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New Alice 150 Items on Display!

A new year means new items in the Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll exhibit!

We’ve been hard at work turning pages in the variety of Alice in Wonderland books on display, so visitors can explore new characters and scenes from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale.

We’ve also changed out some of the items in our exhibit cases. New items include illustrated books, parodies, and ephemera. Among our new favorites are a reimagining of Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” poem, in which the Jabberwock is a towering king of an urban basketball court, and “Alice in Watergateland”, a comic that follows Alice as she chases the White Rabbit (Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox) into the maddening world of the Watergate scandal.

Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library and discover the new additions to the exhibit. Is your favorite item no longer on display? Explore the online exhibit to view all the exhibit items in Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll!

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Alice 150 Featured Object of the Month: February

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, is an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Each month, a new item from the exhibit will be showcased.

In February, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view Alice-inspired humorous presidential pamphlets featuring Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.

Through the Outlooking Glass with Theodore Roosevelt is a political commentary on Theodore Roosevelt’s attempt at a third term as a Progressive party candidate. Written in the form of a parody of Through the Looking Glass, the story consists of a dialogue between Alice and the hostile Red Knight (Roosevelt).

Frankie in Wonderland, written anonymously by investment banker, lampoons President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal in eight short chapters based on both Alice books

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll here.

Curator Pick: Favorite Item from the Alice 150 Exhibit

How could I possibly choose one item out of so many amazing ones as my favorite?! Early on, I digitized the majority of the items that are in the exhibit, allowing me time to really look through every book as I scanned it. Needless to say, I have quite a few favorites! In order for me to dwindle my list down to one, I focused on one criteria: what was the book that made me completely stop what I was doing because it was so curious? For me, that is my lasting impression of Alice from my childhood, and why I still relate to Carroll’s story as an adult.  Alice’s curiosity, the curiosity of the characters and the world that is Wonderland continues to draw people back time and time again.

My favorite would have to be Alitjinya ngura Tjukurtjarangka [Alitji in the Dreamtime], illustrated by Byron W. Sewell. I was incredibly surprised when I first picked it up to find the White Rabbit was a kangaroo!

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This was definitely one the cleverest re-imaginings of the Alice characters that I had encountered and stood on its own as a story that illustrated Wonderland in a different culture so well. Sewell’s illustrations are at once similar and arrestingly different than the traditional Alice. His characters are often ethereal, but when he does have them grounded, he depicts the earth with geometric patterns.

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Note how realistic Alice looks, but how drastically altered the rest of the characters are depicted.

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This is also a bilingual edition, translated into Pitjantjatjara and adapted into Australian English. I enjoy editions with this added factor because it reaches a whole new audience and easily teaches them a little something that could lead to something more. This item is the epitome of what this exhibit aims to represent and why I always include it as an example when I’m describing the exhibit to others.

Honorable mentions [this was inevitable!]:
1. Sakuba‘s intense and instantly classic characters:

2. Rackham‘s muted color scheme and Wonderlandians’ long, spindly features:

3. Kállay‘s warm colors and delightful tea party:

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For your listening enjoyment:

Explore this item and more works by Lewis Carroll in our Alice 150 Years and Counting exhibit, now open to the public in Hornbake Library at the University of Maryland.


Brin Winterbottom is a graduate student at the University of Maryland iSchool. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently works in Hornbake’s Digital Conversion Media Reformatting Center and is conducting her field study with the Alice exhibit team. 

Spotlight on Wonderland: The Mock Turtle

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Winter’s bitter cold is here, the skies are dark and gloomy, what could possibly be more miserable? Answer: the mock turtle. Our unusual friend has the monopoly on melancholy, or so it seems, as he is rarely ever seen not weeping bitterly and bemoaning his sad state.   His distress is due to the fact that once upon a time, he was a real turtle. But unfortunately when Alice meets him, he is a rather unsightly mixture of a calf’s head, tail, and hooves, with the shell of a turtle.

Before Alice is introduced to him, the Queen of Hearts asks:

“Have you seen the mock turtle yet?”

“No,” said Alice. “I don’t even know what a mock turtle is.”

“It’s the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from,” said the Queen.”

And what is mock turtle soup supposed to be?  Mock turtle soup was a popular dish in the 18th and 19th century. It is an inexpensive imitation of green turtle soup. Recipes usually call for calf brains, head, organs, and/or hooves to replicate the texture of turtle meat. (Eww.) Though it may be the dead of winter and soup sounds quite warm and comforting, even I cannot stomach the idea of this particular dish.

