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The University Library’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, along with the Spurlock Museum, are planning several events this spring to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.
Library Friend Michael L. VanBlaricum, also an Illinois alumnus, was invited to curate a multi-venue exhibition. Not surprising, as VanBlaricum has amassed perhaps one of the finest collections of Ian Fleming material in private hands. He is also President of The Ian Fleming Foundation, dedicated to the study and preservation of the history of Fleming's literary works, the James Bond phenomenon, and their impact on popular culture.
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library will display all manner of editions of Casino Royale, as well as letters, reviews, photos, and other works. The Casino Royale and Beyond: Sixty Years of Ian Fleming’s Literary Bond exhibit will focus on Fleming, his background, profession, and books. VanBlaricum will give a special talk about the exhibition in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library when the exhibit opens on April 12th.
“The Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s exhibit will include some interesting and unique items,” said VanBlaricum. “The original copy of A Poor Man Escapes, Fleming’s first story, written at the age of 19, will be included as well as a letter by Fleming written on the 22nd of April 1953 stating that 'I am bludgeoning friends and members of my staff into buying it (Casino Royale].' In addition, visitors will learn how the famous secret agent 007 got his name.”
For more information, visit www.library.illinois.edu/rbx.