In January I had the chance to visit the Lilly Library in Bloomington, Indiana. Oh my goodness that places is a bibliophile's dream! I toured the building and checked out the current exhibit on Ross Lockridge, Jr. (the author of Raintree County). I liked the space and was glad I visited but wasn't impressed. Then as I was making my way back to the entrance a staff member asked if I wanted to see some of the collections. They took me through a locked door and proceeded to bringing out a dazzling collection of literary gems.
I saw a 1477 edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (top left corner of photo), a tiny series of books each the size of my thumbnail (top right), Syvia Plath's hair (eww, bottom left) and drawings and cards from her childhood and a drafts of Vonnegut's novels with his notes and edits (bottom right.)
I was completely blown away! The librarians brought out one items at a time and I was given gloves to wear before I could touch some of them. I was like a kid in a candy shop.
The absolute highlight for me was a 1623 First Folio edition of Shakespeare's complete works (see above). Not only did I get to see it, I got to turn every single page and read my favorite passages from Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. It was heaven! I had no time limit so I just sat there slowly reading through some of my favorite pieces of literartue in an edition published only seven years after the author's death.
Anyway, if you are going to be in Indiana for any reason I would highly recommend making a sidetrip to Bloomington for this incredible library!
Photos by moi (except the one I'm in).