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605 Agriculture Drive
Room 134 MC 6632
Carbondale, IL 62901
618-453-2516 | F: 618-453-3440
July 26, 2022
Digitization of John Dewey Reel-to-Reel Films
Thanks to a generous donation from Mr. Jun Zhou all of the motion-picture film reels in the John Dewey Papers have been fully digitized! The 91 reels or 17,000 feet of film were quickly deteriorating due to their age, their content nearly lost to history. Most of the film features Dewey's family during their travels around the world. Visitors to Special Collections can view the files during normal open hours. The files will be made available online at a later date.
May 23, 2022
Drawing with Scissors: The Art of Polly Winkler-Mitchell, 1970s-2000s
Location: Hall of Presidents and Chancellors, Morris Library
Times: Monday – Friday, 8:30–4:30
Celebrating Polly Winkler-Mitchell’s life and art, the exhibit recounts her journey in scherenschnitte, the folk art of intricate paper cutting. The exhibit features samples of her work from materials donated to Special Collections by her husband, Marion Mitchell. Winkler-Mitchell, who died in 2019, characterized her art as “drawing with scissors.” She sold her artwork at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, at craft fairs and from her home in Carbondale. Winkler-Mitchell distinguished herself from traditional scherenschnitte artists when she began creating color collages of local scenes in the 1990s. In 2012, the Friends of Morris Library purchased several of Winkler-Mitchell’s collages depicting the university’s history for permanent display on the library’s third floor.
July 11, 2022
Alwin C. Carus Lecture on John Dewey's Aesthetics
Time: Friday, July 15, at 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Scratch Brewing Company, Ava, IL
Recepient of the Alwin C. Carus Research Grant and Senior Assistant Professor of Aesthetics at the University of Bologna, Dr. Gioia Laura Iannilli presents “John Dewey’s Theory of Perception as an Aesthetics of Familiarity.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
Abstract of lecture
The lecture aims to reconstruct John Dewey’s theory of perception using writings from the first three decades of the 20th century, before the publication of Art as Experience. Correlating his published writings from this period together with new findings from select manuscripts and lecture notes available at the Special Collections Research Center, it presents Dewey’s underlying theory of perception understood in terms of an aesthetics of familiarity.
February 21, 2022
From Naples to Paris: Through the Lens of Singleton Harris, 1944-45
Location: Hall of Presidents, Morris Library
Times: Monday – Friday, 8:30–4:30
To celebrate Black History Month, the Special Collections Research Center announces a new exhibit of photographs in the library’s Hall of Presidents and Chancellors. From Naples to Paris: Through the Lens of Singleton Harris, 1944-45 offers a unique look at the Second World War from the perspective of an African-American soldier. Born 100 years ago in Mississippi, Singleton Harris served in the 449th Signal Construction Battalion in the segregated U.S. Army. While stationed in Italy in 1944, Harris studied photography by mail and practiced on his fellow soldiers and the Italian people they lived among. At the war’s end in 1945, Harris documented the damage in Nuremberg, nearly leveled by Allied bombing. His images outside a Paris café demonstrate his eye for detail and spontaneity. After the war Harris attended the Yale School of Photography and worked for the Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis. He died in 2005.
August 16, 2021
Mobilizing Minds: Selected Posters from the Office of War Information, 1942-43
Location: Hall of Presidents, Morris Library
Times: Monday – Friday, 8:30–4:30
A new exhibit in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors features examples from our collection of World War II posters produced by the Office of War Information (OWI). The OWI recruited illustrators and graphic designers from the worlds of art and advertising to help shape public opinion in the first two years of the war. Some posters warned against sharing sensitive information such as shipping schedules and routes. Others exhorted civilians to conserve resources necessary to supply and transport the troops. Growing your own food, patching clothes to make them last longer, and recycling food wastes such as fats and oils all helped save raw materials for the war. A popular series of images by Norman Rockwell depicted President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, underpinning war aims. Altogether the poster campaign skillfully employed shared emotions to help mobilize the entire population toward a common goal.
July 1, 2021
East St. Louis: Dunham Technique
The latest installment of KQED's video series "If Cities Could Dance" celebrates the ongoing legacy of dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist Katherine Dunham. It features photographs from SCRC archival collections. Other collaborators include the Missouri Historical Society, Library of Congress, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
March 25, 2021
John James Audubon's Birds and Mammals of Illinois
Exhibition in the Hall of Presidents, Morris Library, March 25 – May 14
John James Audubon’s book The Birds of America (1827-1838) is a monumental achievement in nature painting, scientific study, and book printing. The exhibit features 40 prints of an early edition of the text and its companion Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1845-1854), selected from SIU's University Museum collection. They provide an artistic glimpse of the life of nature in southern Illinois, as well as represent Audubon's “rambles” into the region when it was a sparsely populated frontier wilderness, yet one rich in diversity of plant and animal species.
