Friday, April 19, 2024

25 Years of Rauner Library

Dust jacket to A Room of One's Own
This past week we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the opening of Rauner Special Collections Library. We kicked off the week with faculty panel discussions about research and teaching in Special Collections, then had a series of events throughout the week with our various library partners. We were delighted and honored to have Gina Barreca '79, the Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, deliver our keynote address on Thursday. 

In commemoration of Gina's talk, we acquired a truly great work: the first trade edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own from the Hogarth Press that includes the iconic dust jacket designed by her sister Vanessa Bell. We already had the fancy limited edition first printing, but the trade edition is really far more important. After all, it was the one people actually read and that spread the Woolfs' ideas about women writers and the social conditions necessary for writing success.

Also out all week was Mario Puzo's 1965 portable Olympia typewriter on which parts of The Godfather were composed. We invited students and other visitors to type up a message. It was an offer that many could not refuse. In fact, it was such a hit, we plan to leave it out in the reading room for a few more weeks if you have an urgent missive that needs that certain special delivery.

Mario Puzo's typewriter

To see the new A Room of One's Own, ask for Rare PR6045.O72 Z474 1929b. For Puzo's typewriter, ask at the desk. When we move it out of the reading room it will be in Box 55 of Puzo's Papers (MS-1371).