Description from University Library Calendar:
Join the University Library for the first webinar in a Show and Tell series showcasing exciting and unique items from our world-renowned collection. This month, we'll take a closer look at an "artist's book" by the famous Czech bookbinder, artist, printer, and poet Josef Váchal. Next, we'll examine two pieces of Cartographic Victoriana that bookend the 63-year reign of the Queen of the United Kingdom. Finally, we'll dive into the Archives to uncover special and invaluable records for the University of Illinois' Council of Administration.
- Váchal, Josef. Corcyra Nigra (Mor v Korčule), anno Domini MDLXXI. Prague, 1927.
One of the finest works produced by the famous Czech bookbinder, artist, printer, and poet Josef Váchal (1884-1969), this large-format hand-bound “artist’s book” is one of only 18 copies ever printed, one of only a handful of copies still in existence, and the only copy in the United States. Reportedly every aspect of the work, including the actual paper it is printed on, was made by Váchal himself. Using the plague epidemic that descended on the Croatian island of Korčula in 1571 as a vague allegory for the evils of early-20th-century communism, Váchal’s lavishly-colored woodcuts and vivid verse paint an eerie historical portrait. Corcyra Nigra is part of the University of Illinois’ unique Israel Perlstein Collection of Czechoslovak Book Design, comprising hundreds of small-print-run bibliophile editions representing the rich intellectual and cultural ferment of Prague during the 1920s and 1930s.
Kit Condill is the Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies Librarian at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He is a 2004 graduate of UIUC’s School of Information Sciences, where he teaches a Slavic Bibliography course each spring, and a 1995 graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He spent seven years working for (and eventually managing) the federally-funded Slavic Reference Service, and was named an inaugural Ralph T. Fisher Library Scholar in 2017. His research interests revolve around the print and online publications of the peoples of Central Eurasia, especially the North Caucasus.
- The Microcosm or World in Miniature. Edward King, 1849
The Queen and Her Empire: A Complete Atlas of the British Possessions and Dependencies of the Crown. Werner Company & Charles Tayloor, 1900
These two pieces of Cartographic Victoriana bookend the long reign of Queen Victoria. The Microcosm, or World in Miniature, published in 1849 (12 years after Victoria ascended to the throne) shows a young Victoria and Albert at the center, while The Queen and Her Empire, published in 1900, less than a year before Victoria’s death, includes a frontispiece photograph of the older, somber, widowed Victoria. Both pieces are critical parts of our collection for researchers exploring themes of imperialism and seeking to understand the Victorian era.
Jenny Marie Johnson has been the Map and Geography Librarian at the University of Illinois since early 1997. She earned both the BA in Geography (1984) and the MS in Library and Information Science (1985) at UIUC. She is ABD (all but dissertation) in Geography from the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to returning to Urbana, Jenny was Map and Geography Librarian at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and at the University of Washington.
Jenny’s research interests focus primarily on 19th and 20th century mapping and the contexts of creation. She has written or spoken on: the use of color, the national map of the United States published by the General Land Office, British world atlases published during the Imperial Century, maps published by the National Highways Association, and the six editions of Arthur H. Robinson’s seminal textbook Elements of Cartography. Additionally, Jenny is the author of Geographic Information: How to Find It, How to Use It and the chapter on “Geographical Sources” in the 2016 edition of Reference and Information Services.
Jenny has been active professionally with service as a member of editorial boards or a guest reviewer for journals and as the chair of committees of the American Library Association’s Map and Geography (now Map and Geospatial Information) Round Table and the American Association of Geographers. Her primary organizational home is the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) where she has held every possible elected position (except student board member) and is now serving as Executive Director.
- Council of Administration Records
Jameatris will be sharing one of her favorite records for digging through the deep well of history available in the University of Illinois Archives. It is a record that is often forgotten about and underutilized. Many may even go so far as to say that they are boring, but Jameatris is determined to share what makes the records for the Council of Administration (letter books, minutes, and correspondence) so special and invaluable.
Jameatris Rimkus is an archives program officer at the University of Illinois Archives whose specialty is helping researchers navigate the archives' extensive holdings, especially when researching underrepresented groups. You may have heard her on NPR sharing how she unraveled the mystery surrounding Langston Hughes’ 1957 visit to the University of Illinois Campus that resulted in an impromptu poetry reading captured by a WILL recording. He was visiting campus not to read poetry but to attend a world premiere of the opera, Esther, for which he wrote the libretto. It's that same kind of deep digging that enabled Jameatris to flesh out the life U of I Ph.D. (1916), St. Elmo Brady—the nation's first Black Ph.D. in chemistry.