Rare book collection

2013 Events

Plaza Exhibition: Ancient and Living Maya in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Archaeological Discovery, Literary Voice, and Political Struggle
October 8, 2012 -- January 27, 2013
The Stuart Collection and other holdings in the Rare Book Collection tell the story of European peoples' discovery of Maya sites and Maya languages and literary traditions, alongside the dramatic political history of the region and the Maya struggle for autonomy. This exhibition is in conjunction with the symposium,"13 Bak'tun: New Maya Perspectives in 2012".

Encyclopedia Exhibition: The Encyclopedic Impulse
February 27, 2013 -- May 26, 2013
Volumes from the Rare Book Collection document the human impulse to collect and organize knowledge in a single bibliographic entity--from the Middle Ages to the recent past--on the occasion of the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Denis Diderot, editor and principal visionary of the great eighteenth-century knowledge project, the Encyclopédie.


Llul Lecture: From Alexandria to Google: The Mythic Quest for Universal Libraries
February 27, 2013
Ken Hillis--UNC Professor of Media and Technology Studies--historicizes the centuries-old desire for total encyclopedic knowledge, tracing Google's quest to organize the world's information through a lineage of mathematicians and metaphysicians, from the ancient atomists to medieval polymath Ramón Llull to science fiction writer H.G. Wells.

Nowruz Event: Nowruz Persian New Year Celebration
Monday, March 18, 2013
Celebrate the Persian New Year and the growing Persian studies collection with food, music, and remarks by faculty and communtiy members. Participants will include members of the UNC Persian Cultural Society of North Carolina. An exhibit of select rare and recently acquired Persian library materials will be on display.




String Event: Rare Book Collection Recent Acquisitions Evening
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
A not-under-glass display of additions to the Rare Book Collection from the past two years, including: the first printed book by the first feminist of the New World; the first edition of Galileo's last book; an original sketchbook with poetry by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (UNC A.B. 1941); William Wordsworth's letters; Victorian novels; Latin American periodicals; twentieth-century fine press volumes; and more!



Sor Juana Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture: Sor Juana, The First Feminist of the New World
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Professor Rosa Perelmuter, UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, speaks about the literary and publishing career of Mexican poet Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695). The first edition of her first book, acquired by the Rare Book Collection in 2012, will be on display.




2012 Events

Maya Symposium: 13 Bak'tun: New Maya Perspectives in 2012
Thursday - Friday, October 25-26, 2012
A symposium on Maya civilization in recognition of the end of the current great cycle in the Maya Long Count calendar. Exhibitions, lectures, open classes, multimedia presentations, and poetry readings showcase the holdings of the University Library and its Rare Book Collection. Co-sponsored by the Rare Book Collection, Friends of the Library, Institute for the Study of the Americas, UNC Global, and the Douglass Hunt Lecture of the Carolina Seminars. Symposium lectures and presentations are now available.



Maya Lecture: New Maya Perspectives: Victor Montejo lecture
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Internationally recognized author and scholar Victor Montejo, a Jakaltek Maya from Guatemala, will deliver the opening address for the symposium 13 Bak'tun: New Maya Perpectives in 2012. Professor Montejo's numerous publications include Maya Intellectual Renaissance: Critical Essays on Identity, Representation, and Leadership(2005). The Wilson Library exhibition Ancient and Living Maya in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Archaeological Discovery, Literary Voice, and Political Struggle, will be accessible before the lecture.


Banned Flier First Amendment Day: Banned and in the Rare Book Collection
October 2, 2012
Members of the UNC community will read from original editions of banned and censored books in Wilson Library on Oct. 2 as part of UNC's fourth annual First Amendment Day. "Banned and in the Rare Book Collection" will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Special Collections Library.


