Morris Library

Photo by Russell Bailey

November 10, 2022

SIU’s Friends of Morris Library Delta Awards set for Nov. 17

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Trail of Tears Association Illinois chapter's work in preserving and promoting awareness of the Cherokee tribe's forced removal from North Carolina to Oklahoma through part of Southern Illinois and a book that explores Illinois’ history through paths traveled highlight the 2022 Friends of Morris Library Delta Awards at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

A presentation and award ceremony will be from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 17, in the library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. A reception and book signing will follow in the first-floor rotunda. The event is free and open to the public.

“Illinois Trails and Traces: Portraits and Stories along the State’s Historic Routes” by Gary Marx, with photographs by Daniel Overturf, was published this month by Southern Illinois University Press. With more than 40 photographs, the authors “explore historic routes ranging from Route 66 to the Underground Railroad, all the way back to post-Ice Age animal migration trails followed by Paleo-Indian people.” Marx and Overturf “also examine how rivers, canals and railroads spurred the rapid rise of Illinois as a modern state.”

Marx is a journalist whose work has appeared in the Southern Illinoisan, Kansas City Star and numerous other publications. Overturf is professor emeritus of photography at SIU Carbondale. Marx and Overturf also are the authors of “A River Runs Through Illinois.”

In addition to preserving and promoting awareness, the Illinois Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association also offers outreach and educational opportunities relating to the trail. For two years in the late 1830s, thousands of Cherokees traveled through the region during a forced relocation from their homes in the southeastern United States to what is now Oklahoma.

Founded in the mid-1950s and located on the SIU campus, SIU University Press publishes books of scholarly, intellectual and creative merit. Publications include books celebrating the history and culture of Southern Illinois, the state and the Midwest region.

The two awards now make 119 Delta Awards given annually since 1976 by the Friends of Morris Library “to individuals who have contributed significantly to the Southern Illinois region, either by their writing, or by other service.”