February 17, 2021
Library of Buckminster Fuller
SCRC acquired the personal library of designer and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller. Fuller joined SIUC in 1959 as a visiting professor and lived in Carbondale in a geodesic dome from 1960-1971. The Fuller Dome Home exists today and is open for tours. The library will soon be available for research at SCRC, providing insight into the minds of this influential figure.
January 5, 2021
'Doc' Horrell in Illinois Humanities Documentary
SCRC recently supplied photos from the collection of William ‘Doc’ Horrell for the Illinois Humanities documentary “People, Places and Power: Cook County Edition,” which premiered in December 2020. Horrell’s photos of coal mining in southern Illinois accompany the poetry of James Ballowe. Enjoy the video clip.
November 19, 2020
Alwin C. Carus Endowment for American Philosophy
The SCRC and Morris Library honor a benevolent family by establishing the new Alwin C. Carus Endowment. The $1 million endowment stems from past donations from the late Alwin C. Carus and managed by his surviving family members. It will continue to assist the SCRC in developing archival collections, assisting researchers from around the world, and conducting new research. Alwin was the youngest son of Paul Carus, philosopher and editor of the Open Court Publishing Company. The endowment supports work on the Open Court collection and related collections in American philosophy. Read the full story at SIU News.
January 27, 2020
The latest episode of the podcast Criminal discusses a dark day in southern Illinois history in 1922. SCRC helped provide archival audio footage that includes reports by eye-witnesses. Listen at Criminal's website.
December 4, 2019
SCRC RECEIVES DIVERSITY EXCELLENCE AWARD
The 2019 SIU System Diversity Excellence Award was awarded to SCRC and its community focused project "Reclaiming the African American Heritage of Southern Illinois." The project is on-going and was spearheaded by Walter Ray (Political Papers Archivist), Pamela Smoot (Professor of History), and Pepper Holder (Carbondale community member).
August 13, 2019
Opening of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy Records
The Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy (SAAP) Records are now open for research. Processing of the records was completed this summer. See the collection's online finding aid for further information. American philosophy is one of the major collecting strengths of SCRC, whose repository holds the John Dewey Papers, Open Court Publishing Company Records, Paul Weiss Papers, Herbert Schneider Papers, Elizabeth Ramsden Eames Papers, Stephen C. Pepper Papers, James Feibleman Papers, Foundation for the Philosophy of Creativity Records, and the Sidney Ratner Papers.
May 14, 2019
The History of Southern Illinois
Hundreds of millions of years ago, the land that would become Illinois lay south of the equator beneath a tropical sea roamed by trilobites and other fantastic creatures. Southern Illinois amassed huge coal stores from ancient fern forests and was later shaped by the glaciers of the first Ice Age. Traversed by rivers, Southern Illinois ecosystems range from forests to marshlands. Sheltering woods and abundant water attracted both Native Americans and European settlers. Nineteenth century farming, coal mining, and industry flourished with the Illinois Central Railroad. Later, the Civilian Conservation Corps and Illinois Department of Natural Resources helped restore Southern Illinois. A modern tradition of innovative higher education has made Southern Illinois an international destination. Many cultures enrich our region. Curated by Anne Marie Hamilton-Brehm.
May 9, 2019
150 Years of Library Affairs
The new exhibit on display in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors examines the lifetime growth of Morris Library, highlighting its achievements and innovations that placed it among the leading academic libraries in the country. On display are records pertaining to the library’s history and related rare materials from Special Collections. The exhibit is in conjunction with Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 150th anniversary, and will run through the end of the fall semester.
May 1, 2019
Snapshots of Small Town Life
In 1969, Archives Director Ken Duckett assigned staffer Kathryn Kerr to photograph everyday life in small town southern Illinois. We are posting a selection each week on the library Facebook page—snapshots from half a century ago.
March 27, 2019
"LONG LIVE FREEDOM!": YOUTH RESISTANCE IN THE THIRD REICH
The new exhibit at the SIU Morris Library Hall of Presidents runs March 25-April 19, 2019. "Long Live Freedom!" were the last words uttered by Hans Scholl before the Nazis executed him in 1942 for being part of the resistance group The White Rose. Scholl was one of many more students who bravely stood up against injustice and the atrocities committed during the Third Reich, paying for their civil courage with their lives, but whose stories have been forgotten. The exhibit sheds light on the stories of various young Germans who actively resisted Hitler's National Socialism between 1933 and 1945.
