With your generous support, the Friends of the Wesleyan Library sponsor events for members, the Wesleyan community, and the public.  For more information, contact

Spring 2019

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and Author Susan Campbell to speak at the Library Prize Award Ceremony


Susan Campbell will speak at the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research Prize ceremony on Wednesday, May 1 at 7:00 pm in Smith Reading Room, Olin Library.  Her talk -- "We Need the Churn" --  draws from her new book, Frog Hollow: Stories from an American Neighborhood (Wesleyan University Press, 2019), a love letter to immigration.  She writes, "From the moment the Europeans came, we've needed the churn brought by immigration. Neighborhoods benefit.  Cities do, as well."



Frog Hollow is an ethnically diverse neighborhood just west of the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, home to a wide variety of immigrants.  During the Revolutionary War, it was a progressive hub, and later, in the mid-late 19th century, a hotbed of industry.  Campbell tells the true stories of Frog Hollow with a primary focus on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the inventors, entrepreneurs and workers, as well as the impact of African American migration to Hartford, the impact of the Civil Rights movement and the continuing fight for housing.  Frog Hollow was also one of the first neighborhoods in the country to experiment with successful urban planning models, including public parks and free education.  From European colonists to Irish and Haitian immigrants to Puerto Ricans, these stories of Frog Hollow show the multiple realities that make up a dynamic urban neighborhood.  At the same time, they reflect the changing faces of American cities.

This event is free and open to the public.  Books will be available for purchase and signing during the reception.  For more information, email


Susan Campbell, a Distinguished Lecturer at the University of New Havenis a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a widely read Hartford Courant columnist,  a regular commentator on WNPR, and a guest on CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” the BBC, WTNH-TV, and the local news show “Face the State.”  She is also part of the Connecticut Health Investigative Team, an award-winning health and safety website.

Her work at The Courant – where she was a staff writer and columnist for 25 years and is currently a freelance columnist – has been recognized by the National Women’s Political Caucus, the New England Associated Press News Executives, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and the Society for Professional Journalists, among numerous other organizations. She has also written for Connecticut Magazine,, the Ms. Foundation blog, and

Her book, Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism and the American Girl, won the Connecticut Center for the Book’s Best Memoir in 2010. Her second book, the biography Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2014.

Campbell is a frequent guest host on “Where We Live,” a locally produced news/talk show,  and a regular guest on “The Colin McEnroe Show.” A former communications director at the Partnership for Stronger Communities, she’s covered state politics as a columnist with The New Haven Register and the Torrington Register Citizen. She is a sought-after speaker and panelist on poverty, youth homelessness, human trafficking, and gender issues.


Information from:



Conversation with Mohamed Kacimi

Please join us for a conversation (in French) with award-winning playwright Mohamed Kacimi this Thursday, November 29th at 5pm in the Smith Reading Room of Olin Library.

His most recent play, Tous mes rêves partent de Gare d’Austerlitz, which takes place in a woman’s prison, is currently being performed in Paris and was just published by L’avant-scène théâtre (Nov. 2018). His upcoming play, Jours tranquilles à Jérusalem, inspired by his experience putting on a play in Jerusalem in 2015, will premier in Paris in January 2019.

Mohamed Kacimi’s visit and this public event have been generously sponsored by the Thomas and Catharine McMahon Memorial Fund, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Department of Theater, the Fries Center for Global Studies, African Studies, Muslim Studies, the Center for the Arts, and the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.




Exhibition: Seven Collections in Search of a Thesis

On exhibit through December -- during library hours
Special Collections & Archives exhibit cases, Olin Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown

Free and open to the public

Highlights from the Angling, Baskin, Beales, Husted, Lawrence, Moulton, and Williams collections. 
Curated by Suzy Taraba, Director, Special Collections & Archives.




Annual Friends of the Wesleyan Library Book Sale

During Wesleyan's Family Weekend

Saturday, September 29, 2018 -- 10:00 am-4:00 pm

Olin Memorial Library Lobby, 252 Church Street, Middletown

3500+ academic and popular books.  Most books priced $1-$5.  Better books $10+.
Cash/checks accepted.

Remainder sale: Sunday, September 30, during library hours.


For more information, email

All proceeds help fund events and special projects at the library. 



Annual Friends of the Wesleyan Library Constitution Day Talk

"Progress, Preservation, and the Constitution After Trump"

by Justin Craig Peck, Assistant Professor of Government

Monday, September 17, 2018 -- 7:00-8:30 pm

Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown

Free and open to the public


This talk will focus on the ways in which the constitution aids and constrains reform movements in American politics. The aim will be to examine how, to what extent, and in what ways we should be concerned with constitutional 'preservation.'

Originally from Georgia, Justin Peck received his PhD in Government from the University of Virginia in 2014. Prior to graduate school he worked for two years in the Senate office of Christopher J. Dodd. Justin’s research explores the tensions that exist between the modern presidency and the rule of law, as well as  Congress’s role in the promotion and enactment of civil rights policy. 

The Friends of the Wesleyan Library are pleased to be collaborating with Russell Library on this event and thank their staff for hosting it.  We look forward to this opportunity for the members of the Wesleyan and Middletown communities to connect and exchange ideas.  For more information, email

Russell Library parking map

To download poster:






WESeminar: Wesleyan and the Great War

Saturday, May 26, 2018 -- 10:30-11:30 am -- Room 112, Boger Hall

In 1914, The Great War—known later as World War I—broke out in Europe. Wesleyan became a war campus in the years that followed. After the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany in 1917, college life at Wesleyan “took on a belligerent aspect,” as Carl F. Price, Class of 1902, observed later. “Minor sports, dramatics, dances, were dropped. The students were in army uniform, rose early in the morning to drill, were allowed no cuts from classes. A trench seamed part of the back of campus, and armed guards challenged all comers.” By the time the Armistice was signed in 1918—100 years ago this year—some 1,200 Wesleyan faculty, staff, students, and alumni provided military or civilian service, including twenty-six students and alumni who died. Attend the illustrated WESeminar by Leith Johnson, University Archivist, during Reunion/Commencement to learn how the “War to End All Wars” impacted Wesleyan.


(Image courtesy of Special Collections & Archives.)





Annual meeting and Undergraduate Research Prize Reception

Featuring bestselling author Amy Bloom
reading from her new novel White Houses

Thursday, April 19, 2018 • 7:00-8:30 pm
Smith Reading Room, Olin Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown, CT

Free and open to the public

Amy Bloom, Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing, will read from her new novel White Houses, followed by the awarding of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research PrizeThe Prize celebrates excellence in writing and research using Wesleyan Library resources.



WHITE HOUSES is Amy Bloom’s first historical fiction. Guided by the three thousand letters (hundreds more had been burned) between prominent journalist Lorena Hickok and one of the world’s most admired women, Eleanor Roosevelt, all photocopied and tucked into a pile of worn boxes at the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, Bloom has recreated and re-imagined one of the great love stories of the 20th century. 

