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Picturing Our World: 2015 Exhibit

From explorers measuring a pre-industrial world to virtual worlds built with code, technological advances and human ingenuity have heightened our senses, expanding perceptions of the universe and our place in it. Eden Phillpotts, inspired by the magnifying glass, remarked, “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Come with us as we focus our lens on magical things–from planets beyond the stars to the hidden networks binding us together.

Picturing Our World: Visualizing Our World

Visualizing Our World (1941 cases)

How many times each day do you use the internet for directions, the weather and news? Early scientists and philosophers made sense of their world by drawing connections to known theories and subjects. The tools we use today were built on the observations and reflections of these men and women.

Picturing Our World: Killer Collections

Killer Collections

In dime novels, outlaws Jesse and Frank James caught the nation's imagination with their daring bank robberies. A shocked nation followed the trial of thrill killers Leopold and Loeb as it played out in newspaper headlines. Assassination attempts like that on President Gerald Ford have become recurring topics of the nightly news. As the ways we communicate improve, criminal acts have become an obsession with Americans, as technological advances bring the stories into our homes in real time.

Picturing Our World: Special Collections 75th Anniversary

Special Collections 75th Anniversary

In the decades that followed the 1941 establishment of the Treasure Room, Special Collections expanded its scope to include not only such rare books as a James Joyce’s Ulysses signed first edition but also manuscripts and ephemera such as the J. León Helguera Collection of Colombiana, containing thousands of pamphlets, broadsides and newspapers. Strategic acquisitions have generated nationally-significant collections in journalism, politics and social activism, the Civil Rights Movement, Latin America, southern literature and the performing arts. Today, Special Collections is a vital partner in the university’s efforts to connect students and scholars with primary resources through instruction, grant-funded digital projects and exhibitions.

Picturing Our World: Children's Literature

Children's Literature

The 19th century is often considered the golden age of children’s literature. The availability of children’s books increased as the cost of production became more affordable for publishers. Folktales often served as inspiration for many of the books written during this era. These tales were passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition. By the turn of the century, authors were modernizing traditional folktales while exposing young readers to previously unknown cultures and societies. As the 20th century progressed, authors of children’s book were inspired by the cultural and societal changes affecting American society, especially in the post-World War II era. Many stories incorporated the important political and social events impacting everyday American Life. Today, authors and illustrators of children’s literature continue to document the ever evolving, multicultural world.

Picturing Our World: History of Recorded Sound

History of Recorded Sound

“Mary had a little lamb.” With these five words, Thomas Alva Edison ushered in the age of recorded sound on August 12, 1877. Music and speech could now be captured on cylinders and discs, offering us new ways to perceive our world. The 20th century brought great advances in technology that improved both the recording and playback processes. New formats like magnetic tape and the long-playing record allowed playback of up to 45 minutes of music, while the development of stereo sound provided a more authentic listening experience. Following the end of World War II album cover art played a major role in marketing efforts for music. The compact disc rose to prominence in the mid-1980s, but its ascendance would prove to be short-lived. On October 23, 2001, Apple released the first iPod, freeing music from the constraints of physical formats. As digital storage becomes more affordable, future listeners will not have to sacrifice audio fidelity for convenience.

Picturing Our World: The Judaica Collection: 70 Years In the Making

The Judaica Collection: 70 Years In the Making

Exhibitions that speak to the topic of how we visualize our world are on display in the Divinity Library and the Martha Rivers Ingram Performing Arts Hall. The making of the Zimmerman Judaica Collection is the focus of the Divinity Library's exhibition, a rich resource for scholars that was seventy years in the making. Today, this exceptional collection houses over 20,000 titles. Librarians from the Wilson Music Library curated five cases on the history of recorded sound that are on display in Ingram Hall. From early wax cylinders, magnetic tapes and LPs to the compact disc and Apple iPod, this exhibition examines the ways we have recorded and shared audio over the last 135 years.

Picturing Our World: Photography

Photography

From its invention in 1839 to today’s digital formats, photography has been an important means for understanding changes in society. Early daguerreotypes and cheaper tintypes connected Americans capturing far-away places, people, and historic events. As America’s population expanded west, cheaper photographic processes helped people exchange family memories and experience technological change. Photographers recorded official histories and work discoveries as well as informal, private moments.

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange, 1936

Picturing Our World: Visualizing Data

Visualizing Data

From explorers measuring a pre-industrial world to virtual worlds built with code, technological advances and human ingenuity have heightened our senses, expanding perceptions of the universe and our place in it. Eden Phillpotts, inspired by the magnifying glass, remarked, “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Come with us as we focus our lens on magical things–from planets beyond the stars to the hidden networks binding us together.