Created by the Research Institute for the Study of German Resistance 1933-1945 (Frankfurt a. M., Germany), the exhibition has travelled to schools, universities, and institutions throughout Germany and the United States. Free and open to the public, everyday, 8:30-8:00. Sponsored by the Department of Languages, Cultures, and International Trade, the Department of History, and the College of Liberal Arts.
February 11, 2019
SIU ALUMNI MAGAZINE NOW ONLINE!
The Southern Alumnus was first published quarterly by the Alumni Association in 1940. Beginning in 1966, the Alumnus magazine was published six times a year, and the Alumni News, the five alternating months. The Alumni News ceased publication in 1976. In 1998, the alumni magazine became known as the Southern Alumni and changed its name again in 2014 to SIU Alumni.
This digital project is supported in part by the generous donation of Phil and Pam Pfeffer and the Pfeffer Foundation, as well as the SIU Alumni Association and Library Affairs Special Collections Research Center. To read these online, please visit https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/alumni_mag/.
July 19, 2018
The Great War @ 100: Highlights from Our Collections
In the summer of 1918 the United States entered World War I in full force, helping to turn the tide against Germany and end the war by November. A new exhibit, “The Great War @ 100: Highlights from Our Collections,” touches on many aspects of the war, from its impact on this campus to a southern Illinois soldier serving in far off Siberia. SCRC has a wealth of letters, diaries and photographs from the war, acquired over many years in support of literary collections like that of war poet Robert Graves and others. Also on exhibit are the personal items of Albert Rehder, a veteran who later owned a tavern in Grand Tower, Illinois. Curated by Aaron Lisec.
June 6, 2018
Jean Toomer’s Cane: “The Waters of My Heart”
An important figure in African-American literature, Jean Toomer (1894-1967) was born in Washington, D.C. A poet, playwright, and novelist, Toomer’s most famous work, Cane, was published in 1923 and was hailed by critics for its literary experimentation and portrayal of African-American characters and culture. The exhibit presents Toomer’s 1923 innovative work, shown through poems, prose, and dialogue. Included is Toomer’s signed first edition, as well as a folio-sized edition illustrated by Martin Puryear. Curated by David Bond.
May 17, 2018
Book Lovers: Harry and Caresse Crosby
Between 1920 and 1939, independent American publishers flourished in Paris. Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company produced James Joyce’s magnum opus Ulysses; Bill Bird’s Three Mountains Press published the early work of Ernest Hemingway, Mina Loy, William Carlos Williams, and Ford Madox Ford; and shipping heiress Nancy Cunard hand-printed limited editions of experimental poetry by Becket, Pound, and Richard Aldington for Hours Press. Even Gertrude Stein was bitten by the publishing bug. Her imprint, Plain Editions, put out “an edition of first editions of all the work not yet published by Gertrude Stein.” At least eight other notable expatriate presses were publishing the best in early twentieth-century Modernist writing, work either overlooked or ignored by a conservative American market.
To read more about it, see “Book Lovers: Harry and Caresse Crosby and the Black Sun Press,” The Missouri Review 41, no. 1 (2018): 74-84.
May 8, 2018
Cricket Media Collection Now Open
In 2017, Marianne and Blouke Carus of Peru, Illinois, founders of Cricket Magazine, along with their son Andre, generously donated their Cricket Media records to the Special Collections Research Center of Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The collection complements the archive’s related Edward Hegeler- Paul Carus family papers, 1868-1936, and Open Court Publishing Company Records, 1886-1998. Published by Open Court Publishing Company, Cricket is a literary magazine for children. Originally housed in more than 160 boxes, the collection of business records, correspondence, and sixteen magazine titles, including the full run of Cricket Magazine, marks Cricket’s 45th year in print. The records document a story of remarkable vision and dedication to education reform. See the finding aid for the collection online.
Thanks to Dr. Anne Marie Hamilton-Brehm, Special Projects Archivist, for leading the effort to make this invaluable collection available to researchers.
February 23, 2018
Community Archives Project
Political Papers Archivist Walter Ray and SIU Professor of History Pamela Smoot are teaming up on our latest community archives project , Reclaiming the African American Heritage of Southern Illinois. Read about their work in the Southern Illinoisan.
February 22, 2018
WW I Centennial Event: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin
On display at the Art Institute of Chicago is a painting entitled Cabin in the Cotton I by Horace H. Pippin, who visited Illinois in 1941. Many people who pass by the now-darkened painting, which depicts a simple scene of a woman sitting before a farm cabin, without giving it much thought would nevertheless be captivated by the story of the artist’s service in the legendary Harlem Hellfighters in World War I, during which he was wounded in the shoulder by sniper fire. Already accomplished at drawing, Pippin took up painting and wood burning as therapy for both his injured arm and his haunting memories of the war. He became one of the foremost African American folk artists of the 1930s and 1940s.