“Bloom uncloaks the insidious treacheries girls and women face, poor and privileged alike. Through Hick’s loving eyes, we witness Eleanor’s complex struggles, unwavering discipline, and fierce passion, while Hick’s take on FDR and the rest of the Roosevelts is deftly lacerating. Hick’s outrage over the trauma inflicted on gays and lesbians, the class divide, the beauty quotient, and the gender double standard fuels this socially incisive, psychologically saturated, funny, and erotic fictionalization of legendary figures; this novel of extraordinary magnetism and insight; this keen celebration of love, loyalty, and sacrifice.”  Booklist (starred review)

Amy Bloom is the author of Come to Me, a National Book Award finalist; A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Love Invents Us; Normal; Away, New York Times bestseller; Where the God of Love Hangs Out; and Lucky Us, New York Times bestseller. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, and many other anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Slate, Tin House, and Salon, among other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award. She is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.

Listen to an interview of Amy Bloom by Lucy Nalpathanchil on NPR's Where We Live.

Email for more information.





Screening of Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (2017)

Directed by Frederick Wiseman

Saturday, April 14, 2018 -- 2:00 pm
Goldsmith Family Cinema, Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace
Free and open to the public
(3h 17min)

In celebration of National Library Week

In this documentary, the legendary filmmaker brings his incisive vision behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest institutions of learning, capturing the vast programmatic scope of NYC’s library system. The NYPL is blessed with uniformly passionate staff and deeply devoted, appreciative bibliophiles and beneficiaries across its 92 branches. The film reveals a venerable place of welcome, cultural exchange, and intellectual creativity. – Zipporah Films

Co-sponsored by C-FILM with funding from the Mellon Foundation.

Get flyer (8.5x14)



Reading by Nigerian author Chuma Nwokolo

Thursday, April 5, 2018 -- 5:30-6:30 pm
Smith Reading Room, Olin Library , 252 Church Street, Middletown

Free and open to the public


As part of the inaugural Connect Africa Research Network meeting, Nigerian author Chuma Nwokolo will read from his new novel, The Extinction of Menai (Modern African Writing Series, Ohio University Press, 2018)

In the novel, a pharmaceutical company administers an unethical drug trial to residents of the Niger Delta village of Kreektown. Decades later the Menai people face language extinction and cultural collapse.  Nwokolo moves across time and continents to deliver a story that speaks to urgent contemporary concerns. He confronts power relations between large corporations and small communities, corporate lobbies and governments, and big pharma and consumers, all expressed through the competing narratives that record the life and death of a civilization (OUP).

Co-sponsored with the English Department and Creative Writing Program.

See poster:

 Get flyer.




Holdouts, an installation by Texas-based artists
Sarah Welch and James Beard

Saturday, March 31 through Sunday, April 8, 2018 during library hours
Lobby, Olin Library

A residency by Houston, Texas-based artists Sarah Welch and James Beard, who had their studio heavily damaged due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The duo self-publishes zines, comics, and prints, and will create a reading room installation in the lobby of Olin Memorial Library, located at 252 Church Street on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown. Based on their recently published comic book Holdouts, the installation will feature a new screen-printed take-away poster, a new zine, and a collection of found and fabricated objects, all made while in residence at Wesleyan. The story of Holdouts takes place roughly 40 years in the future on a dramatically shifted Texas coastline. In this world, little progress has been made on curbing the effects of climate change—sea levels have significantly risen and climate migration has occurred en masse. Those unable or unwilling to leave their coastal homes are without government or city services and are forced to navigate an unpredictable and harsh biome. The artists will spend the first week of their residency printing and preparing materials, and their installation will be on display from Saturday, March 31 through Sunday, April 8, 2018. The library is open Saturday from 10am to 10pm; Sunday from 10am to 2am; Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 2am; and Friday from 8:30am to 11pm. Admission to the installation is free and open to the public.

The artists will discuss the zine making process during a 30 minute "show and tell" at 4:30 pm daily Monday, April 2-Friday, April 6, and on Saturday, April 7 at 11:00 am.  There will be a reception on Wednesday. 

Presented by Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts in collaboration with the College of the Environment and Special Collections & Archives in Olin Memorial Library.

See poster:

Get flyer.



Special Collections & Archives Open House:

Student artists’ books and the books that inspired them

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 -- 4:30-6:30 pm
Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library
252 Church Street, Middletown

Over 30 artists' books created by students in Introduction to Environmental Studies (E&ES197) over several years have been added to the Special Collections & Archives collection.  These will be on exhibit along with some of the books that inspired them.

At 5:30, students Giorgia Peckman '18 and Hunter Vannier '20 will speak about their artists' books.


Image courtesy of Giorgia Peckman '18, from her book State of the Planet: collage/effect.




Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale

Saturday, November 4, 2017

During Wesleyan's Homecoming/Family Weekend
10 am - 4 pm
Olin Memorial Library Lobby
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT  06459

Approximately 3,500+ books in over a dozen categories for sale. 
Most books priced $1-$5.  Better books $10+.

Cash and checks accepted.

Can't make it to Olin on November 4?  Some of the remainder books will be available for sale in the lobby on Sunday, November 5 at .50 each or $7 per box.  

For more information, email If you'd like to donate books for the book sale, please contact us by October 30.  Volunteers needed to help with the sale!

Friends book sale



The Long War in Afghanistan: A perspective

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 -- 7:00-9:00 pm

Smith Reading Room, Olin Library

Long War

In August of this year, the U.S. announced another policy and strategy for Afghanistan.  October 7th marks 16 years of war in Afghanistan, the longest American war of this century.  Where are we in our aims to dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda and to help stabilize and secure Afghanistan well enough to prevent the return of the Taliban?  Why is there still a strategic stalemate after 16 years?  The talk covers the origins and evolution of the war in Afghanistan. The discussion will provide candid insights about the opportunities and risks associated with the current policy and the future prospects for breaking the strategic stalemate.

Colonel Bob Cassidy, Ph.D., U.S. Army (retired), has served four tours in Afghanistan, returning from his most recent tour in March 2017.  Cassidy has served as a special assistant to three senior generals, a special operations director of assessments, a special mission task force planner, a battalion commander, and a brigade operations officer.  He earned his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.  His scholarly work has generally explored strategy, irregular war, and military culture.  Bob Cassidy is the inaugural Retired Military Officer Teaching Fellow at Wesleyan University for the academic year 2017-2018.

Sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.



Wesleyan's Annual Constitution Day Event

The U.S. Constitution, Puerto Rico, and the Unfinished Business

of Realizing our Best Ideals

Professor José Luis Morín

Monday, September 18, 2017 -- 7:00 pm 
Smith Reading Room, first floor Olin Memorial Library
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT  06457
Event is free and open to the public.

