The Menace Behind the Magick: A Halloween Pop-Up Exhibit at the RBML

25 October – 07 November 2018 Curated by Taylor Fisk Henning & Kellie Clinton Twenty years ago, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published in the United States. The book, followed by six more volumes in the Harry Potter series, soon became a cultural phenomenon which led to eight films, numerous […]

First Appearances: Jane Eyre, Moby-Dick, and Winnie-the-Pooh

by Katie Funderberg, Xena Becker, and Kellie Clinton Jane Eyre Significantly impacting the genre of prose fiction, Jane Eyre, originally subtitled An Autobiography, was first appeared on October 16th, 1847 under the pen name Currer Bell. Speculation over the author’s identity and the novelty of a book commenting on issues such as religion, class, and […]

This Just In: Happy Birthday H.G. Wells!

Herbert George Wells was born on this day in 1866 and we want to take the occasion to celebrate his life and work. The Rare Book and Manuscript Library is proud to serve as the steward for the author’s papers and correspondence, as well as a large collection of manuscripts and print editions of Wells’ […]

Ballad of Birmingham: 55 Years Later

55 years ago, on September 15th, 1963 , white supremacists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls and injuring 23 other children. It was Youth Day at the church and the children were gathered in the basement when the bomb went off. The church was a hub of activity […]

Building a Library: The Cavagna Sangiuliani Collection at Illinois

Building a Library: The Cavagna Sangiuliani Collection at Illinois On display September 14 – December 14, 2018 Curated by Chloe Ottenhoff In 1921, the University of Illinois purchased the Cavagna Sangiuliani Collection of Italian imprints and manuscripts from the descendants of Count Antonio Cavagna Sangiuliani di Gualdana (1843-1913) as part of a wider effort to […]

On This Day: Charlotte Brontë Dies, 1855

On this Day: Charlotte Brontë dies, 1855 Perhaps no family has left the same kind of mark on English literature as the Brontë sisters. Charlotte (1816-1855), Emily (1818-1848), and Anne (1820-1849) were all accomplished poets and authors, best known for Charlotte’s Jane Eyre (1847), Emily’s  Wuthering Heights (1847), and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848).  The […]

Proust and the Great War (Part 2)

Selected Letters at the University of Illinois by François Proulx, Assistant Professor, Department of French and Italian Time Regained, the final volume of Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, is among the most famous literary depictions of World War I. Yet most of Proust’s letters from the war period have never been translated into […]

Let’s Talk About Sex: A Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Exhibit at the RBML

12 February – 23 February 2018 Curated by Claire Berman & Siobhan McKissic Birds do it, bees do it, but how do we do it? Sitting down to talk about sex has long been a trope in television and books. These depictions show the discomforts parents, teachers, and friends face while trying to explain a […]

“This Never Fails if Rightly Done”: Cookery and Curatives from Regency England

A pop-up exhibit at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library 11 December – 22 December 2017 Curated by Katie Bergen The Regency era is a time often remembered for its glittering balls and the amusements of high society. These aristocratic pleasures have been canonized in literature that remains popular to this day, including works by […]

Happy Ninetieth Birthday W. S. Merwin!

The prolific and accomplished American poet and writer, William Stanley Merwin, turns ninety years young on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Since 1984 and by arrangement with the author, the formative materials for his nearly seventy books of poetry, prose, translations and plays–including notes, notebooks, drafts, typescripts, proofs, and correspondence–have been deposited in the collections of […]