Professor of English at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Janice Harrington will give a presentation about Horace H. Pippin on April 5, 2018. She will invite the audience to discuss what we can learn about war, the experiences of African Americans, and other subjects from Pippin’s work. The event will be free and open to the public.
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Guyon Auditorium, Morris Library
Sponsored by: Special Collections Research Center and the Friends of Morris Library
Individuals with disabilities are welcomed. Call 618/453-5738 to request accommodations.
January 24, 2018
Nicholas Guardiano Publishes on the Philosophical Foundations of the Open Court
In 1887 the Open Court Publishing Company had its founding in a philosophy of monism. The company’s proprietor Edward C. Hegeler began the enterprise in an effort to promote his personal philosophic, religious, and moral ideas. He believed that these ideas could be conciliated with the growing scientific trends of the late nineteenth century, and that monism was the intellectual framework for doing so. Paul Carus, the editor of the journals The Open Court and The Monist, joined Hegeler as an intellectual ally in this regard. For thirty years he openly defended the doctrines of monism in countless articles and books, successfully grounding the Open Court on this philosophy. This essay uncovers the historical development of the philosophical origin of the Open Court as it began with Hegeler’s personal religious motives, his ideological tension with the original editor Benjamin Underwood, and his embrace of the monistic writings of Paul Carus. It also examines Hegeler’s and Carus’s publications and personal letters from the 1880s and 1890s in order to determine the fundamental doctrines of their unique sense of monism. In Carus’s writings in particular is proposed a monism of causality that is compatible with a deterministic worldview and a unitary conception of the sciences. Also, both Carus and Hegeler propose a monistic ethics of meliorism that conceives the diverse periods of human history to be evolving toward the one final end of the moral improvement of humankind. While these are the positive doctrines that they accept, they further reject the antitheses of philosophical dualism and irreligious attitude of agnosticism of all varieties.
Read the full article for free online at: Nicholas L. Guardiano, “Monism and Meliorism: The Philosophical Origins of the Open Court,” European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy IX, no. 2 (2017).
January 22, 2018
New Exhibition in the Hall of Presidents: “Published in Paris”
During the nineteen-twenties, Paris was at the centre of literary modernism, and in the years after the Armistice nearly all the best-known young American writers spent at least some time there. The expatriate literary community revolved around the bookshops and cafes. Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare & Company, in particular, became a meeting-place for older and younger modernists. With this community there developed also a series of literary magazines and small publishing houses, under whose imprints appeared many of the most famous modernist works, by James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and others.
Special Collections Research Center presents a brief introduction to several of the major Paris imprints, through the works they have produced. Part of the Rare Book collection, all are representative publications of nine small presses from the expatriate area, all at the forefront of literary modernism. Included are items from:
Bob Brown and the Roving Eye Press
Gertrude Stein and Plain Editions
Harry and Caresse Crosby and The Black Sun Press
Jack Kahane and Obelisk Press
Nancy Cunard and The Hours Press
Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company
Edward W. Titus and The Black Manikin Press
Bill Bird and the Three Mountains Press
Robert McAlmon and Contact Publishing
Curated by David Bond. Please visit this exhibit in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors in Morris Library between 8:30-4:30, Monday – Friday.
January 12, 2018
100th Anniversary of Ulysses
This year marks the 100th anniversary of James Joyce’s Ulysses which was first excerpted in the Little Review in 1918. See the interesting article “Trump Can’t Ban ‘Fire and Fury’: Thank James Joyce’s 100-Year-Old “Ulysses” for That” based in part on material from our collections, thoroughly researched by Joseph Hassett.
October 17, 2017
Donation of Cricket, Children’s Literary Collection
The records of the children’s literary magazine, Cricket, have been donated to the Special Collections Research Center of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. They were donated by former editor and founder, Marianne Carus, along with her husband Blouke and son Andre Carus. In all, the Cricket literary magazine collection consists of 168 boxes of archival materials, including illustrations, literary manuscripts, printed materials and a complete set of the literary magazine itself. In addition to early records, the collection features correspondence from well-known authors, illustrators, and other professionals in the publishing industry.
Pam Hackbart-Dean, director, Special Collections Research Center, says “we are proud to welcome the Cricket Literary Magazine collection to its new home in the Morris Library’s Special Collections. The Cricket literary magazine made an enormous contribution to United States children’s literature and art. Now these very records offer a rich resource of academic research potential.” Project archivist, Dr. Anne Marie Hamilton-Brehm, believes these records “provide this rare glimpse into visionary children’s publishing and the professionals who engineered its success.”