Jose Luis Morin


The U.S. Constitution, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, defines the political status of Puerto Rico, determining its economic, social and cultural trajectory from 1898 to the present.  This presentation examines Puerto Rico’s status under the U.S. Constitution, exposing larger, enduring, and unresolved questions about race, racialization, and colonialism.  Professor Morín posits that understanding this island nation’s current economic crisis and political conundrum is not possible without an awareness of the Congress’s plenary powers under the U.S. Constitution, which, in turn, raises fundamental issues about the capacity of the United States to live up to its highest principles of democracy and human rights.

José Luis Morín is a Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) and Chairperson of the Latin American and Latina/o Studies (LLS) Department.  Professor Morín directs the Rossana Rosado Fellows Program, which provides unique internship opportunities to students, and he is the Associate Director of the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program and the UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program, programs run in collaboration with St. John's University School of Law and the University of Houston Law Center that endeavor to diversify the legal profession.

A faculty member at John Jay College since 1998, his areas of academic specialization include domestic and international criminal justice, international human rights law, civil rights, Latina/o studies, and Latin American studies.  He is editor of Latinos and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia (2016), selected by Library Journal as one of the “Best Reference Titles of 2016,” and author of Latino/a Rights and Justice in the United States: Perspectives and Approaches (2nd edition, 2009).  He has authored numerous articles and book chapters, including “The Social Condition of Stateside Puerto Ricans: Critical Needs and Policy Implications” (CENTRO Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, 2012); “Latinas/os and US Prisons: Trends and Challenges” (Latino Studies, 2008); "Global and Regional Human Rights Commissions (In M. Natarajan (Ed.), Introduction to International Criminal Justice, Cambridge University Press, 2011); and “Indigenous Hawaiians under Statehood: Lessons for Puerto Rico” (CENTRO Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, 2000).

Professor Morín has also held numerous administrative positions within the City University of New York. He has served as the founding Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of Stella and Charles Guttman Community College; Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies at John Jay College; and founder and Interim Director of the CUNY-wide Latino Faculty Initiative.

Prior to joining John Jay College, Professor Morín was a visiting professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and taught as a Revson Fellow at the Urban Legal Studies Program at City College of New York.  He also worked for many years as a civil rights and human rights litigator and advocate with organizations, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now called LatinoJustice/PRLDEF).

A recipient of many honors and awards, Professor Morín was one of ten individuals selected nationwide for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)-Kellogg Leadership Fellows Program (2005-2006) and he is recipient of the 2007 “El Award” for outstanding contribution to the Latino community, presented by the El Diario/La Prensa, the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States.  He is a graduate of Columbia University and New York University School of Law.


Two Reunion/Commencement Events

Poems, Pictures, and Prints: Cuneiform Press

 Friday, May 26th, 2017  • 11:00 am to 12:00 noon

Develin Room, Olin Library

Kyle Schlesinger


Kyle Schlesinger, Director of Cuneiform Press, discusses the state of the book in our current cultural climate, while sharing his passion for producing enduring works that merge historically-informed typographic practices with the latest industry trends. From letterpress-printed chapbooks to collaborations with writers and artists such as Johanna Drucker, Bill Berkson, and Jim Dine, Cuneiform publishes poetry, artists’ books, and nonfiction with an emphasis on enriching the human­ities. Works will be on display in both the Develin Room and the Olin Lobby, including posters from Schlesinger’s recent social-movement letterpress project, A People’s Curriculum for the United States.


Alpha Delta Phi Though the Decades

Saturday, May 27, 2017 · 11:00 am
Judd Hall, Room 116


Join Stephanie Gold and Erhard Konerding as they discuss the past and present of one of Wesleyan’s literary societies, Alpha Delta Phi, which was formed in 1856. Learn the various ways in which Alpha Delta Phi has contributed to the Wesleyan community in the past, and how it hopes to continue to do so in the future. Stephanie will also preview the exhibit “Alpha Delta Phi Through the Decades,” which highlights items of interest from the Society’s recently processed records now located in Special Collections & Archives.

Stephanie Gold, formerly Alpha Delta Phi Processing Archivist, is the Wilbur Olin Atwater Papers Processing Archivist in Special Collections & Archives. Erhard Konerding is a graduate member of Alpha Delta Phi and former Government Documents Librarian in Olin Library.


All Your Reading Habits Belong To Us: Digital Privacy and our Government --Catching up with the Connecticut Four

 A discussion with Barbara Bailey and Peter Chase in honor of National Library Week

Olin Memorial Library (252 Church St, Middletown, CT)
Tuesday, April 11th from 7-8:30pm in the Smith Reading Room with a reception to follow.

Chase and Bailey

The Friends of the Wesleyan Library are proud to present “All Your Reading Habits Belong To Us: Digital Privacy and our Government -- Catching up with the Connecticut Four,” in honor of National Library Week.  In 2005, the FBI, under the auspices of the USA PATRIOT ACT, tried to access patron information from Connecticut libraries and issued a gag order on four  librarians, members of the executive committee of the CT Library Connection.  Known in the press as the Connecticut Four, the librarians spent over a year fighting the order and were successful in getting the FBI to withdraw.

Now, over a decade later, the Connecticut Four are speaking out against new efforts to expand the FBI's ability to require libraries to hand over private information in the absence of a judge's order.  Two members of the Connecticut Four, Barbara Bailey and Peter Chase, will join us for a discussion with Dan Cherubin, Wesleyan University Librarian, on the history of the case, what’s changed and, in regards to our newly elected government, what we need to watch.

Barbara Bailey is director of the Welles-Turner Memorial Library in Glastonbury, Connecticut.  She is a former president and current board member of the Library Connection, a non-profit cooperative of 30 public and academic libraries, which share an integrated library system (CONNECT) and other technological innovations.  Peter Chase was director of the Plainville (CT) Public Library from 1981-2015.  He was vice president of Library Connection in 2005 and is also the former chairman of the Connecticut Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee.  Both Barbara and Peter received the Paul Howard Award for Courage from the American Library Association in 2007, along with their colleagues Jan Nocek and George Christian.

The event will also feature the announcement of the winners of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research prize.  The candidate projects were evaluated based on the use of Wesleyan’s library collections and resources, evidence of learning about research techniques and the information-gathering process itself, and the quality of writing and research. 

 We take the opportunity of National Library Week to celebrate all libraries’ continued fight for both access of material and the right to privacy. As the American Library Association Code of Ethics, adopted in 1939, declares: “We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”


Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.

Letterpress printer and book artist

March 29, 2017

12:00-1:30 pm - Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown
Open house exhibit in Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, and lobby
Print sale and documentary screening in Smith Reading Room

4:30 - Talk in Ring Family Performing Arts Hall, Center for the Arts
Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin

Co-sponsored by the Samuel Silipo ’85 Distinguished Visitor’s Fund, Department of Art and Art History, Center for African American Studies, and the Friends of the Wesleyan Library. 

