closing Lecture!

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 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.

Polar bear jumping

A standard-sized set of six greeting cards (see examples, above) featuring Arctic scenes from these collections is also available for $5 from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

renaissance medal

March Meeting,
No. 44 Society

"Collecting Art in the Italian Renaissance: Rome, Florence, Mantua"

A Talk by Noted Art Historian and Curator, Stephen Scher
13 March 2013 at 3 pm in RBML

Art historian and industrialist, Stephen Scher is the former chair of the Art Department, Brown University; former President and Chief Executive Officer, Scher Chemicals; specialist in late medieval art and Renaissance portrait medals, and frequent lecturer on these subjects. Scher organized the exhibition The Currency of Fame for The Frick Collection, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Gallery of Scotland, and edited and contributed to the catalogue; organized the exhibition and wrote the catalogue for The Proud Republic: Dutch Medals of the Golden Age for The Frick Collection; organized and contributed to the catalogue for the exhibition The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century for the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. He also contributed to the book Perspectives on the Renaissance Medal (American Numismatic Society, 2000), and has written numerous articles on these subjects for scholarly journals. Scher has been a guest curator at The Frick Collection and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D C), and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and is on the Visiting Committees of the Departments of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Medieval Art and the Cloisters, Paper Conservation, and Object Conservation. He helped organize and contributed to the catalogue of the exhibition Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Scher is a member the Council of The Frick Collection, chair of the Saltus Medal Committee and a lecturer for the Graduate Seminar at the American Numismatic Society as well as the founder of the Stephen K. Scher Lecture on the History of the Medal.

Essay Prize Contests:

The Harris Fletcher Award
& T.W. Baldwin Prize

To foster the use of primary sources and rare materials, The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers two prizes each year for the best research paper based on original sources from RBML. The prizes, co-sponsored by the The No. 44 Society, include separate judging and prizes for undergraduate (Fletcher Award) and graduate (Baldwin Prize) student papers. Professors in any department may nominate a student’s work. All submissions must be made by faculty (not by the students themselves).

The award for each category is $500. Entries should be emailed to Dennis Sears (dsears (at) illinois (dot) edu), The Rare Book & Manuscript Library's Public Programs Manager, 346 Library, 1408 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL 61801, MC-522. Deadline for entry: 3 May 2013.


Opening in April: Casino Royale

Casino Royale and Beyond: 60 Years of Ian Fleming's Literary Bond

12 April—12 July 2013
Curated by
Michael L. VanBlaricum

University of Illinois alum Michael L. VanBlaricum (BSEE ’72, MSEE ’74, PhD ’76), has amassed one of the finest collections 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.

Exhibits in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library will include a manuscript copy of Fleming’s earliest surviving short story, dozens of editions, translations, and even parodies of Casino Royale, and Fleming’s letter bludgeoning his friends to actually buy the book.

Also highlighted are selections from Fleming’s notable journalism career, the first editions of all the “Bond” books, original cover art for the 1955 British paperback, and a typescript manuscript of Casino Royale on loan from the Lilly Library at Indiana University.

Banker, wartime spymaster, foreign news editor, children’s author (the creator of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), and himself a bibliophile, the creator of “Bond, James Bond,” left an indelible mark on twentieth-century culture. This exhibition traces the influence of Fleming’s creation of Bond forward to our own century.

Gala Exhibition Opening Presentation

12 April 3:00–6:00 PM
Talk by Michael L. VanBlaricum
Room 66 Library, 1408 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL

Join us for a special presentation by Michael L. VanBlaricum to open the campus festivities! A reception will follow, upstairs, in Room 346, The Rare Book & Manuscript  Library.

Casino RoyaleUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Collaborative Celebration!

The Birth of Bond: Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale at 60

"The Birth of Bond" is a collaboration of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Spurlock Museum, and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, in conjunction with Illinois alumnus Mike L. VanBlaricum. Through the gathering of exciting pieces from VanBlaricum’s personal collections, connections, and resources, the University is able to display objects rarely available to the public at the same time.

Spurlock Museum

Exhibit: "Unconventional Bond: The Strange Life of Casino Royale on Film"
12 April—16 June 2013
600 S. Gregory, Urbana, IL

Unlike all the other Bond novels, which were sold to Eon Productions for filming, Casino Royale went through several producers and was made into three startlingly different films. This exhibit tells the story of these three versions, from the modest CBS-TV production in 1954, to the bizarre, psychedelic spoof of 1967, to the “canonical” 2006 Daniel Craig version, considered one of the best Bond films. The exhibit also traces the legal path that led to Never Say Never Again, a second version of Thunderball, and looks at the never-produced Bond script, Warhead. Props, scripts, posters, and an Aston Martin film car will be displayed.

James Bond Film Festival

26—28 April 2013
• Spurlock Museum
• Free Admission

This three-day celebration features both films and discussion of Ian Fleming’s iconic British Secret Service agent.  John Cork, a noted Bond film historian, will lead the discussions.  A schedule of titles, times and activities will be available on the Museum’s website:

1967 Casino Royale
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Exhibit: "The James Bond Theme: Music to Live, Die, and Love Another Day"

12 April 2013—14 March 2014
1103 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Illinois

Many film scholars have suggested that John Barry’s early Bond orchestrations established an entirely new music genre to portray the excitement and intrigue associated with the spy thrillers of the 1960s.

However, the syncopated guitar riff that begins the “James Bond” music theme that was first introduced in 1962 for Dr. No, and the rich orchestral cadence of the infamous “007” tune that was launched in From Russia with Love in 1963 have remained the two quintessential melodies associated with all of the Bond movie sequels that followed between 1964 and 2012. This exhibit explores the historical and musical roots of these two distinct movie themes, and illustrates through music, photographs, graphic art, and oral history interviews their lasting impact on the Bond movie legacy.

Jazz Band Concert: Featuring the Music of the James Bond Films

13 April 13 2013
• 7:00 PM
• Free Admission
Spurlock Museum Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory, Urbana

“Spy music,” as the lounge movement of the late 20th century would come to call it, had a cool, slinky vibe and was rooted as much in jazz and pop as in classical music.  John Barry’s early Bond orchestrations established an entirely new music genre to portray the excitement and intrigue associated with the spy thrillers of the 1960s, and many other composers, arrangers, and performers provided varied interpretations of this new movie music genre including Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, Quincy Jones, Bill Conti, Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, and Marvin Hamlisch.  This exciting concert highlights several of these innovative jazz arrangements as well as other big band works derived from the rich Bond movie music legacy.

ShakespeareDon't Forget Will Shakespeare's Birthday!

23 April at 3 pm
346 Library (RBML)

Cake & libations to anyone who can recite fourteen lines (or a sonnet) from Shakespeare!

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

Join Us on Facebook

Subscribe to RBML E-News     Unsubscribe from RBML E-News