The brain child of Open Court Publishing’s Marianne Carus, Cricket Magazine was launched in 1973 as the only children’s magazine dedicated to literature. Determined to create a magazine for children comparable to The New Yorker, Marianne Carus founded Cricket Magazine with the enthusiastic assistance of well-known authors, illustrators, and leading figures in publishing.
Along with daring illustrator Trina Schart Hyman, and respected literary editor Clifton Fadiman, popular children’s author Lloyd Alexander was a major contributor to the magazine’s development and content, often sharing wisdom in the guise of “Old Cricket”. Designed to stimulate curiosity, imagination, and a sense of wonder about history, art, science, and world cultures, the magazine featured new stories and adaptations written by celebrated authors and interpreted by award winning illustrators. Cricket further inspired a line of literary magazines for children of different ages: Babybug, Ladybug, Spider, for newly independent readers, Cricket, and Cricket and Cicada for young adults.
October 3, 2017
Archives Month 2017
Celebrate Archives Month!! Archives Month is a way to celebrate the value of Illinois historical records, publicize the many ways historical records enrich our lives, and recognize those who maintain our communities’ historical records.
September 6, 2017
Read a Banned Book
Celebrate your right to read, as well as to bring to light censorship and banned books Your words have the power to challenge censorship. Join the us in celebrating Banned Books Week (Sept. 24 – 30) and continue to stand up for your freedom to read every day of the year.
Special Collections Research Center has Ralph E. McCoy’s personal collection of material related to First Amendment Freedoms. This collection traces the intellectual history of the concept of freedom of expression in the United Kingdom and the USA from 1600 to the present. The McCoy Collection is perhaps the most rich and diverse research collection of printed materials in SCRC. Freedom of expression has been developed and debated in many arenas in the Western world, and the materials in the McCoy Collection document such varied topics as the Popish Plot of 1678, Victoria Woodhull’s advocacy of women’s suffrage and “free love,” and the legal controversy over the “obscene” nature of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. So we are highlighting our 1st amendment collection which contains many of these banned books and more.
Please visit our exhibit highlighting banned books beginning Monday September 11 until October 2nd. This is behind Delyte’s cafe in Morris Library.
On September 27th from 10 am to 12 pm. explore a banned or challenged book at the Morris Library’s Banned Books Buffet. Celebrate your freedom to read and right to choose during Banned Books Week! Every year there are hundreds of attempts to remove banned books from schools and libraries. The Banned Books Buffet is an annual event celebrating your freedom to read and right to choose during Banned Books Week! Explore books like Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, and Captain Underpants. Fight censorship, read a banned or challenged book, learn about intellectual freedom, have a snack, and more at this event.
Included will be a selfie booth, selection of banned books, and light refreshments. Open to students, staff and the general public. This will be located in Morris Library by Abraham Lincoln’s head.
August 15, 2017
Charles Lindbergh Comes to Southern Illinois
World War I pilots found that their skills learned in aerial combat could earn them a living. Barnstorming, or aerial shows in which stunt pilots would perform tricks with airplanes, became a popular attraction in the 1920s. One such group was the Vera May Dunlap’s Flying Circus. In early May 1925, Charles Lindbergh joined Dunlap’s Flying Circus.
As part of a baseball promotion for the Southern Illinois Ilard Road Baseball Association, Lindbergh came to southern Illinois. On May 9, 1925, “Beans” Lindbergh, as he was billed in Carterville, Illinois, performed some daredevil stunts during the show, including stopping his motor three thousand feet in the air and landing with his engine dead.
It would be two years later when “Beans” would become an international celebrity when he became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
July 10, 2017
The Old Campus: An Historical Exploration showcases the history and development of the buildings and landmarks on Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s old campus quadrangle from 1874-1930. The exhibit text and photographs describe the construction, architecture, and functions of SIU Carbondale’s most recognizable buildings. The sources used in creating the exhibit include histories of SIU, Board of Trustee annual reports, Obelisk yearbooks, SIU course bulletins and printed materials, Carbondale newspapers, and photograph collections in the University Archives. This exhibit was created by Matt Gorzalski, University Archivist.
June 6, 2017
Solved Mysteries at the Archives
The Special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has played a key role in solving a century-old mystery.
Scholars knew that Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves and Wilfred Owen rendezvoused somewhere in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1917, sharing stories of the wartime horrors they had witnessed. The discussions and idea exchanges that took place at the get-together, dubbed by some researchers as “potentially the most powerful meeting of English literature in the 20th century,” formed the basis for the future writings of the acclaimed war poets. Morris Library’s SCRC was the key to figuring out where this pivotal meeting took place and the answer received extensive publicity in Europe.
