The Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery in Firestone Library opened on Wednesday, showcasing an eclectic selection of the University’s newest acquisitions from across the globe. Milberg graduated from the University in 1953.
“With the opening of the Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery in Firestone Library, we are able to share materials from our collections with a wider audience,” said Anne Jarvis, Robert H. Taylor 1930 University Librarian.
According to Library Communications Manager Barbara Valenza, “Welcome Additions: Selected Acquisitions 2012-2018” is a retrospective of recent additions to the University Library’s special collections within the Cotsen Children’s Library, East Asian Library, Graphic Arts, Manuscripts, Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Numismatics, Public Policy Papers, Rare Books, Scheide Library, University Archives, and Western Americana.
“The exhibition theme plays on the notion that our recent acquisitions may reflect either long-awaited opportunities to enhance existing collections, or unexpected ways of moving beyond traditional collecting interests,” said Eric White, Curator of Rare Books.
Exhibits include one of fifteen recorded copies of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Zweyter Theil der Clavier-Übung, the sole source for Bach’s Italian Concerto and French Overture, the sixth edition of the Biblia Latina, a “grandchild” of the Gutenberg Bible, and Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s manuscript draft of his historical novel El sueño del Celta.
Also on display are a Sugoroku board game from Japan and a photograph of Albert Einstein at his Fuld Hall office in 1947, as well as two complete Qur’ans created under the Qing Dynasty of China, which now belong to the Manuscript Division’s collection of ten thousand Islamic manuscripts.
The gallery also highlighted pieces of African-American history, including Professor Emeritus Toni Morrison’s manuscript draft of “Beloved,” her 1987 novel inspired by the story of an African-American slave who escaped slavery in Kentucky. The Princeton in Slavery Project used one of the exhibits, the Journal of Robert Sawyer, Class of 1838, which chronicled Sawyer’s final days as a University student and time as a Presbyterian missionary in Monrovia, Liberia, “to construct and understand the nature of racial relations within the college and town in the antebellum period.”
The gallery’s upcoming exhibitions will feature “Piranesi on the Page,” a 300th anniversary celebration of graphic artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, including selections from the Vatican Library. Future topics will center around alchemy, Native Americans and the 100th anniversary of the Association of American Indian Affairs, the origins and early spread of printing in Europe, and a tribute to Lloyd E. Cotsen ’50.
Located in the lobby of Firestone Library, the gallery is free and open to the public daily from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.