Paper Tigers and Biblio-Beasts: Creatures in the Collections
June 26 – September 16, 2017
in Upper and Lower Main Galleries and Lecture Hall
The relationship between humans and (other) animals is complex and ever-changing. For thousands of years, living creatures have provided us with clothing and sustenance; filled our dreams –and nightmares — with vivid imagery; infested and consumed our food and belongings; entertained, comforted and inspired us; spread disease; made medical breakthroughs possible and prodded our minds to question our place in the world.
Human fascination with our companions on the planet is well documented in the rare books, photographs, historical documents and print materials that are housed within LSU Libraries Special Collections. This highly visual menagerie of sorts represents centuries of historical materials that touch on almost every aspect of human/animal interaction. Paper Tigers and Biblio-Beasts features works on a variety of topics, from the economically important creatures that colored our world with Carmine Red and Tyrian Purple dyes, to 19th century efforts to promote animal welfare.
Early works include the first illustrations and descriptions of species by men and women captivated by the animal kingdom. Natural philosophers through the centuries sought to impose order on the world, creating and publishing classification schemes and theories explaining relationships among creatures and how they changed through time. Artists and storytellers imbued the animal form with symbolic meaning. Expressions of these struggles to understand and explain, in the form of scientific works, book art and literature, are on display. Several major collections are represented in this veritable ark of creatures great and small.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information visit lib.lsu.edu/special or call (225) 578-6544.
Images: (1) Merian, Maria Sibylla. Histoire générale des insectes de Surinam et de toute l’Europe. (2) Wingfield, William. The Poultry Book. (3) Nast, Thomas. Harper’s Weekly (1871).
John Earle Uhler Papers
in Reading Room
John Earle Uhler was a writer, scholar, and English professor at LSU from 1928-1961. Prior to joining the faculty at LSU, where he served as first president of the LSU Faculty Club, Uhler worked as a reporter, copy editor, and actor. A charter member of the Renaissance Society of America, his research interests included Shakespeare, 18th century English drama, English Renaissance literature, and linguistics. The collection consists of correspondence, literary and academic manuscripts, printed material, teaching materials, and photographs.
In 1931, Uhler published Cane Juice, a novel depicting southern Louisiana and student life at LSU. A public controversy ensued in which Uhler was accused of slander by Father F. L. Gassler, culminating in his suspension and eventual removal from the faculty by the executive committee of the LSU Board of Supervisors. After a six-month legal battle involving the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Association of University Professors, Uhler was reinstated in April of 1932.