Kennedy flyer 2017


"Queer Past, Queer Future"
Featuring authors Jennifer Boylan '80 and Alexander Chee '89

Friday, March 3, 2017 -- 5:00-6:30 pm
Smith Reading Room, Olin Memorial Library
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT  06459

Reception and book signing to follow

Boylan and Chee

Alumni Jennifer Boylan ’80 and Alexander Chee '89 read recent work, discuss queer lives and storytelling, and share their own experiences as LGBT writers at Wesleyan.

Jennifer Boylan, a professor at Barnard College, is the author of 15 books, including She’s Not There, the first bestselling work by a transgender American, and I’m Looking Through You, which contains a chapter on Wesleyan. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and currently serves as the national co-chair of GLAAD, the media advocacy nonprofit for LGBTQ people. Her new novel, Long Black Veil, is forthcoming in April 2017.
Alexander Chee is the author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, an editor at large at VQR and Lit Hub, and a critic at large for The Los Angeles Times. He is an associate professor of English at Dartmouth College.

The event is free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library with support from Academic Affairs.

Queer Past Queer Future poster


Exhibition: Documents in Black and White

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
through Friday, December 16, 2016
Special Collections & Archives exhibition cases, 1st floor, Olin Library


Hillcrest Orchards

The exhibition “Documents in Black and White” consists of photographs from the Nancy Ottmann Albert Collection. Selected by the artist, the works span the thirty years she spent documenting New England’s built environment. Inspired by Walker Evans and the FSA photographers, Albert (MALS ’94) began to photograph textile mills and industrial sites throughout New England in 1981. Shooting black and white film in a medium format camera, she returned over the years to record their decline and disappearance. Further exploration led her to seek out other endangered structures and landscapes. These include mental institutions emptied by changing philosophies of treatment and a commissioned study of Long River Village, Middletown’s oldest housing project, prior to its demolition. The exhibition also contains images of roadside and urban vernacular architecture; barns and abandoned homesteads; filling stations; drive-in theaters. All of the work, which includes gelatin silver photographs, was printed by the artist.


Artist talk by Nancy Ottmann Albert


Nancy Ottmann Albert photo


Friday, October 28, 2016, 7 p.m.
Develin Room, Olin Library

Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.  For more information, email


Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale

Saturday, October 29, 2016

During Wesleyan's Family Weekend
10 am - 4 pm
Olin Memorial Library Lobby
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT  06459

Approximately 4,000+ books in over a dozen categories for sale. 
Most books priced $1-$5. Better books $10+.

Cash and checks accepted.

Strong donations this year in art, history, sociology, music.

For more information, email

Can't make it to Olin on October 29?  Some of the remainder books will be available for sale in the lobby on Sunday, October 30 at .50 each or $7per box.  

Friends book sale


New York City Grolier Exhibit and Print Fair Tour

Organized by the Friends of the Davison Art Center and the Friends of the Wesleyan Library

Saturday, November 5, 2016 at11:15 am

$80 general public; $70 for Friends of the Davison Art
Center and Friends of the Wesleyan Library.

Space limited, reservation required. Call 860-685-3355 or visit to book your tickets.

Visit the distinctive galleries of the Grolier Club, America’s oldest society for the appreciation of books and prints,
and the International Fine Print Dealer Association Print Fair, held annually in the Park Avenue Armory.

Led by Curator of the Davison Art Center Clare Rogan and Director of Special Collections and Archives in Olin Library Suzy Taraba, this tour meets in New York and includes a prix-fixe brunch. Transportation is not included.


“Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter”

A talk and book signing by co-editors Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton

Policing the PlanetHeathertonCamp

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 4:30-6:00 pm
Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library

Camp and Heatherton trace the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy that was first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton.

Open House of Special Collections & Archives materials related to the history of

incarceration and policing

Before and after the talk: 4:00-4:30 pm, 6:00-7:00 pm
Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library

2016 Constitution Day Lecture

Are We Better Than Our Predecessors?

Toward a New Era of Progress

A talk by Middletown Mayor Dan Drew

Friday, September 16, 2016 -- 5:30 pm

Smith Reading Room, Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street

In this talk, Mayor Drew will explore the erroneous assumptions that we are more advanced than preceding generations

and what we can do to focus ourselves toward a future predicated on progressive social and economic advancement.


 Mayor Drew


A Q&A with the Mayor will follow.


Dan Drew is serving his third term as Middletown’s Mayor.  He has worked to improve the way City Hall serves the public, move the community in a sustainable direction through the preservation and protection of our environment and natural resources, build on a strong economic legacy to support continued economic growth and new businesses, collaborate closely with local, state, and federal partners to make the riverfront revitalization project a reality, improve the quality of life for Middletown residents, and advocate on behalf of the city’s youth, workers, seniors, and families.  Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2002 and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University in 2015.


Spring 2016  --

Exhibit: “Signs of Spring: A Garden of Books in Special Collections & Archives”

March 21 – late April 2016 during library hours

Special Collections & Archives exhibit cases, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown, CT

Alpine FlowersGarden Exhibit


Wasch Center Lecture

“Thoughts on Citizenship”
Former Wesleyan President Colin Campbell

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 4:15 pm

Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell was President of Wesleyan University from 1970-1988.  In 1988, he joined the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a nonprofit charitable organization. He went on to serve as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, retiring in 2014.  He is now chairman emeritus of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.



“A World in the Palm of Your Hand: The Art of Miniature Books”

Miniature Books poster

Imagine a handful of books with beautiful bindings and engaging, often unique, content.  Miniature books, typically no larger than three inches, are seldom encountered outside of the collections of certain libraries and individuals.  Now you have an opportunity to experience these treasures in an exhibit created by the Miniature Book Society, an international organization devoted to the appreciation of miniature books.
   Miniature books


1. Miniature Book Society Exhibit

April 12 –June 23, 2016 during library hours

Olin Memorial Library Lobby, 252 Church Street, Middletown

MBS exhibit



2016 Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting Event

2. “A Collection in a Shoebox”-- A talk by Jim Brogan

Thursday, April 14, 2016 7:00 pm

Develin Room, 2nd floor Olin Memorial Library

Jim Brogan is Vice President of MBS and publisher of The Microbibliophile, a bimonthly journal about miniature books and the book arts. 

Jim Brogan


3. Wesleyan Miniature Book Open House

Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:00-1:00 pm, 6:30-7:00 pm, 8:00-8:30 pm

Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, 1st floor Olin Library

View a selection of Wesleyan’s miniature books.




400 Years of the Bard in Print: From the First Folio to Text Messages

A Shakespeare Open House



Thursday, April 21, 2016 12-1 pm and 4-6 pm

Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library

Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives has an excellent collection of Shakespeare’s works, from 1623 to the present.  Drop in to view rare, illustrated, and unusual editions of the Bard. 