Neil McLennan, a senior lecturer and director of leadership programs at Scotland’s Aberdeen University and former head of history at Tynecastle School in Edinburgh, has conducted extensive research on both sides of the ocean into World War I poets, particularly Owen. After spending a decade searching for information within United Kingdom libraries and archives, he discovered a letter from Sassoon to Graves, written on stationary from the Craiglockhart War Hospital, where Owen and Sassoon met while undergoing treatment for shellshock. The letter was in SIU’s Special Collections Research Center.
That letter and subsequent missives revealed that the trio met at the Baberton Golf Club in Juniper Green on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The location was apparently chosen because Sassoon had a golf match he didn’t want to cancel so he invited the other two men to join him there. The club is still in existence today. The location where Owen, Graves and Sassoon met is significant because the gathering played such a key role in the success of the three notable war poets, according to McLennan.
McLennan’s discovery has resulted in extensive media coverage in the UK. Learning that SIU’s Special Collections Research Center is at the heart of solving a mystery 100 years in the making comes as no surprise to Pam Hackbart-Dean, the center’s director.
“Special Collections Research Center is a place of exploration and discovery,” Hackbart-Dean said. “Scholars and students use our collections to write new histories, explore significant lives, study change, trace the evolution of print, understand cultural shifts and create new literature. Over time, both our holdings and our vision have grown – expanding from an early emphasis on regional history to a global perspective and complementing a focus on traditional academic disciplines with transformative possibilities. We encourage amateur sleuths to uncover their mysteries in Special Collections.”
The SCRC, located on the first floor of Morris Library, houses an extensive assortment of unique and rare historical items including rare books, political papers, letters, manuscripts and much more. The collection features a clay tablet from Senkereh, in present-day Iraq, that is believed to date to 2400-2200 B.C.; a page from the Johannes Gutenberg Bible, the world’s first printed book, inked in Mainz, Germany, 1450-1455; a handwritten copy of a speech Abraham Lincoln delivered several times in the mid-1850s; a letter written by Amelia Earheart; and documents highlighting the criminal enterprises of Charlie Birger, including a pass for his hanging, the last public one in Illinois.
April 27, 2017
New World War I Exhibit
“German-Americans and World War I, 1914-1917,” now up on the east side of the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors, marks the centenary of America’s entry into World War I by examining the arguments made by those who tried and failed to keep the U.S. out of the war. Mostly pro-German and anti-British, they promoted American neutrality and opposed arming Britain and its allies. The exhibit is based primarily on propaganda from the records of the Open Court Publishing Company, held in the Special Collections Research Center.
February 27, 2017
The Golden Age of American Book Covers
In the 1870’s, book cover art in the United States entered a “Golden Age” that lasted more than fifty years. Some of the work is startling for its prescience and can be associated with art movements that occurred decades after the books were produced.
Unlike fine bindings of an earlier age, displayed with spines facing out, books with beautiful ornamental covers were designed to be seen from all angles.
By the 1890’s, book-cover art had become so popular that publishers began to use individual artist’s names to sell books. Since this was not generally the case earlier, many great cover illustrations, unsigned, remain unidentified as to the artist.
By 1894, American artists’ monograms or devices regularly appeared on book covers to make their work more easily identifiable. These took various forms: Sarah Whitman used a flaming heart with her initials; W. W. Denslow was known by his stylized sea horse; Earl Stetson Crawford by a crowned “C.” At the beginning of the twentieth century, more than 200 monograms or devices were in use. (See poster of some of these monograms.)
The influences on book-cover art are many. American book-cover art may have first been inspired by British decorative books, since many of the major American publishing houses had offices in London. This exhibit lists some of the artistic movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries and attempts to give examples of how each influenced cover art.
One must realize, however, that many artists and illustrators used a combination or fusion of styles and that artists across the country were aware of, and influenced by, the work of others. This makes it harder to identify many of the unsigned illustrations. In most cases, this curator has also attempted to represent influences, rather than rigidly attaching an artist to a particular movement.
The decline of book-cover art was precipitated by the rising popularity of pictorial dust jackets, as well as the First World War and the Great Depression—the time and labor needed to create lavish bindings could no longer be justified.
January 24, 2017
Alexander Lane Talk
“From Slavery to Freedom: Celebrating SIU’s First African American Male Student”
Lecture by Professor Pamela Smoot, Department of Africana Studies
February 16, 2017
Guyon Auditorium, Morris Library
December 6, 2016
Doc Horrell Photograph Collections
Calendars in photos can be helpful for dating the image, but they can also be an eerie time capsule when they are in an unused space. Such is the case with the Doc Horrell Photograph Collection. Doc Horrell was a professional photographer working in southern Illinois for decades. He was also a former student of and faculty member at Southern Illinois University Carbondale until his retirement in 1983. He documented the coal mines of southern Illinois starting in 1966 until the mid-80s.
