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  • Prof. Albert Russell Ascoli, "Performing Salvation in Dantes Divine Comedy"

    Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese Colloquium "Performing Salvation in Dantes Divine Comedy" Prof. Albert Russell Ascoli UC Berkeley Wednesday 3/30/11 3:30 p.m. The Rare Book & Manuscript Library 346 Library Please join us for the talk! Albert Russell Ascoli, Ph.D. Cornell University 1983, is Terrill Distinguished Professor. His principal field of research and teaching is Medieval and Early Modern Italian culture from the 13th to the 16th centuries, with comparative interests in the classical Latin, English, and French traditions...

  • Gerhard Mayer Collection

    The RBML cataloging project is currently tackling the Gerhard Mayer collection, which consists of about 2,800 books by, and about, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The Rare Book and Manuscript Library obtained the collection in 1984, partly as a purchase and partly as a gift, from Gerhard Mayers widow, Ruth Mayer. Were able to catalog it today thanks to the Frederick J. and Margret L. Worden Endowment. The collection was compiled by Dr. Gerhard Mayer of Champaign, Illinois, during the 1960s. It includes books written in 26 languages, and they range from early publications of Rilkes work to the late 1970s. As one of the project catalogers, Ive found myself asking (along with my coworkers) how Mayer managed to find so many books about Rilke. Were especially interested in how he managed to do this without the aid of the internet.

  • Book Collecting Contest

    Entries now being taken for the Harris Fletcher Book Collecting Award & T.W. Baldwin Prize for Book Collecting. To foster the love of books, The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds annual book collecting contests. The competition, co-sponsored by the University Library and The No. 44 Society, includes separate judging and prizes for undergraduate (Fletcher Award) and graduate (Baldwin Prize) student collections.

  • No. 44 Society Talk: Alex Pettit on Richardson and Aesop

    February 9th, 2011, 3:00 p.m. in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library Alexander Pettit, professor of English at the University of North Texas, will deliver a talk entitled "Samuel Richardson's Aesop's Fables (1739): Unexpected Decency." Drawing on his research for his forthcoming edition of Richardson's early work, Pettit will demonstrate that Richardson, having spent much of the 1730s trading in illiberal and hidebound anonymous polemic, found in Sir Roger L'Estrange's edition of Aesop (1692) a text into which he could incorporate his burgeoning sense of political and religious moderation. Richardson's adaptation of L'Estrange initiates a brief period of tonal generosity in the writer's career, distinct both from the nastiness of his earliest work and what Coleridge called the "oozy, hypocritical, praise-mad, canting, envious, [and] concupiscent" nature of his famous novels. The talk will incorporate commentary on the extremely rare copy of Richardson's Aesop held by The Rare Book & Manuscript Library. All are welcome and refreshments will be served!

  • Prayers for the People: Carl Sandburg's Poetry & Songs

    Musical Performance and Poetry Recital! 14 March, 2011, 7:30 p.m. at Smith Music Hall "Prayers for the People" is a musical and spoken word performance that celebrates the enormous poetic and musical legacy of Carl Sandburg. Developed by Kate Benzel, the Martin Distinguished Professor in English at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, "Prayers for the People" has played to numerous enthusiastic audiences. A performance filmed by Nebraska Educational Television won a 2010 Emmy for Entertainment Special Program from the "Heartland" region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and may be viewed at The project brings a version of Sandburg's own style of lecture-recital to Illinois. Musical numbers drawn from Sandburg's pioneering work of ethnomusicology, The American Songbag (1927) alternate with readings of famous poems from his works Chicago (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920). Songs will be performed by the musical group "The Sandtones," led by Mike Adams, with contributions from local musicians. The show opens with a brief lecture by Benzel and is then emceed by Charles Peek, Professor Emeritus of English, University of Nebraska-Kearney, and punctuated by readings from Kevin Stein, Caterpillar Professor of English at Bradley University, and Janice Harrington, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Carl Sandburg and the Twentieth-Century American Folk Revival

    Carl Sandburg's work "The American Songbag" (1927) served a crucial function and as a constant point of reference in the American folk-music revival that began in the early 1930s, struggled through the 1940s and 1950s, and finally found its voice in the full-throated roar of anti-war protest and social-action of the 1960s. The books, letters, and photographs from Sandburg's personal collection placed on display convey his commitment to populist politics and his deliberate attempts to connect with a broad audience through the elegant and beautiful medium of American folk music.

  • The John "Bud" Velde Visiting Scholars Program-Call for Applications

    The Rare Book & Manuscript Library annually awards stipends of $3,000 to scholars and researchers, unaffiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who would like to come and spend a month or so of study with our materials. The research strengths of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library are manifold. Comprehensive collections support studies in printing and printing history, Renaissance studies, Elizabethan and Stuart life and letters, John Milton and his age, emblem studies, economic history, and works on early science and natural history. The library also houses the papers of such diverse literary figures as Carl Sandburg, H.G. Wells, William Maxwell, and W.S. Merwin.

  • German Christmas Songs

    A collection of German Christmas songs (call number IUA15239) from the library of Richard Aron passed through Quick and Clean Cataloging a few months ago. This Sammelband contains 38 pamphlets published between 1774 and 1828. Most of the pamphlets are only two to four leaves in length and contain the lyrics to German Christmas and New Year songs. The pamphlets are all printed in a simple manner and were produced in Berlin. These pamphlets may have been collected by a single individual at Christmas masses over the years and later bound together in paper-covered cardstock boards. An illegible ownership inscription appears on the title page of the first work and is dated Berlin, 1835. This pamphlet collection would provide a wealth of information to anyone studying the history of popular culture, music, or religion in Germany in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century. More information about the Aron collection can be found below.

  • No. 44 Society Talk: Michael VanBlaricum on Ian Fleming

    Michael VanBlaricum, founder of the Ian Flemming Foundation, will speak tomorrow, November 10th, during the No. 44 Society meeting in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at 3 p.m. Over the past thirty years, VanBlaricum has developed a world-renowned collection of materials related to Ian Flemming and James Bond. We hope to see you here for what will certainly be a very interesting presentation. Rare Book & Manuscript Library 346 Main Library (MC-522) 1408 West Gregory Drive Urbana, Illinois

  • Manzanar Free Press

    On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 "Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas." During World War II, over 120,000 persons of Japanese, German, and Italian ancestry were then removed from these military areas and relocated to internment camps in the Western United States--most for the duration of the war. One of these camps was placed in the abandoned town of Manzanar in California's isolated Inyo County, where a population of 7,600 was spread out over 10,000 square miles. This camp would grow to over 800 buildings and process over 11,000 detainees during the war. Two-thirds of the detainees held behind Manzanar's barbed wire were American citizens.