Free and open to the public. Note that handling of fragile items will be limited, and children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is part of ArtFarm's Shakespeare400, a series commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.



Exhibit: “A Stellar Education: Astronomy at Wesleyan, 1831-1916”

May 3 - October 2016, during library hours

Special Collections & Archives exhibit cases, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library 


The new SC&A exhibition, “A Stellar Education: Astronomy at Wesleyan, 1831-1916,” is now open. It explores the study of astronomy at Wesleyan from the University’s founding in 1831 through the construction of Van Vleck Observatory in 1916, which celebrates its centennial this year. Items on display include atlases, textbooks, photographs, an original Henry Bacon Van Vleck Observatory architectural drawing, and more. The exhibition is held in conjunction with a number of other Van Vleck Observatory celebratory events sponsored by the Department of Astronomy. More details about the events can be found here.

Previous Friends events

Passion and Power, Prints and Text: German Books in the Age of Dürer

Open house in Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library

Thursday, February 18, 2016 — noon-2 p.m.


German artists in the age of Dürer disseminated their images through a variety of means, including as illustrations in books and pamphlets.  Examples of the interplay of text and image will be available for browsing.  This open house is presented in conjunction with Passion and Power: German Prints in the Age of Dürer, on view at the Davison Art Center (2/5-3/3/16).  The open house list is available here.


FALL 2015

Textile Messages

November 6, 2015 - March 4, 2016

The exhibition, “Textile Messages: Wesleyan Student Apparel Through the Decades,” has examples of items of apparel that are related to the experience of attending Wesleyan in particular and college in general. Some of these items, such as freshman beanies, are symbols of status (or lack of it), tradition, and loyalty to a class or society. A graduation cap or hood is a tangible representation of scholastic achievement. T-shirts provide space for myriad personal expressions. Almost all of the items in the show were or could have been worn on a day-to-day basis, and those that were not are evocative of key social and academic aspects of student life. University Archivist Leith Johnson curated the exhibition. Sarah Harper ’16 conducted photographic research and Maya Stevens ’17 assisted with exhibit preparation.

The exhibition is on view in the SC&A exhibition cases, 1st floor, east corridor, Olin Library.

Open House in honor of Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 4:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives
Olin Memorial Library Wesleyan University
252 Church Street, Middletown


Veterans Day material

 Join us for a Veterans Day open house in Special Collections & Archives.  On display will be materials related to the United States military and the home front from the Civil War through the present, with a focus on Wesleyan and Middletown history.  Highlights include contemporary veterans’ arts and literary projects, such as Combat Paper prints by Drew Cameron, who conducted a recent artist residency in Middletown.  Suzy Taraba, Director of Special Collections & Archives, and Leith Johnson, University Archivist, will be on hand to answer questions. All are welcome!

For more information, email

Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale

Saturday, November 7, 2015

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Lobby, Olin Memorial Library
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT  06459

Approximately 3,500+ books in over a dozen categories for sale.  

Most books priced $1-$2. Better books $5-$10+.

SPECIALS SALE: Selected special books will be available for viewing and purchase from 12 noon - 1:00 pm and 3:00 - 4:00 pm in the Develin Room (2nd floor Olin), first come, first served. No shipping service available.

  • Text version of the Book Sale Specials list

  • Itemized Buchan list

  • Version of Book Sale Specials list with photographs of some items.

Cash and checks accepted.

Strong donations this year in art, history, Russian history, psychology, religion, popular fiction, German and Russian language, and some baseball.

Part of Wesleyan's Homecoming/Family Weekend festivities. 

For more information, email

Can't make it to Olin on November 7th?  Some of the remainder books will be available for sale in the lobby on Sunday, November 8th at $7 / box.  

Friends book sale

Annual Friends of the Wesleyan Library Constitution Day Lecture

Birthright Citizenship on Trial -- Immigration and Indigeneity

by Bethany Berger ' 90, Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut

Thursday, September 17, 2015 -- 7:00 pm
Smith Reading Room, first floor Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown
Free and open to the public

Egged on by Donald Trump, the majority of Republican candidates have supported ending birthright citizenship.  This talk looks at this fourteenth amendment right, its constitutional origins, and the different things it meant for American Indians and immigrants.

See Berger quoted in a Washington Post article about birthright citizenship.

Bethany Berger '90

Professor Bethany Berger is the Thomas F. Gallivan, Jr. Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law.  She graduated from Wesleyan in 1990 with a major in Government, and from Yale Law School in 1996.  After law school, she became the director of the Native American Youth Law Project at DNA-Peoples Legal Services, which serves the Navajo and Hopi reservations, and later the Managing Attorney at Advocates for Children of New York.  She is a co-author and member of the Editorial Board of Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the foundational treatise in the field, and co-author of leading casebooks in American Indian Law and in Property Law.  Her articles on legal history, race, gender, and jurisdiction in federal Indian law have been cited in testimony to Congress and several briefs to the Supreme Court.  She has also served as a judge for the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals and as a Visiting Professor at Harvard and the University of Michigan.

For more information, email

The Combat Paper Project

Monday, September 28, 2015 -- 4:15pm
Usdan University Center, Room 108
Free and open to the public


Drew Cameron, an Iraq war veteran, is co-founder of Combat Paper, a project in which veterans and the non-veteran community use traditional hand papermaking techniques to transform military uniforms into paper, prints, books, and art. “All of our experiences are encoded within the material items we carry about. With clothing, and military uniforms, our personal geographies, memories, and accomplishments are carried in the woven threads. Through the hand papermaking process, the clothing is deconstructed, transformed, and altered into paper sheets that accentuate those individual and collective stories.”

Co-sponsored by Wesleyan’s Department of Art and Art History, Office of Equity and Inclusion, Friends of the Wesleyan Library, and Center for the Arts.


Friday, Sept. 25 – Monday, Sept. 28
“New Works by Drew Cameron of Combat Paper”-- exhibit case in Usdan University Center

 Saturday, Sept 26 -- during Middletown Day / Military Service Appreciation Day

  •  1-3 pm: Interactive Demonstration – a demonstration of some steps of the papermaking process, including “breaking rag” using donated military uniforms and the portable paper mill -- Under the tent by the football field.   Open to the public.
  • 4-7 pm: Interactive Workshop (breaking rag for papermaking) -- Usdan, Room 108
    Open to the public (Posse Veteran Scholars*, other students and community veterans encouraged to come)'

Sunday, Sept. 27

  • 1-5 pm: Interactive Workshop (papermaking and stencil printing) – Usdan Multipurpose Room -- Open to the public (Posse Veteran Scholars, other students and community veterans encouraged to come)'

Monday, Sept. 28

  • 4:15 pm: Artist Talk – “The Combat Paper Project” – Usdan 108 --Open to the public.
    In his talk, Drew Cameron will share the story of Combat Paper, the practice of hand papermaking and how this collaborative project has become an integral part of the emerging veteran artist movement.  This talk is the culmination the residency with Wesleyan’s Posse Veterans, other Wesleyan students, and community members.