In many of the photos of abandoned mines you can see a calendar hung on a wall or, in this photograph, piled up in front of a window. In others jackets are still hung on hooks. We are not always ready for change. The photos of operational mines are an evocative portrait of a very particular world at a particular time, and are well worth viewing to see what we can learn from them so many years later.
For more information about the collection and others, visit CARLI Digital Collections.
October 13, 2016
Illinois Archives Month
Illinois Archives Month is in October each year. The purpose of Illinois Archives Month is to celebrate and promote the rich documentary heritage of Illinois by: increasing public awareness of archival materials and repositories; focusing on materials in archival repositories that have broad appeal, and; strengthening ties with regular archives users, as well as introducing new and potential users to archival repositories and the documentary heritage there.
Celebrate the importance of Illinois’ historical documents and recognize those who maintain them.
September 9, 2016
Banned Book Week
The American Library Association’s annual Banned Books Week runs from September 25 to October 1, 2016. Morris Library will host two events to mark the week, devoted to protecting the First Amendment and intellectual freedom.
On Monday, September 26, you can have your mug shot made holding a banned book. Visit the Banned Books Selfie Station at the north entrance between 11 and 1. We will post pix to #BannedBooksSIUC. You can enter a drawing for a Banned Books Week prize.
On Wednesday, September 28, join us from 1 to 3 in front of the library (or in the rotunda if it rains) to read a brief selection from your favorite banned book. Post a pic to #BannedBooksSIUC.
Do you cherish an open and free society? Stand with others who feel the same way and celebrate your Constitutional rights!
September 9, 2016
Celebrating 10 Years of Political Papers
A new exhibit in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors celebrates Ten Years of Political Papers in Morris Library. Since 2006 Political Papers Archivist Walter Ray has processed dozens of collections documenting the careers of political figures ranging from Senator Paul Simon (800 boxes) to 1872 Presidential Candidate Victoria Woodhull (four boxes). By now an expert on Illinois politics, Walter has helped to guide researchers to useful finds that made their way into significant histories and biographies.
Congratulations to Walter Ray on this milestone and best wishes on the decade just begun!
August 26, 2016
Dime Novels & Penny Dreadfuls
What did Americans read for cheap thrills before the comic book era? Welcome to the world of Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls–colorful magazines for the masses promising action-filled tales of heroes and villains. A new exhibit in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors explores this world of lurid adventure. Curator David Bond chose examples from our own collection–titles like Brave and Bold Weekly, Pluck and Luck, Work and Win and the Buffalo Bill Weekly–to illustrate the heyday of this low-brow literature. Enjoy the evocative covers and learn why civic leaders condemned the genre as a pathway to depravity. Open to the public weekdays from 8:30 to 4:30.
July 18, 2016
“Insight” Radio Programs Now Available Online
Insight, a public affairs program, was broadcast on radio station WRAJ in Anna (Union County), Illinois, between 1965 and 1977. Don Michel, owner and operator of WRAJ, hosted Insight and interviewed interesting people both in WRAJ’s studios and at various locations around the nation.
The collection of 453 interviews includes such national celebrities as Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, Arthur Godfrey, Colonel Sanders, Spiro Agnew, Ann Landers, Peter Jennings, Danny Thomas, Nancy Reagan, and Ralph Nader. Michel also interviewed many local people, from Anna church elders to the chief of police to the winner of a youth competition at the Anna fair. Southern Illinois University figures on record include Delyte Morris, John Y. Simon, and Buckminster Fuller. Michel also interviewed returning Vietnam veterans and former prisoners of war. Together, this collection of interviews brings to life the social, cultural, and political currents of the 1960s and 1970s in southern Illinois and beyond.
Alerted by tickertape, Don Michel covered the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy from Anna, contacting the Dallas police by phone and talking to an officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald. Michel’s continuing interest in the assassination led to interviews in New Orleans with Oswald’s landlord, a co-worker, and others, as well as coverage of the Warren Commission findings and the investigations of New Orleans prosecutor Jim Garrison.
The series was sponsored on WRAJ by the First National Bank of Cobden. It is available online at CARLI Digital Collections.
June 13, 2016
Underground and Alternative Newspapers
Underground or alternative newspapers were particularly prolific in the period 1965 to 1973, focusing on countercultural politics, civil rights, ecological concerns, women’s liberation, the draft, and the Vietnam War. Well-known publications included The Ann Arbor Argus, Berkeley Barb, and Village Voice, but Carbondale and SIU also produced a number of alternative papers during that era.
