University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library Celebrates Poet Gwendolyn Brooks Birth Centennial with New Interactive Website
— In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, a new interactive website features personal stories about Brooks and materials from the Gwendolyn Brooks Papers housed at the University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
The Story Map Journal website “Celebrating Gwendolyn Brooks@100” was created by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. It includes stories of those who met Brooks at libraries and schools around the state; correspondence, notes and photos from the Gwendolyn Brooks Papers; and a map of public libraries throughout the state that are participating in Brooks@100 events.
The Rare Book and Manuscript Library staff has encouraged public libraries in the state and people with whom Brooks corresponded to share stories of her to be included on the Story Map website.
Later this month, items from the Gwendolyn Brooks Papers will be on display at an exhibition at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. “Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100” opens June 16. Brooks was an inveterate note-taker and self-chronicler, said Anna Chen, a curator and archivist at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the exhibition will feature notebooks and scraps of paper where Brooks jotted down observations of daily life, her thoughts on others’ ideas and her future plans.
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