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News from the UIUC Rare Book and Manuscript Library

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In This Issue:

  • "Life on the Moon" exhibition now open through December 13

  • Rare Book & Manuscript Library Acquires Gwendolyn Brooks Archive

  • "See You on the Moon" events all semester long

  • Curatorial Intern from Germany Spends Summer Vacation at RBML

  • Essay contests
    for Fall Semester

  • Graham Arader No. 44 Society talk, September 11

  • Christian Dupont No. 44 Society talk, October 9

  • Soybean Press now has Facebook page

Current Exhibition:

Life on the Moon:
Scientific and Literary Speculations

30 August —
13 December 2013

Curated by
Marten Stromberg and
Patrick Fadely

moon and earth

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is collaborating with several local sponsors to offer an exhibition and moon-themed series of events this fall.

The exhibition, Life on the Moon: Literary and Scientific Reflections, highlights the history of scientific and literary speculation about life on the moon. It includes books from the rare book collection at Illinois tracing the history of lunar speculation all the way back to Roman times. Also on display are three artifacts from the Apollo 16 mission, including a moon rock on loan from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), and two artifacts from Kennesaw State University.

Curators Patrick Fadely and Marten Stromberg have also produced a catalog for the exhibition and will give a tour of the exhibition on November 13 at 3:00 p.m. at The No. 44 Society meeting. All are welcome!

"See You on the Moon:"
The Event Series!

The event series, "See You on the Moon," accompanies the "Life on the Moon" exhibition in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library. These events are sponsored by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), the Center for Advanced Study, the Station Theatre, the Parkland Planetarium, the Asian-American Cultural Center, the Astronomy Department, the U of I Concert Jazz Band, the Pygmalion Music Festival, Orchard Downs, the Japan House, the Art Theatre, the Art + Design Department, the Independent Media Center, and the Iron Post in Urbana.

Wolf, a roving play at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
September 12-16, 5:30 pm

Moon Festival, at Orchard Downs and the Japan House
September 19, (time to be announced)

Art Exhibition at the Independent Media Center
September 27, (A Pygmalion Music Festival event)

A Dark Night at the Theatre, at the Station Theatre, Urbana
October 15, 7 pm

Exhibition Tour, at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library
November 13, 3-5 pm

Myths by Moonlight, at the Staerkel Planetarium, Parkland College, Champaign
November 15, 7 pm, $4

Moon Viewing, at the University of Illinois Observatory,
November 19, (time to be announced)

Moon Music by the U of I Concert Jazz Band, at the Iron Post, Urbana
November 20, 7 pm

For more information on these events go to:

 Anne Liewert

Curator Notes:

RBML Helps Train Library Student from Germany

For three weeks this summer, RBML hosted (and put to work!) Library Science student Anne Liewert as part of our Curatorial Internship program that provides hands-on apprenticeship experiences for future special collections librarians. Anne is a postgraduate library student for Academic Library and Information Science in residency at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbuettel.

Somewhat differently from American practices, academic librarians in Germany enter a two-year residency program after their graduate work. Anne studied Classics and Protestant Theology at the University of Kiel, graduating in 2009. She then continued her studies and received her PhD in Classics, writing her thesis on ancient medicine. At RBML, she expanded her knowledge of academic and research libraries and gained insight into the organization and processes of foreign libraries. She worked with catalogers, helped with reference and observed public services, attended policy and planning meetings, assisted with public events, and generally got to know our operations. We have also made good use of her linguistic and manuscript studies skills, having asked her to describe fourteen important Byzantine manuscripts in the collection. A win-win experience in every way. Thank you, Anne!

   —Valerie Hotchkiss

New Soybean Press
Facebook Page!

Check it out for announcements and pics of Soybean events:!


Gwendolyn Brooks, Courtesy of Miami-Dade College

Major New Acquisition!

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library Acquires Gwendolyn Brooks Archive

We are thrilled to announce that the extensive literary archives of Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), Illinois Poet Laureate and the first African American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize, are now part of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

We acquired the material from Brooks’ daughter and it spans more than six decades, including some of Brooks’s earliest surviving poetry and prose written when she was a teenager, as well as early scrapbooks and clippings of pieces she published as a young woman in The Chicago Defender. Her papers range from details of menus and shopping to observations of daily life and current events and turns of phrase that were often later incorporated into her poetry. Brooks was good about keeping drafts and notes for her outgoing letters alongside the letters she received and her regular correspondents include a significant roster of mid-century American writers and poets.

To have the papers of Gwendolyn Brooks, a compelling voice in American poetry, will help us better understand her poetry, its influences, and the times in which she lived. We will encourage the use of these archives, just as we encourage the use of all the primary sources we care for—both on the university level and in primary and secondary schools in our region so that students can see the author’s hand and to get insight into her creativity through her papers.

Fall Semester 2013
Essay Contests:

The Harris Fletcher Award and
The 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 sponsors two prize competitions each Fall Semester 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: 10 January 2014. Winners will be announced at the 12 February 2014 No. 44 Society meeting.

Next No. 44 Society Talk
11 September at 3:00 p.m. in RBML

Gallery Owner Graham Arader:
"On Acquiring Primary Source Material"
Announcement of 2012-13 Essay Contest Winners

W. Graham Arader III is owner of Arader Galleries, which deals in prints, rare books, art, furniture, and rare maps and globes. Since establishing the business in 1974, he has become well-known for innovative approaches to buying and selling, and particularly for raising the profile of map collecting.

At the meeting, The No. 44 Society will also announce the winners of the Baldwin and Fletcher Essay contests from 2012-13.

All are welcome!

October's No. 44 Society Talk
9 October at 3:00 p.m. in RBML

Christian Dupont:
"To Hell and Back: Illustrating Dante's Inferno"

Be sure to mark your calendar for October 9 at 3 p.m. to join us for Christian Dupont's talk about Dante and illustration!

Rare book librarian Christian Dupont has extensively studied cultural receptions of Dante and the collecting of his works. His numerous essays on these subjects have appeared in Dante Studies, Harvard Library Bulletin, and Studies in Bibliography among other publications.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Complete 2013—2014
Schedule of Meetings of
No. 44 Society,
a Convivial Confab for Book Collectors

September 11, 2013, 3:00 PM in RBML

Graham Arader, New York gallery owner and book dealer on getting primary source material into the hands of students.

October 9, 2013, 3:00 PM in RBML

Christian DuPont, Aeon software developer and former director of the Small Library at the University of Virginia.

November 13, 2013, 3:00 PM in RBML

Marten Stromberg, RBML Curator of Rare Books to lead tour of "Life on the Moon" exhibition.

December 11, 2013, 3:00 PM in RBML

Come join us for a Holiday Cheer Party and Book Brag. We will also celebrate John Milton's birthday.

February 12, 2014 AT 3:00 PM in RBML

Henry Hébert, the Rare Book Conservator at the University of Illinois Library will talk about conservation and care of rare materials. Winners of the 2013 Fall Semester Fletcher and Baldwin Essay contests will also be announced.

March 12, 2014, 3:00 PM in RBML

J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan will give a talk entitled; "Bibliophilia to Bibliomania."

April 9, 2014, 3:00 PM Field Trip!

Please join us for a field trip to the Fresh Press! Pull a piece of paper and find out more about what's happening in the book arts in our area.

May 14, 2014, 3:00 PM in RBML

Paul Gehl, Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing at the Newberry Library in Chicago will talk about the University of Illinois Cavagna Collection.

Mark your calendars!

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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