Tuke Exhibition: Nature and the Unnatural in Shakespeare's Age
February 27 - August 26, 2012
An exploration of early modern understandings of nature and the unnatural in Shakespeare's time through a selection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English and Continental books from the Rare Book Collection. The exhibition includes herbals, natural histories, travel accounts, agricultural works, cosmetics manuals, as well as books on magic and witchcraft. This exhibition is in conjunction with the conference, "Shakespeare and the Natural World", sponsored by the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Descartes Lecture: The Invention of Scientific Reading
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Adrian Johns--Allan Grant Maclear Professor of History at the University of Chicago and author of,
Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age (2010) andThe Nature of the Book:
Print and Knowledge in the Making
--delivers a lecture in the Critical Speakers Series of UNC's
English and Comparative Literature Department.

banned_flier_small Lecture: "Maidens call it Love-in-Idleness": Potions, Passion, and Fairy Knowledge
in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Thursday, March 29, 2012
UNC Professor Mary Floyd-Wilson speaks on the perennially popular Shakespeare play. The lecture
celebrates the Rare Book Collection exhibition Nature and the Unnatural in Shakespeare's Age,
on view during the reception, and inaugurates the conference "Shakespeare and the Natural World,"
co-sponsored by UNC and King's College London.

Moseley Map Lecture: The Moseley Manuscript Map of North Carolina of 1737: Its History and
the Hunt for Its Provenance

Saturday, March 10, 2012
Independent scholar Michael McNamara will discuss questions of authorship and provenance surrounding the "Moseley Manuscript Map," a recently discovered 1737 document that builds on Surveyor General Edward Mosely's famous "A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina" (1733). The event will also feature a display of several maps depicting North Carolina at the time of European settlement and in the century thereafter.


2011 Events

galileo_small The 14th Hanes Lecture:
Pictures, Books, and Science: From Description to Diagram in the Circle of Galileo

Thursday, September 22, 2011
David Freedberg, Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art at Columbia University and
Director of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, examines the tension between
the two kinds of illustration produced in the circle of Galileo and his friends--the descriptive
watercolors and book illustrations they commissioned in their search for order in nature, and the
diagrammatic forms used in scientific treatises from the beginnings of the printing revolution.

banned_flier_small First Amendment Day: Banned and in the Rare Book Collection
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Members of the UNC community will read from original editions of banned and censored books
in Wilson Library on Sept. 27 as part of UNC's third annual First Amendment Day celebration.
"First Amendment Day: Banned and in the Rare Book Collection" will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the
Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Special Collections Library. A display of rare
banned books will be on view at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

popayan Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture: Into the Latin American Archive
Monday, October 10, 2011
Kathryn Burns, professor of history at UNC Chapel Hill, discusses her recent book,
Into the Archive: Writing and Power in Colonial Peru (Duke 2010), which traces
the practices of the Spanish American escribanos, who shaped notarial truth and
generated vast colonial archives. Original Latin American documents and books from the
Rare Book Collection will be on display for the evening.

Beardsley Aubrey Beardsley and His Publishers
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Mark Samuels Lasner, Senior Research Fellow, University of Delaware Library, and
noted Beardsley collector, will speak on the interaction between artist Beardsley and
his publishers John Lane, Leonard Smithers, and J. M. Dent. Beardsley publications held
by the Rare Book Collection will be on display for the evening.


Grandville129 Rare Books Are for Everyone: Second Annual Display of Recent Acquisitions
Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011

Claudia Funke, Curator of Rare Books, on why rare books are for everyone.
A not-under-glass display of recent additions to the Rare Book Collection
to be open before and after the program.


Wordsworth77a William Wordsworth
Thursday, Mar. 17, 2011

Professor Paul Betz of Georgetown University speaks on the great Romantic
poet in celebration of UNC Professor Mark Reed's gift of Wordsworth volumes
to the Rare Book Collection.


suarez_flier Poets in Person and on the Page: Michael Suarez, S.J.
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

Poet Suarez, University Professor and Director of Rare Book School at the
University of Virginia, inaugurates this new poetry series, reading his own
work and then James Joyce's Chamber Music in the 1907 edition held
by the Rare Book Collection at Chapel Hill. An analysis of both works as
voice and printed page follows.

2010 Events

vila_flier_small Vargas Vila: 150 Years of Clamorous Solitude
A lecture by Juan Carlos González Espitia

Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010

Juan Carlos González Espitia, associate professor of Spanish at UNC, discusses
the life and writings of José María Vargas Vila, considered one of the most
controversial and widely read Colombian authors of the early twentieth century.
At the program, a new Library Web site launches, giving access to Vargas Vila's digitized works.