Angst on a Shoestring

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Imagining The Viet Nam War: Versions of a Long Conflict

I had the honor of designing and mounting this exhibit in support of our annual One Philadelphia, One Book program. The book for 2005 was Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried.

A collection of material entitled Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War
is preserved in the Department of Special Collections at La Salle University’s Connelly Library.

It is an amazing collection to see and is a rather secret store of information. The following was part of the intro for the exhibit.

In this renowned scholarly collection – the largest of its kind in the world – is gathered a resource presently consisting of about 15,000 books of fiction and poetry and other printed items, with 500 non-print items.

Additionally, more than 600 films and videos are available. These films include narrative, commercial (Hollywood), pornography, and art films, as well as documentary films, curricular production, taped seminars, and extensive TV-generated material. The Collection is limited intentionally to imaginative literature and the visual arts. It is focused on fictive writing in the form of novels, short stories, poetry, drama, and film scripts, with extensive examples of graphic art, painting, video, TV productions, and sound recordings.

Contained in this Collection, and additional to the published written material itself, are unpublished manuscripts, corrected manuscripts, shooting scripts, galley proofs, page proofs (corrected and uncorrected), holograph copies, limited editions, variant editions, runs of comic books, and cartoon art.

The remainder of the Collection consists of carefully catalogued items of ephemera, such as poetry broadsides, dealer’s catalogs of VietnamWar fiction, published strategy games, published software, vanity publications, and curriculum guides for teaching the war through its literature across many educational levels and curricula. For more information on this unique collection: Imaginative Representations of the Vietnam War.


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