For more information, please contact

* Posse Veteran Scholars: In an effort to dramatically increase the number of veterans it enrolls, Wesleyan is entering into a new partnership with The Posse Foundation, Inc.  Through its newest initiative, the Veterans Posse Program, the foundation identifies talented veterans who are interested in pursuing bachelor’s degrees, and places them at top tier colleges and universities, where they receive four-year scholarships. Wesleyan is only the second institution to partner with Posse in this brand new initiative, and brought its first “posse” of 10 veterans to campus in fall 2014, with 10 more veterans entering in the fall of 2015.


Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting Talk
Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories
Dione Longley '82

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 -- 7:00 p.m. -- free event
Develin Room, 2nd floor, Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown, CT

An exhibit of Civil War materials from Special Collections & Archives will be on view from 6:30-7:00 and 8:00-8:45 in the Davison Rare Book Room, 1st floor Olin Memorial Library.

Heroes book cover

Dione Longley will speak about the book she co-authored with Buck Zaidel usingsoldiers’ letters and diaries and written accounts by nurses, doctors, soldiers’ families, and volunteers on the home front to vividly portray the war through their moving stories.  The book includes hundreds of outstanding period photographs, most previously unpublished.

Dione graduated from Wesleyan with a BA in American Studies in 1982.  She was director of the Middlesex County Historical Society in Middletown for 20 years.  Now a public historian and writer, she resides in Higganum with her husband and two daughters.

The book is available from Wesleyan University Press, and will also be for sale by Broad Street Books at the event.  Please email if you would like us to reserve a book for you.


Reception for and short reading by library staff author Joy Christine Mlozanowski celebrating the publication of her new book, Night Flying

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 -- 5:15 pm -- free event
Develin Room, 2nd floor, Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown, CT

Night Flying cover Joy Christine Mlozanowski

NIGHT FLYING weaves a journey of difficult and life-changing choices with a narrative of love, understanding and hope. In her diary, Mae questions God as she and her husband receive heartbreaking news about her pregnancy, and agonize over the decisions they face. Needing time away to think, she visits her childhood home and reconnects with Will, a deaf friend who taught her to sign when they were young. After her visit, Mae and Will continue an intimate written exchange in which she confides her despair, while Will shares his own struggle to honor his dying father’s wishes, and reconcile his mother's reluctance to let go.

Joy is a writer, artist, and a transpersonal hypnotherapist with an interest in expressive arts.  She holds an MFA in creative writing.

The book may be purchased via Amazon and will also be available at the event.


Spring 2015 Events in Special Collections & Archives

Free admission No registration required.

For information contact SC&A at (860) 685-3864 or


WesFest: “April is the cruelest month”: Open House in Special Collections & Archives

Thursday, April 16, 2015 -- 4:15–6:00 pm
Davison Rare Book Room, Olin Memorial Library

Wesleyan’s superb holdings of rare books, archives, and artists’ books include excellent poetry collections.  In honor of April’s National Poetry Month celebrations, join us for an open house in the Davison Rare Book Room, where poetry in all formats will be on display.  Highlights include the first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, contemporary artists’ books based on the poems of Emily Dickinson, and the work of Wesleyan student poets of the past 184 years.

Talk: Every Building on the Sunset Strip by Ed Ruscha

Monday, May 11, 2015 -- 4:00 pm
Develin Room, 2nd floor Olin Memorial Library

 Join us for a rare showing of Ed Ruscha’s iconic photo book, Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966, second printing 1971), extended to its full 27 foot length.  Alexa Burzinski ’15, who wrote her senior thesis about Ruscha’s work, will introduce this landmark of photographic Pop Art.

Exhibition: Wes Meets East: The Freeman Asian Scholars Program at Twenty

Olin Library, East Corridor exhibit cases
Opening mid-May, date to be announced

This exhibition commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the Freeman Asian Scholar Program, which has provided full scholarships for outstanding students from 11 countries and regions in East Asia to earn a bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan. Founded in 1995, by Houghton “Buck” Freeman ’43, Doreen Freeman, Hon. ’03, and Graeme Freeman ’77 in honor of Mansfield Freeman ’16, the program seeks to promote cross-cultural understanding between the United States and East Asia.

WESeminar: How Does Your Garden Grow?

Friday, May 22, 2015 -- 2:00-3:00 pm
Davison Rare Book Room, Olin Memorial Library

Limited to 20 people, first come, first served; no reservations.

 Suzy Taraba, Director of Special Collections & Archives, will present highlights from Wesleyan’s rich and varied holdings of books about gardens and gardening.  Among those on display will be Thomas Hill’s The proffitable arte of gardening (1568), Henry Bacon’s early 20th century European landscape scrapbooks, and modern artists’ books with botanical themes.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Olin Library, East Corridor exhibit cases
Opening summer 20`5 --date to be announced

Harsh winters can end in spectacular flowers, live or in print.  This exhibition presents examples from Wesleyan’s superb collections of garden books of all varieties.


Related events: 

WESeminar: Wesleyan in the 1960s

Saturday, May 23, 2015 -- 9:30 am -- Public Affairs Center (PAC) 001

David Potts, author of Wesleyan University, 1831-1910: Collegiate Enterprise in New England, will be talking on "Wesleyan in the 1960s" during reunion weekend.

His presentation will be followed by a book signing for his new book, Wesleyan University, 1910-1970: Academic Ambition and Middle-Class America, due out from Wesleyan University Press on May 11.

WESeminar: The Transition to Coeducation at Wesleyan:  What has changed and what has stayed the same? 

Saturday, May 23, 2015, 11:00 am
Powell Family Cinema

Wesleyan’s return to coeducation beginning in 1968 changed the University forever.  At a time when the women’s movement was national news, many formerly all-male colleges and universities began to admit women.  Wesleyan’s experience both mirrored widespread trends and also presented a different approach.  By expanding the student body towards greater socio-economic and ethnic diversity while phasing in coeducation, Wesleyan grew dramatically in many directions at once.  A panel of faculty and alumni who lived through the early years of coeducation and some of whom are engaged in current research on the transition to coeducation at Wesleyan, will share their reflections on what happened then and how it made Wesleyan the institution it is today.  What has changed?  What has stayed the same?  Join us for a lively discussion about coeducation then and now. 

Presenters: Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies; Phyllis Rose, Professor of English, Emerita; Paul Schwaber, Professor of Letters, Emeritus; and Elliot Daum ’70, Superior Court Judge, Sonoma County, CA, exchange student at Connecticut College 1969.

Moderators: Diana Diamond ’70, Professor of Psychology, City University of New York; Weill Cornell Medical College, and Suzy Taraba ’77, Director of Special Collections & Archives.

