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Gilbert Witte poses with some of the thousands of items included in the collection of needlecraft books and ephemera he donated to the University of Illinois Library.

Exhibition to showcase cataloger's extraordinary collection of crochet-related arts

Author: Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:June 26, 2014

In 1989, when Gilbert Witte started working full-time at the University of Illinois library, he discovered that his new job had a strange effect on his leisure time: After spending eight hours surrounded by books, the last thing he wanted to do at home was read. Consequently, Witte took up a hobby – he taught himself to crochet.

Published Date: June 26, 2014


Valerie Hotchkiss, the director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, holds the only known copy of a childrens book printed in 1536. The book is one of hundreds that have been scanned and made available online in Project Unica.

U. of I. Library's Project Unica preserves books so rare they exist in only one copy

Author: Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:April 29, 2014

Among librarians and booksellers, hymnals and children’s books are infamous for their low survival rate, as a result of overuse and abuse. So when the staff at the University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library found an eight-page unbound copy of the ABCs and common prayers published in 1536 – more than 450 years ago – they immediately ran the title through several international databases to see if any other libraries had a copy. None did.

Published Date: April 29, 2014


Expert on 'Global Hinduism' to deliver this year's Thulin Lecture at Illinois

Author: Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:April 2, 2014

The religious tradition that brought us yoga, meditation and the concepts of karma and reincarnation will be the topic of this year’s Marjorie Hall Thulin Lecture in Religion, an annual event sponsored by the University of Illinois department of religion. Vasudha Narayanan, the distinguished professor of religion at the University of Florida and author of “Hinduism” and “The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation and Ritual,” will deliver the lecture at 8 p.m. April 9 (Wednesday) at Spurlock Museum. Her topic, “Global Hinduism,” will touch on Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the United States.

Published Date: April 2, 2014


Gillen DArcy Wood, a professor of English, is the author of Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World, that documents the aftereffects of an 1815 volcanic eruption, the largest in recorded history. In his book, Wood describes the broad-ranging consequences, including climatic cooling, a worldwide cholera pandemic, a boom in opium production and an economic depression in the U.S.

New book tells the story of a little-known volcano's global impact

Author: Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:March 20, 2014

The 200th anniversary of the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history will be marked by the publication of a new book by University of Illinois professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood. If you think the title character might be Vesuvius, or Krakatoa, or maybe Pinatubo, you’re wrong. Wood’s focus is Tambora – a mountain in the Indonesian archipelago that erupted so violently in April of 1815 that today, it is ranked as “super colossal” on the scientific Volcanic Explosivity Index. And the explosion was only the first dose of Tambora’s destructive power.

Published Date: March 20, 2014


Dianne Harris, the director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, will lead a new initiative called Humanities Without Walls, which just received a $3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Mellon grant to involve 15 schools and focus on 'Global Midwest'

Author: Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:January 14, 2014

The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities has been awarded a $3 million grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a consortium of 15 humanities institutes.

Published Date: January 14, 2014