Rare Oz collection on exhibit at Spencer Research Library

Thu, 02/20/2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries will present “The Magic of Oz: A Collection Celebrating a Classic,” a special exhibition displaying rare books and artifacts pertaining to the Wizard of Oz series and its creator, prolific author L. Frank Baum. The exhibition, currently on display at Kenneth Spencer Research Library, features materials from the collection of KU alumna and lifelong Oz collector Jane Albright.

Growing up in Topeka, Albright began collecting as a young fan of Baum’s series. Winning the Libraries’ Snyder Book Collecting Contest while a student at KU provided her with a new perspective on her Oz materials. “Instead of just wanting Oz books to read,” Albright said, “I now wanted my collection to represent various editions, diverse languages, and the works of different illustrators.” She subsequently built a collection that included these materials, plus many other items related to the Oz series, a literary saga that continued well after Baum’s death. The exhibition features early editions and more-recent foreign-language translations of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," examples of other works by Baum and Oz illustrator W.W. Denslow, ephemera from the 1903 Broadway musical adaptation and a response to fan-mail written by Baum’s wife.

“The Magic of Oz: A Collection Celebrating a Classic” will be on display through April 19. KU Libraries will also host a gallery talk featuring Albright at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at Spencer Research Library. The event is free and open to the public; visit the Libraries’ Events Calendar for more information.

One of the top 50 libraries in the Association of Research Libraries by volumes held, and the largest library system in Kansas, KU Libraries advance discovery, innovation and learning for KU, the state and a rapidly expanding community of world scholars.



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