A few months ago I walked around the campus of my alma mater, University of Maryland at College Park, while snapping pictures. I didn’t bother with going inside of the undergraduate library, Hornbake Library. Had I done so, I would’ve been greeted with an extra surprise.  I learned about this in this post on the Living a Doll’s Life blog of all places. Basically the Hornbake Library has been having a special exhibition in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice in Wonderland. The exhibition started last October and it’s going to close at the end of this month.

I became very interested in a special exhibition devoted to Alice in Wonderland since it’s being held at my alma mater and I live close to the campus. I thought it would be a shame not to see it at least once before it closes. The big snag is that the exhibition is in a special room at Hornbake Library and that room is currently on a limited summer schedule where it’s only opened Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. I had some free time on the Tuesday before the Fourth of July holiday weekend so I decided to go to the campus.

Since I discovered that exhibit in a doll blog, I thought it would be cool to bring some small dolls with me that would also be appropriate for the occasion. The white rabbit is a Goodreau Dolls Scrappy the Rabbit while the girl is a Little Pullip Alice Fantastic. I took this next photo while I was eating lunch in the Food Court located in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.

photo1

When I was at campus in February, I saw that the University Book Center from my own student days had increased its space but I couldn’t investigate because it was closed that day. (I was there on a late Saturday afternoon.) This time I was able to go inside the store since I came on a weekday afternoon.

In my student days the University Book Center occupied the basement level. Since that time the same store had expanded by one floor. The upper floor sells mainly University of Maryland Terrapin clothes (including t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and even shoes).

photo2

photo3

photo4

photo5

The lower level is still the way I remembered it, down to the exposed pipes on the ceiling.

photo6

photo7

After I ate lunch at the Stamp Student Union I made the short walk to Hornbake Library where I saw the new statue dedicated to Frederick Douglass along with three huge banners hanging at the front, including one banner dedicated to Alice in Wonderland.

photo8

The exhibit was held in the Maryland Room that’s located on the first floor. I knew I came to the right place when I saw a statue of Testudo the Terrapin wearing a Mad Hatter hat.

photo9

photo10

photo11

Here are a few signs about the exhibition.

photo12

photo13

Basically the exhibit consisted mostly of books from the collection of Clare and August Imholtz, who had spent three decades collecting anything to do with either Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, or both. They had acquired various editions of Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, in many different languages. The next photo shows the smallest editions that the couple currently have in their collection.

photo14

This next photo shows a copy of Alice in Wonderland that was signed by Alice Hargreaves (née Alice Liddell), who was Lewis Carroll’s original inspiration for the Alice books.

photo15

The two Alice books were originally published with illustrations by John Tenniel. The Tenniel-illustrated editions still remain in print but there have been a variety of editions where Tenniel’s illustrations were replaced by illustrations done by others. The vast majority of the collection on display showed these other illustrations, many of which are quite fanciful and colorful.

photo16

photo17

photo18

photo19

photo20

photo21

photo22

photo23

photo24

photo25

photo26

photo27

There were a few Alice-related ephemera on display as well, such as these two ads that used the Alice characters.

photo28

photo29

There were also a few magazines on display that also included Alice-inspired illustrations.

photo30

photo31

photo32

There were a few miscellaneous items as well, such as paper dolls and crossword puzzles based on the Alice books.

photo33

photo34

There was a table with a few copies of both Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass where people can sit down and read the books.

photo35

Outside the Maryland Room there was a nearby hallway that had wall displays devoted to the various characters in the two Alice books.

photo36

photo37

It was a relatively small exhibit that I was able to go through in about an hour. The next photo shows a view from the front doors of the Hornbake Library.

photo38

Like I wrote at the beginning of the post I decided to bring a couple of appropriate small dolls. I never had the chance to use them because of the nature of the exhibit. (It was all books and other published items that were displayed behind glass cases.) I picked up a couple of free items at the exhibit which I displayed with the dolls after I returned home.

photo39

Here’s a bookmark that has a riddle that was actually printed in Alice in Wonderland.

photo40

photo41

There was a free Word Puzzle sheet that was similar to the kind of word puzzles that Lewis Carroll used to create. I tried the puzzle but I bombed out because it was a pretty difficult one. (And I’m a person who has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.)

photo42

The last two photos show the two sides of this free postcard I picked up at the exhibit.

photo43

photo44

Basically this exhibition will be up until the end of this month. The Maryland Room in the Hornbake Library is on a summer schedule where it’s only open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For the latest up-to-the-minute news on this exhibition, I suggest looking at the official blog. While I personally found the exhibition very interesting, keep in mind that there are no hands-on multimedia exhibits and the displays are totally static (which is something you’ll need to consider if you are thinking about taking young children to this exhibit).

UPDATE (July 31, 2016): The exhibit at the University of Maryland is now closed but the online version of this exhibit will remain indefinitely.

Advertisements