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Indiana University Bloomington

Exhibitions & Events: Current exhibitions

It is the role of the Lilly Library to stimulate the intellectual curiosity of both the dedicated researcher and the casual visitor. In order to achieve this, the Library promotes a wide range of activities including exhibitions and special events such as poetry readings, musical performances and receptions, as well as lectures, tours, and class presentations.

View this information on the main IU Libraries website.

Main Gallery

One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature
June 22, 2015 - September 26, 2015

Books written for children form an especially rich and enjoyable part of the Lilly Library's collections. We owe our strength in children's literature to J.K. Lilly, Jr., who collected first and early editions of his favorite American children's books, and to Elisabeth Ball, who, along with her father, George Ball, enthusiastically collected children's books on a remarkably wide-ranging scale. The present exhibition is based on the recent show by the Grolier Club of New York, entitled "One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature." This "Grolier Hundred" is the latest entry in the series that begin in 1902 with the Club's publication of One Hundred Books Famous in English Literature, which J. K. Lilly, Jr., used as a blueprint for his collecting in the field.

One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature includes some of the world's best known books for children, from the mid-seventeenth-century onward. From Robinson Crusoe to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Winnie-the-Pooh to Where the Wild Things Are, this exhibition highlights some of most beloved stories written for and enjoyed by children. That we are able to display so many of them in first and early editions is due to the foresight and dedication of Ms. Ball and Mr. Lilly. We're very grateful for what they have entrusted to us, and we're pleased to be able to share their books with interested children of all ages.

Curators: Joel Silver and Erika Dowell

Lincoln Room

Death By Gimmick!!! The Weird Side of Detective Fiction
June 24, 2015 - August 28, 2015

Detective fiction by its very nature abounds with (or, some may argue, is plagued by) gimmicks. From the locked room to the twist ending to the eccentric detective, all aspects of this genre, plot, setting, and charactershinge on tricks, ploys, and clever strategies designed to fool, confound, frustrate, charm, and enchant devoted readers who are always looking for increasingly ingenious ways of thwarting their expectations.

Some authors, however, have gone beyond the normal shenanigans of the genre to create gimmicks that push their fiction into the territory of the bizarre. This summer, the Lilly Library pays tribute to some of the genres odder authors and also to the publishing houses that deployed truly ingenious marketing strategies to make their detective fiction all the more puzzling and appealing to readers for whom tricks are true treats.

Curator: Rebecca Baumann


One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature: An Illustrated Talk by Chris Loker
September 10th at 5:30 p.m.

The Lilly Library will host Chris Loker as she speaks about the landmark exhibition, "One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature," which she curated at the Grolier Club in New York City in late 2014. She will compliment her talk with numerous photographs of the "famous" children's books in the exhibition. She will also discuss the preparation and production of the 300-page exhibition catalogue, currently nominated for four literary awards in the US and the UK and being reprinted in October in a trade edition.

Chris Loker is an author of children's books and books about children's literature. She is also a San Francisco bookseller specializing in antiquarian children's books from 1750 to 1950, where her focus is on antique books with charm, character and color for young children and early adolescents. Chris is a member of the Grolier Club and the Book Club of California, and a trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Currently she is working on a book about 20th century picture books.

Slocum Puzzle Room

A World of Puzzles

A selection of puzzles from the world's largest collection of mechanical puzzles. Read more about these intriguing objects in the Guide to the Collections: Slocum Puzzle Collection.

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Last updated: 26 August 2015

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