The Mock Turtle is known for constantly weeping, sighing deeply, and pausing dramatically while telling the story of his early life as a real turtle. He frequently speaks in puns. Particularly amusing is his litany of courses he took while still in school.  Some mentioned are “Reeling and writhing,” and “the different branches of arithmetic- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.” An example of Lewis Carroll’s clever wordplay in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 

Would you rather encounter a depressed Mock Turtle or a stark raving mad Hatter in Wonderland?

Did you Know:

  • In Tenniel’s illustration, the Mock Turtle’s body is composed of the ingredients that go into a typical mock turtle soup recipe.

Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library from October 2105-July 2016 to explore the mock turtle and the rest of the Wonderland cast of characters in the exhibit Alice 150 Years and County…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.

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Alice 150 Featured Item of the Month: January

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), will showcase a new Alice related item every month.

In January, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view Scientific Alician, a brilliant parody of the esteemed Scientific American magazine. Contents include Alice themed articles, plus the usual departments of Letters, Mathematical Games, advertisements, and Author notes- all parodied in Alice in Wonderland fashion.

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll.

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Christmas Greetings from Special Collections

Celebrate the holidays with these yuletide selections from Special Collections and University Archives!

Our Robert Frost Collection includes beautifully printed and designed Christmas Cards, also known as chapbooks,  featuring poetry by Robert Frost.  Printed by the Spiral Press, the idea for these cards began in 1930 not by Frost, but the founder of the Spiral Press Joseph Blumenthal. With’s Frost involvement, a new card was published annually until 1962. While not all overtly Christmas-themed, the poems have Frosts’ unmistakable rural charm.

Many notable authors and poets looked for inspiration in Christmastime, from the humorous to the introspective. Works by Ernest Hemingway, Ogden Nash, T.S. Eliot, H.L. Menken, Louisa May Alcott, and many more can be found in Special Collections and University Archives.

Looking for something more classic? The Kelmscott Press, a fine printing press started by English author and socialist WIlliam Morris (1834-1896), printed a wonderful edition of ‘Good King Wenceslas‘, illustrated by Arthur J. Gaskin. Also in our Rare Book collection is a copy of ‘The Night Before Christmas’, printed in 1899. This edition, issued by famed New York City Bookshop Brentanos, is illustrated by J. C. Chase.

Visit the Maryland Room in when we re-open on January 4th and explore more from our collections!

 

Spotlight on Wonderland: The White Rabbit

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I fear I shall too be late to turn in my final papers! Must dash!! Cheerio!!!

At last, finals week; the week we both long for (as a herald to winter break and relative peace), and dread ( don’t even ask how many papers I need to finish) is finally here. In the spirit of this hectic period, we shall follow the swift, zippy, speedy, breakneck, hasty, expeditious wee rabbit across the various landscapes of Wonderland. I am inspired by the words of Sherlock Holmes (played by Robert Downey Jr.), in the recent film version (2009),  ” My journey took me some what further down the rabbit hole than I intended and though I dirtied my fluffy white tail I have emerged, enlightened.”

When we first meet the nameless white rabbit, Alice is dozing, and in her state of reverie she follows him down to another world. Amusingly enough, Alice finds it rather unremarkable that he rushes by her, saying “Oh dear, Oh dear, I shall be too late”, but when he pulls a pocket watch from his waistcoat she can no longer be disinterested.

It is in the rabbit’s house that she finds one of the bottles that reads “Drink Me”, that changes her size so drastically. Accordingly, Alice soon becomes too large for the rabbit’s home, and frightens the dickens out of him.

Though she loses track of him for a while, Alice then runs into the rabbit again at the Queen’s croquet game, and he finally directly addresses Alice, though not as we would expect from their earlier meeting.

“It’s–It’s a very fine day!” said a timid voice at her side. She was walking by the White Rabbit, who was peeping anxiously into her face.” They speak about how the Duchess was under a sentence of execution for boxing the Queen’s ears, until the Queen scares them into focusing on the game at hand. The next time we see the rabbit is at the court proceedings, where he serves a herald to the court. With a trumpet in hand and a scroll in the other as he calls upon Alice as a witness to the proceedings.

What do you think of the White Rabbit?

Did You Know?

Lewis Carroll’s inspiration for the White Rabbit may have been Alice Liddell’s father, Dean Henry Liddell, who was known for running late to services at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford.

According to Lewis Carroll: “the White Rabbit should wear spectacles. I am sure his voice should quaver, and his knees quiver, and his whole air suggest a total inability to say “Bo” to a goose!”

Visit the Maryland Room gallery in Hornbake Library from October 2105-July 2016 to explore the White Rabbit and the rest of the Wonderland cast of characters in the exhibit Alice 150 Years and County…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.