Fall 2014


Victorious Secret: Elite Olympic Champions as Dancing Bikini Girls

by Angela S. Lorenz

Victorious Secret

Artist’s talk Wednesday, Nov. 19, 4:15 p.m.
Smith Reading Room, Olin Library, 252 Church St., Middletown
followed by an open house in Special Collections & Archives

Please join us for the opening of Victorious Secret: Elite Olympic Champions as Dancing Bikini Girls by Angela S. Lorenz.  This series of three mosaic triptychs is based on the famous mosaics on the floor of an ancient Roman villa in Piazza Armerina, Sicily, from 300 AD.  The mosaics are often interpreted as “dancing bikini girls,” but Angela Lorenz reclaims them as the elite athletes they really were.  At the open house following the artist’s talk, more than twenty of Lorenz’s artist’s books will be on display.  Victorious Secret commemorates the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

Victorious Secret is on display in the lobby of Olin Library through the end of the semester.

Sponsored by the Friends of Wesleyan Library, the Office of Equity & Inclusion, the Athletics Department, and Special Collections & Archives.

For more information, email


Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale

Saturday, September 27, 2014

10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Lobby, Olin Memorial Library

Book sale

Approximately 3,000+ books in a dozen categories for sale.  

Most books priced $1-$5. Special books $10+. Cash and checks accepted.

Some of the book remainders will be on sale in the lobby until Monday morning. 

For more information, email


Constitution Day Lecture

David Rabban '71

“Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and the American University”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 -- 7:00 pm
Smith Reading Room, 1st floor, Olin Memorial Library
252 Church Street, Middletown, CT

This talk will cover the judicial treatment of free speech and academic freedom at American universities from the 1950s to the present.  It will explore the First Amendment rights of professors, students, and universities as institutions, and the tensions that arise when these rights conflict.  Topics will include the regulation of classroom speech, the constitutionality of campus “speech codes,” student political expression and association, the relationship between academic freedom and affirmative action, and the extent to which general First Amendment principles have been modified in the academic context.

David Rabban

David M. Rabban graduated from Wesleyan in 1971 and from Stanford Law School in 1974.  After working in a labor law firm and as staff counsel for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), he joined the faculty of the University of Texas School of Law in 1983.  He served as general counsel of the AAUP from 1998 to 2006 and as chair of its Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure from 2006 to 2012.  His book, Free Speech in Its Forgotten Years, 1870-1920 (Cambridge 1997) was co-winner of the Morris D. Forkosch Prize presented by the Journal of the History of Ideas for “the best book in intellectual history published in 1997” and winner of the 1998 Eli M. Oboler Award of the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Round Table for “the most significant work in intellectual freedom published in 1996 and 1997.”  His most recent book is Law’s History:  American Legal Thought and the Transatlantic Turn to History (Cambridge 2013).


Email for more information.


Spring 2014

Friends of the Library Annual Meeting and talk by Molly Barton ’00 

Write Better Together:

an inside look at a new generation of social networks and websites that empower writers

Thursday April 24, 2014 - 6:00 pm – Develin Room, 2nd floor Olin Library

Molly Barton

Ms. Barton is teaching the senior seminar for Wesleyan’s Writing Certificate this spring.  Formerly the Global Digital Director at Penguin Random House, she founded a start-up inside Penguin called Book Country (, “the most supportive writing and publishing community on the web” – where writers can get feedback on their manuscripts, and if they desire, publish them as e-books. Barton left Penguin in February to work more closely with the NYC tech and start-up community. She is working on a number of undisclosed digital initiatives with major media companies, and serving as strategic advisor to publishing related start-ups in New York City and Silicon Valley.

 Other events co-sponsored by the Wesleyan Library

 “Evolution of American Sign Language” –a talk by Joseph Basile, Visiting Professor

Thursday, March 27

A One Book, One Middletown event related to The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow. For the full list of events, visit

4:30 pm – Develin Room, 2nd floor Olin Library


● Thursday, April 3 – “Re-Member Me: Race, Romance and the Civil War” – a talk by Lois Brown, Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor, African American Studies and English Department

Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 2014 lecture at Wesleyan.

5:00 pm – Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library

Keynote address by author Beverly Donofrio ’78 at the Middlesex Community College Women’s Forum

Friday, April 4, 2014

For more information, visit

9:30 - 11:00 am – Chapman Hall 808 A-D, Middlesex Community College

Fall 2013

Love in the Time of War
Poetry reading by Yusef Komunyakaa

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 8:00 p.m.
Russell House, 350 High Street, Middletown


A reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, to celebrate the release of a limited edition of "Love in the Time of War," designed and produced by Middletown's own Robin Price, Printer & Publisher. Price will kick off the event with a brief explanation of her work on the silk and aluminum book.

Komunyakaa is the author of twenty books of poetry. He received a bronze star for his service as a journalist in the Vietnam War and is a professor and senior distinguished poet in the graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University. Komunyakaa's Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (Wesleyan) is also being released in fall 2013. A reception and book signing will follow the reading.

Co-sponsored by Friends of Wesleyan Library, the Center for African American Studies, Writing at Wesleyan, the English Department, the Music Department, and Wesleyan University Press.

Constitution Day Lecture -- Theodore Shaw '76

“Looking Backwards; Looking Forward: The Persistence of Race in Twenty-First Century American Life”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 7:30 p.m.
Smith Reading Room, Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown


Ted Shaw is Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University Law School and of counsel at the international firm of Fulbright and Jaworski. He served as director-counsel and president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 2004 through 2008 and as a Wesleyan Trustee for 15 years.

Friends of the Wesleyan Library Book Sale

Saturday, November 2, 2013 • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown

Thousands of donated and ex libris books, most priced $1-$5.  Special books $10+.

Cash and checks accepted.

For more information, email

Adaptation Film Series

Almayer’s Folly (2011) 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 8:00 p.m.
Goldsmith Family Cinema, Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace, Middletown

Almayer's Folly

 A series exploring the adaptation of literary text to the screen. Almayer's Folly is Based on Joseph Conrad’s first novel. Free admission for Friends members.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Film Studies.


Spring 2013

Screening of Big Trouble in Little China as part of One Book, One Middletown

Artists Take Action Series

Spring Book Sale

Fall 2012 Constitution Day Lecture:

"Imposing Sentence:  The Balance Between Affording Discretion and Avoiding Disparity" -- by Chief Magistrate Judge Steven Gold ‘77 P’09

Book sale

Screening of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

Kallir Exhibit

Spring 2012

WESEMINAR: American Treasures from the Dietrich Collection

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. and repeated again at 11:00 a.m.

