CSU-Pueblo hosts John Adams Unbound exhibit next spring

Colorado State University - Pueblo hosts John Adams Unbound exhibit next spring

PUEBLO –The Boston Public Library and the America Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office have announced that the University Library at Colorado State University-Pueblo is one of 20 libraries selected to host John Adams Unbound, a traveling exhibition based upon the 2006-2007 gallery exhibition of the same name on display at the Boston Public Library. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) provided major funding to the Boston Public Library for the traveling exhibit, which explores the personal library of John Adams, a collection of 3,500 books willed by Adams to the people of Massachusetts and deposited in the Boston Public Library in 1994.

CSU-Pueblo is one of only two Colorado libraries selected, the other being the Aurora Public Library. The CSU-Pueblo exhibit will open on March 5, 2010, with a Colonial themed dinner in the Occhiato University Center, featuring John Adams Chautauqua performer Bill Chrystal  (http://johnadamslives.com/libraries/who.html). The exhibit will move to Hoag Hall Foyer for public access from March 7 through April 15.

The “official” opening of the exhibit in Hoag Hall will occur March 12 and feature prominent historians and authors, Dr. Margaret Hogan and Dr. Woody Holton. Hogan, represents the Massachusetts Historical Society, which holds the Adams papers, and is co-editor of the book My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams. Holton, from the University of Richmond (VA), is author of a book that is about to be released about Abigail Adams.

“This exhibit provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Southern Colorado community members and school children to learn about John Adams, one of the country’s leading historical figures, in a very real and accessible way,” said Rhonda Gonzales, dean of the University Library. “The University Library is proud to be able to bring this exciting, educational exhibit to the community.”

The remarkable collection of books provides first-hand insight into how John Adams shaped American history and how he was shaped through his lifelong dedication to reading and books.

Adams engagement with books was active and argumentative, as evidenced by the meticulous and personal commentary he inserted into the margins of the works he read. Seeing the numerous notations in his own hand is liked listening in on his personal conversations with writers such as Cicero, William Blackstone, Thomas Paine, and others across oceans and across centuries. A
Adams the lawyer prepares in 1770 to defend British soldiers on trial after the Boston Massacre, for example, he references Cicero’s views on self defense contained in Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Through photo-reproductions of many of Adams’ books, as well as personal objects, graphics, maps and portraits, exhibition viewers will witness one of our founding fathers wrestling with intellectual and political ideas at every stage in his long life – as a boy, university student, Boston lawyer, revolutionary, diplomat, President and citizen of the early American republic.  The exhibition also is an extraordinary case study in the power of reading, which reveals the role of books and libraries in the health and prosperity of a democracy.

The “John Adams Unbound” traveling exhibition was organized by the Boston Public Library and the America Library Association and made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based upon the gallery exhibition of the same name mounted by the Boston Public library in 2006, the first public display of Adams’ complete 3,500-book collection.

For more information, contact Julie Fronmueller at 719-549-2826 or Julie.fronmueller@colostate-pueblo.edu or visit http://library.colostate-pueblo.edu/johnadams.html.

A complete schedule for the 2009-2012 tour of John Adams Unbound follows:

January 21–March 6, New Brunswick Free Public Library, New Brunswick, NJ
March 18–May 1, Minerva Public Library, Minerva, OH
May 13–June 26, Nashville Public Library, Nashville, TN
July 8–August 21, Oakton Community College Library, Des Plaines, IL
September 2–October 16, Illinois State University, Milner Library, Normal, IL
October 28–December 11, Drake University, Cowles Library, Des Moines, IA
December 23– February 19, 2010, Aurora Public Library, Aurora, CO

March 7–April 15, Colorado State University, Pueblo University Library, Pueblo, CO
April 28–June 11, Benicia Public Library, Benicia, CA
June 23–August 6, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
August 18–October 8, Watertown Regional Library, Watertown, SD
October 20–December 17, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO

January 5–February 18, Florida Atlantic University Libraries, Boca Raton, FL
March 2–April 15, Bevill State Community College, Jasper, AL
April 27–June 10, Martinsburg Berkeley County Public Libraries, Martinsburg, WV
June 22–August 5, Loutit District Library, Grand Haven, MI
August 17–September 30, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
October 12–December 2, State University of New York College at Brockport
Drake Memorial Library, Brockport, NY
December 14–February 17, 2012, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

February 29–April 13, Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy, MA

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.