Museums

Vonnegut Library to Open in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — Three years after his death, pieces of Kurt Vonnegut's life are coming together in his hometown, where a new library will chronicle the "Slaughterhouse Five" author's harrowing World War II experiences and his works that struck a chord with the Vietnam generation.

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library is scheduled to open this fall in downtown Indianapolis will be part library and part museum, with a collection including first editions of his books, a replica of his writing studio, his Purple Heart and multiple rejection letters that preceded his success.

The 1,100-square-foot space will also house an art gallery featuring his distinctive line drawings and a gift shop that will help generate income for the nonprofit library, said Julia Whitehead, the museum's executive director and founder.

Whitehead approached Vonnegut's son, Mark, in 2008 and proposed the idea of a memorial center. Weeks later, all three of Vonnegut's children signed on.

Vonnegut's eldest daughter, Edie Vonnegut, said her father loved libraries and would have wanted visitors to learn about his perseverance in the face of dismissive publishers. Among the items she's loaning the library are some of his rejection letters.

Historic Magna Carta Stuck in New York Due to European Travel Restrictions

The Magna Carta may have helped establish our right to protection against unlawful legal detention, but that doesn’t mean the venerated document can’t be held in New York a little longer than expected while Europe resolves its travel woes.

The Morgan Library & Museum in Manhattan said a rare manuscript of the Magna Carta that it will show starting Wednesday would remain on display through May 30 while arrangements were made to transport it home to Britain. As all good schoolchildren know, the original Magna Carta was signed by King John of England in 1215 at Runnymede, putting limits on the king’s power and enumerating legal principles like the writ of habeas corpus. The version at the Morgan, which dates to 1217, is one of 17 surviving originals produced in the 13th century that bear the royal seal. It had been held by the Bodleian Library at Oxford University and was transported to New York for a special Oxford event, but could not be returned to Britain as a result of travel restrictions imposed after the eruption of an Icelandic volcano. Through the end of May, Britain’s loss is America’s gain.

Olympic Fever in Canada's Libraries

Canada's caught Olympic fever, and the country's libraries are not immune. Library and Archives Canada has mounted two outdoor exhibits, one in Vancouver and one in Ottawa, featuring portraits of Olympians past. Twenty-three of the finest athletes the land of the maple leaf has produced are the stars of Portraits In The Street and Portraits On Ice. Photographs, drawings, and paintings all combine to showcase medalists and other history-making participants in the Winter games.

The Great Gretzky Meets The Great Warhol.
(Serigraph On Paper by Andy Warhol, 1983.)

More from Seattle PI's Book Patrol.

At Nixon Library, Mao Statue Rankles Some

A statue of deceased Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at the Nixon Presidential Library &Museum is the subject of a protest planned for Thursday, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The statue has been in the Hall of World Leaders since the Nixon Presidential Library opened. Kai Chen – a Chinese-American organizing the protest – is the first person to launch a complaint about it, said Sandy Quinn, assistant director of the Nixon Library &Birthplace Foundation.

"To even mention Mao with democratic leaders such as Churchill and Golda Meir in the same breath is truly an insult to human intelligence and offensive to all the freedom-loving people in the world," said Chen, who emigrated from China in 1981 and lives in Los Angeles.

"Having several figures in the world leaders' (section) doesn't mean we endorse their policies," assistant library director Sandy Quinn said. OC Register.

Another article from the LA Times points out that the library,
once privately run, is making a transition to government operation..."and that has turned statues of Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai into political footballs".

The Field Museum Library Joins Flickr Commons

On April 30,2009, Chicago's Field Museum Library joined the ranks of public institutions like the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian in becoming a member of Flickr Commons. The goal of Flickr Commons is to allow users access to the world's public photography archives, and encourage user interaction through comments and tagging. The Field Museum's Flickr sets include images pertaining to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the Museum's history, and Illinois landscapes. -- Read More

Books as Objets D'Art on Exhibit in Minneapolis

Many collectors will tell you that books are works of art. Not just for their words, but as objects of art. Many artists at some point in their careers have made books. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is celebrating the book as an art form with it's exhibition "Text/Messages." It features books created by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Kara Walker, among others.

Story, slide show and audio from Minnesota Public Radio.

Hands-On Kids' Museums Make Learning Fun

There was a story on NPR about hands-on children's museums and how they use technology. The whole piece was interesting but there was a mention how some children's museums are teaming with libraries.

A public library kiosk in Dinosphere lets kids from anywhere in Indiana check out library books and send them back through the state's interlibrary loan system.

Library of Obscure Chicago Literature Opens

The Chicago Underground Library has surfaced.

After a year spent in limbo and without a permanent space, the fledgling non-profit has partnered with AREA Chicago and InCUBATE, aligning their missions to illuminate the city's arts scene, past and present. The Underground Library archives and indexes small, indie and obscure literary artifacts. AREA Chicago, a non-profit magazine, highlights "local social movements, political and cultural organizations," according to the Web site, and InCUBATE is a research institute striving to create connections between local and visiting artists.

The three organizations now share a Logan Square location, 2129 N. Rockwell St., in the Congress Theater building.

Read on for a listing of some the library's most interesting items.

One Day Old Website Europeana Crashes

Europeana, a Web site of two million documents, images, video and audio clips, opened yesterday with international publicity and acclaim from researchers. LISNews report is here.

And today, it crashed.

A message on the Europeana website reads: "The Europeana site is temporarily not accessible due to overwhelming interest after its launch.

"We are doing our utmost to reopen Europeana in a more robust version as soon as possible. We will be back by mid-December," it added.

"We launched the European.eu site on 20 November and huge use, 10 million hits an hour, meant it crashed."

2009 the Year of Poe for Mystery Writers of America

NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Mystery Writers of America (MWA) has chosen the Edgar Allan Poe Society and The Poe House in Baltimore, Maryland, as the 2009 recipients of the organization's prestigious Raven Award.

More from Earth Times.

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