Richard Dietrich III ’92 (Dietrich American Foundation) and Director of Special Collections Suzy Taraba ’77 MALS ’10 discussed the superb rare books and manuscripts collected by Richard’s father, the late Richard Dietrich II ’60, one of the great Americana collectors of his generation.  These materials are on long-term deposit in Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives.  Several highlights of the Dietrich Collection will be shown, including a George Washington letter, the diary of a Loyalist woman from Pennsylvania in the 1780s, a Civil War soldier’s diary, a whaling ship’s logbook, the first edition of Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the New World, and other items.  

Presenters: Suzy Taraba ’77 MALS ’10, director of Special Collections and Archives; Richard Dietrich III ’92
Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, 1st Floor, Olin Memorial Library

ANNUAL MEETING and TALK by Professor of Economics, Richard Adelstein

      Thursday, April 26, 2012 -- Develin Room (2nd floor Olin Library)

Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics Richard Adelstein talked both about his new book, The Rise of Planning in Industrial America, 1865-1914, and the writing of it.  The Rise of Planning explores the transformation undergone by business in the U.S. over the half-century following the Civil War -- from small sole proprietorships and partnerships to massive corporations possessing many of the same constitutional rights as living men and women.  Approaching this story through historical, philosophical, legal and economic lenses, Professor Adelstein presents an original, three-pronged theory of the rise of business firms leading up to the Supreme Court's controversial 2010 Citizens United decision. The talk was preceded by a brief Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting.


Fall 2011

Spring 2011

 Constitution Day Lecture -- Spirited Debate: God talk on the campaign trail – and beyond by Jane Eisner ‘77 P’06’12

Jane Eisner has been editor of the Forward since June 2008 and prior to that held executive editorial and news positions at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years, including City Hall bureau chief, London correspondent, and features editor.  She has also served as vice president for national programs and initiatives at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.  A 1977 cum laude graduate of Wesleyan, Ms. Eisner was the first woman to edit the college newspaper, The Argus, served as an alumni-elected trustee from 1983-86, and received the McConaughy Award in 2007 for contributions to journalism and public life.  She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Adaptation Series Screening: Breakfast at Tiffany's --Wednesday, September 28, 2011  

The film was Preceded by a talk by Sam Wasson '03, Visiting Instructor in Film Studies and author of Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Dawn of the Modern Woman.

The Adaptation Series is a collaboration with the Center for Film Studies exploring the translation of literary text to the screen.

Annual Book Sale
Thank you to all who shopped at the book sale on Saturday, October 15 and to the many volunteers who made it possible!  We raised $3000 for the library. 

Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice and Survival
a lecture by Dr. Matthew Warshauer, in conjunction with the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting

Suzy Taraba presented a WESeminar on the Pinnacles of Poetry: Highlights from Wesleyan's Collectionsr is in conjunction with the exhibition  Building Wesleyan's Poetry Collections: Frank Kirkwood Hallock (1882) and Caroline Clark Barney (1895) which was on view in Olin Library. 

Fall 2010 Screening: Paths of Glory
With introductory talks by Erhard Konerding, Government Documents Librarian, and Marc Longenecker '03, Programming and Technical Manager in Film Studies at Wesleyan
Part of the Adaptation Series - co-sponsored with the Center for Film Studies

Constitution Day Event
"Constitutional Decision Making at the Forefront of Technology: How Courts Decide Cases Where There is Little Guidance"
Talk by the Honorable Mark R. Kravitz,  '72, P '00, United States District Judge

2010 Book Sale
Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, donors, and shoppers, the book sale raised over $4000 for the library!

Food for Thought: Artists' Books and Environmental Issues
A WESeminar talk by Suzy Taraba
The artist's book is an ideal medium for social critique. The book's marriage of text and image offers an artist the opportunity to explore a topic or advance an extended argument along with the emotional, visceral, and sometimes playful impact of imagery. Using examples from Wesleyan's superb collection of artists' books, Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, talked about book artists' responses to issues of climate change, the environment, and the commodification of food in conjunction with the exhibition Food for Thought (Olin Library), which highlighted Special Collections & Archives resources for the study of food as a social, political, and historical phenomenon.

Members Event: Book Conservation Lab Open House --
Friends of the Wesleyan Library members and guests were invited to an open house at Olin Library's Book Conservation Lab (ground floor of Olin Library) on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.  The occasion was the launching of the Friends Adopt A Book program.  During the open house Michaelle Biddle, Collections Conservator and Head of Preservation Services, demonstrated some of the techniques used to preserve the Wesleyan collection. 

Spring 2010 Screening of The Duchess of Langeais
With a talk by Marc Longenecker '03, Programming and Technical Manager in Film Studies at Wesleyan
Part of the Adaptation Series - co-sponsored with the Center for Film Studies

Premiere screening of Episode 4 of the HBO series The Pacific
With writer/producer Bruce McKenna '84

Counting on Chance: 25 Years of Artist's Books by Robin Price, Publisher
Fall 2009 Book Sale
Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and wonderful book buyers, the annual book sale raised over $5,000 for the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.
For photographs of the sale, see the Wesleyan Connection.

Constitution Day Event
The 'Molten Core' of the Constitution: Habeas Corpus After Guantanamo: a talk by Stephen Oleskey '64

Open House at Olin Library's Book Conservation Lab

Spring 2009 Proceed and Be Bold
Screening of the documentary film Proceed and Be Bold (Laura Zinger, director; Brown Finch Films) about the life and work of letterpress printer and book artist Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.  The event also included an exhibit of Kennedy's work in Special Collections and Archives and a sale of Kennedy's posters.

William Manchester: Portrait of a Writer
On Thursday February 5, 2009, Wesleyan University Library celebrated the life of the noted author and historian William Manchester. 

"Of All The People In All The World"  -- Satellite installation in Olin Memorial Library Lobby of the main exhibit in Zilkha Gallery.
For photographs, see "Rice Used to Represent Human Statistics."

Fall 2008 The Book Artist as Social Critic -- A talk by Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist

Events in honor of the 400th Birthday of John Milton
 Events included an Open House showcasing rare editions of Paradise Lost in Wesleyan's Special Collections and Archives and conversations with John Basinger on his Milton Memorization Project

Spring 2008 Artists' Books 101 -- A talk by Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist

Fourteen Quotes from Rosa Louise Parks, Civil Rights Activist -- An exhibit of prints by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. in honor of Women's History Month

Book sale raised over $3,500.
Fall 2007 A screening of "Lolita" and talk by screenwriter and Wesleyan alumnus Stephen Schiff
Spring 2007

The Connecticut Premiere of “Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore”

Fall 2006  A Tirade by Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.
Spring 2006 Library Book Sale

The sale of thousands of books deaccessioned from the Wesleyan Library raised over  $17,500. 
Fall 2005 The Book in Antiquity -- A talk by David Sider 
Spring 2005 American Diners -- A Slide Show and Talk by Richard Gutman
Fall 2004 Stone Reader -- A screening and discussion with director Mark Moskowitz and Dow Mossman, author of The Stones of Summer