March 18, 2014

Library exhibit and lecture honors women

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library is celebrating and honoring women this month with a special exhibit, lecture and reception. 

“Images of Women in the Open Court Collection” is on display in the library’s Hall of Presidents and Chancellors.  The display includes a wide variety of images from the archives of the Open Court Publishing Records, which is housed within the library’s Special Collections Research Center.  The display continues through the end of the month. 

The reception and “Images of Women” lecture is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on March 27 in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors.  Angela Reinoehl, a senior lecturer in the School of Art and Design, will discuss the images and Jon Gorgosz, a doctoral candidate in historical studies, will present “From Sweetheart to Housewife:  A Gendered Image on College Campuses after the Second World War.”  The paper earned the “Best of Division” designation in the history and historiography division at the annual Midwest Educational Research Association Conference. 

A reception with refreshments will follow.  The public is welcome.  Admission to the display, lectures and reception is free.  

Edward C. Hegeler, a zinc manufacturer in LaSalle, founded Open Court Publishing Company in 1887 as a twice-monthly magazine.  Paul Carus left his position as a German language magazine editor in New York to partner with Hegeler and edit “The Open Court,” one of the country’s first academic presses.  After he died in 1919, Mary Hegeler Carus became editor and began a lecture series.  The first lecture in the series by John Dewey was entitled “Experience and Nature.” 

The press specialized in publishing works about philosophy, science and religion, and also printing books and low-cost editions and translations of classical works.  In 1890, “The Monist,” a quarterly journal devoted to the philosophy of science, was added.  By the early 1930’s, both publications were less frequently published and when Mary Carus died they were suspended.  Open Court still continues to publish works on philosophy, religion and science thought and Morris Library has an extensive collection of the earlier materials. 

The library’s collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, proofs, illustrations, book reviews, business records, printed materials and published volumes from 1886 to 1953.    Featured are such well-known names as Alexander Graham Bell, Alfred Binet, Franz Boas, Luther Burbank, Hugo de Vries, John Dewey, Edmund Husserl, Ernst Mach, George Herbert Mead and Ezra Pound.  The collection includes manuscripts and proofs for published volumes as well as for articles printed in both journals along with illustrations and editor comments and corrections.  

Also included is original artwork by national and international artists, royalty statements, price lists, publicity materials, financial lectures and articles from other publications, pamphlets, brochures and publication catalogs. 

For more information about the “Images of Women” exhibit, lectures and celebration, contact Christina Bleyer at