Click here to see this online

News from the UIUC Rare Book and Manuscript Library

MAY 2013
(Best viewed online)

In This Issue:

  • "Casino Royale" Exhibit Open Through July 12

  • $500 Essay Contest Entry Period Closes  May 13

  • Library Receives Gift of Sandburg Portraits

  • No. 44 Society "Thieves of Book Row" Talk May 8

  • Bloomsday Celebration is June 16

  • Remembering Proust's "Swann" is 100

Current Exhibition:
Casino Royale

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

12 April to 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 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.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Collaborative Celebration!

Casino RoyaleThe 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. Please visit the "Birth of Bond" website for complete information on all events and exhibitions.

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.

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.

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: 13 May 2013.


RBML Receives Gift of Sandburg Portraiture

carl sandburg

When Kathlin Smith, daughter of the artist William A. Smith (1918-1989), read in the news about the recent RBML discovery of an unpublished poem by Carl Sandburg (“Revolver”), she called to ask if we might want some old files from her father.

William A. Smith was not only the artist who painted Sandburg’s portrait for the National Portrait Gallery, but also a close friend of the poet. We accepted the generous donation, of course, and received an interesting packet of letters, clippings, and programs, including a note in which Sandburg expressed some disdain for fellow author Sinclair Lewis!

About a month later, Ms. Smith called again to say that she had found three sketches by her father—two of Sandburg and one of Sandburg’s study in North Carolina. These, too, have now been donated to RBML.

The charcoal and pencil sketches are a wonderful, intimate view of the poet and his workplace.

“Bill” Smith served as President of the American Watercolor Society and President of the American delegation to the International Association of Art. His work won a variety of awards including the Winslow Homer Memorial Prize, the Postal Commemorative Society Prize and the American Watercolor Society's Gold, Silver, Bronze and Stuart prizes. His paintings hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the James Michener Art Museum in Texas.

We are so grateful to Ms. Smith for adding these important Sandburg papers and artwork to the Sandburg Archives at the University of Illinois.


May Meeting

No. 44 Society

Wednesday 8 May 2013
3:00 p.m.
to 5:00 p.m.
RBML (346 Library)

In the early afternoon of January 10th, 1931, an itinerant man from Pinetown, North Carolina, shivering in the New York winter, walked up the long steps of the Fifth Avenue entrance to the New York Public Library. It was a trip he’d made a dozen times in as many days and his plan was the same: get warm, then request from the library’s rare book collection a few of its treasures.

But unlike his earlier visits, these books wouldn’t be returning to the stacks.

Join us Wednesday, May 8 at 3 p.m. in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library for the full story of brazen book thievery in Depression Era New York City as told by University of Illinois Law Library's Curator of Rare Law Books, Travis McDade. McDade’s second work of nonfiction, Thieves of Book Row (Oxford University Press, May 2013), recounts a time when east coast libraries suffered from organized looting.

However, the New York Public Library theft, and its subsequent investigation, brought down an entire gang.

Hot-off-the-press copies of McDade's book will be available for purchase at the talk. All are welcome!


Bloomsday Celebration!


16 June from 4-6 pm
Mike 'n Molly's
105 N Market St. Champaign

Bloomsday is an annual celebration of James Joyce and his legendary work, Ulysses. We will have music, poetry, readings from Joyce, Guinness, and more! Please come join us for our annual celebration hosted by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

If you would like to read some of your favorite Joyce or participate in some other way, please contact Marten Stromberg at


marcel proust

Upcoming Summer Exhibition!

"Swann is 100"

Join us July 19 as RBML opens an exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Marcel Proust's Du Côté de Chez Swann (Swann's Way,) the first volume in his magisterial;
À la recherche du temps perdu, (1913-1927.)

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