An exhibit in Morris Library’s Hall of Presidents and Chancellors presents 18 selections of these “underground” printings, published in the Carbondale region as options to mainstream papers. The Southern Free Press, Big Muddy Gazette, The All-American Rage, Environment, Uhuru-Sasa (Freedom Now), Black Unity, and Kol Shalom are some of the featured titles. David Bond curated this educational exhibit.
April 11, 2016
Opening of Peter London Papers
A reception and symposium will introduce to the region the Peter London papers, a new collection within Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The events, which are free and open to the public, are set for April 14 and 15. They will highlight the personal and professional papers of artist and art educator Peter London, chancellor professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He donated his papers, which will complement SIU’s extensive philosophy holdings, to SIU in 2015. The April events, with London in attendance, will mark the opening of the collection to library visitors.
The reception will be at 4 p.m. on April 14 in the third floor rotunda of Morris Library and London will present the keynote address. Also speaking will be Josh Shearer, vice-president of the Southern Illinois Art Education Association, and Pam Hackbart-Dean, director of the Special Collections Research Center.
The art education symposium is from 9 a.m. to noon on April 15 in the same location.
Speakers will include Barbara Bickel, associate professor of art education at SIU; Thomas Alexander, co-director of the Center for Dewey Studies: Jon Davey, SIU architecture professor; Aaron Darrisaw, a doctoral philosophy student who is working as a London Project graduate assistant with funding provided by London; and Patricia Rain McNichols, president of the Spiritual in Art Education Caucus of the National Art Education Association.
London is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association, the author of several books about art as a spiritual practice and holistic pedagogy, and an artist with works found in many public and private collections throughout the world. His collection now housed at SIU documents the philosophy of education and art and give researchers insight into the use of art as a socially and personally transformative aesthetic process, according to Hackbart-Dean. She said through his collection, London also demonstrates the connection between the creation of art and the creation of an elevated life — how one informs and enhances the other.
The university’s SCRC is home to numerous art, philosophy and education resources, featuring the works of education philosopher John Dewey, architect and designer R. Buckminster Fuller, and a host of others. The collections are available for research use.
March 7, 2016
Celebrating Our Three Millionth Volume
Please join us as we celebrate the acquisition of Morris Library’s three millionth volume—Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe—with a presentation by Dr. Jo-Ann Morgan, Professor of African American Studies at Western Illinois University, and Dr. David Anthony, Professor of English at SIU Carbondale. Morgan will discuss the visual culture of Uncle Tom’s Cabin while Anthony will talk about the significance of Stowe’s work as literature.
Published in March 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin sold more than 300,000 copies in its first year and humanized the cruelty and suffering of slavery for the general public. It was controversial from the start, sparking outrage in the South where it was banned as abolitionist propaganda. President Lincoln, when he met Stowe in 1862, may or may not have greeted her as “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war,” but the story illustrates the novel’s popularity and power. It is still occasionally banned today, for outdated racial language rather than its anti-slavery message. For that reason it will be added to the library’s Ralph McCoy Freedom of the Press collection, in honor of our first dean and his devotion to the principles of the First Amendment.
The Friends of Morris Library purchased this first edition/first printing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin to highlight the continuing growth and breadth of Morris Library’s academic collections and achievements in supporting faculty, student and community research. As we celebrate this milestone we acknowledge not only the size of our collections but the range of resources that libraries must now acquire for research use. We also take the opportunity to reflect on the future of books, libraries, and the exchange of information.
This event honors a tradition begun with a 1968 ceremony to present the library’s one millionth volume, a first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass donated in honor of President Delyte W. Morris. In 1988 the library welcomed its two millionth volume, a 1644 printing of John Milton’s Areopagitica.
The celebration will take place Wednesday, March 30, at 3 p.m. in the first floor rotunda. A reception will follow in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors.
February 10, 2016
Women of Distinction: Highlights from SCRC
To celebrate women’s history month in 2016, Special Collections Research Center has created an exhibit that showcases the trailblazing women and groups of women whose collections we have in each of our archival collecting areas.
Our University Archivist, Matt Gorzalski has highlighted the contributions of four SIU women: Katherine Dunham, Charlotte West, Dorothy Davies, and Lucy Woody with emphasis on their impact at SIU and within their professions.
Our Political Papers Archivist, Walter Ray exhibits the workings of women organizing by telling the story of several women’s political groups. These include: Carbondale Women’s clubs, The League of Women Voters, Women Politicians, and Women in Unions.
Our Manuscript Archivist, Christina Bleyer has focused on women in business and publishing, namely Caresse Crosby and Mary Hegeler Carus.
All of these women and women’s groups have given us potent examples of what it means to actualize one’s vocation often in the face of discrimination. We encourage you to tour the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors and learn from these powerful women.