Ginsberg’s “Howl” and Beat Poetry

February 13 – April 10, 2008
Library flat and wall cases

This wall case exhibit celebrates the earliest recording of Allen Ginsberg’s best-known poem, “Howl,” recently identified in the Reed archives. Ginsberg and Gary Snyder ’51 stopped off at Reed to give a reading while on a Pacific Northwest road trip in February of 1956. This followed their October, 1955, explosive readings in San Francisco that brought the Beat Poets into the public eye. Included is the issue of The Quest announcing a “poetry reading” in Anna Mann on February 13th, 1956, the box lid of the 8″ reel-to-reel tape, and the two post cards written by Ginsberg and Snyder at this time to their friend, Philip Whalen ’51.

The larger part of the exhibit displays correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, and published titles of Beat poets Snyder, Whalen, Lew Welch ’50, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. Their lively friendship and connection with Reed is clear in their many letters and often in their poems.

The Binford Collection: Janet Walker Binford ’36

Fascinating, colorful examples of the volumes gathered by Reed alumna, Janet Walker Binford ’36, grace the exhibition cases in the Hauser Library. The Binford Collection, part of the library’s special collections, contains gems of early exploration and travel, including Captain Cook’s volumes of his 1784 Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, highlights of the gardening world with a focus on rhododendrons, and carefully selected examples of children’s and other illustrated volumes. The collection also boast hundreds of titles printed by the Binford family’s publishing house in Portland, Binfords & Mort. September 10 – November 26, 2007.

Reed Student Literary Magazines

The history of creative writing at Reed is a lively and long one. Over thirty different titles, edited and published by students, have appeared since the founding of the college. Some titles were seen only once while several ran for over a decade. Major authors and poets had their student pieces published at Reed, including Mary Barnard, Gary Snyder, Phil Whalen, Katherine Dunn, Don Berry, Debra Ginsberg, Lee Blessing, and Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. Come see samples of many of these literary magazines and their contents. May 25 through July 2007.

Reed Campus Heritage

This exhibit shows a small selection of the many architectural drawings, historic photographs, and archival documents held in the library’s special collections. These and many other materials were used by consultants in architectural, landscape, and preservation history retained by Reed under a 2004 grant from the Getty Foundation in their Campus Heritage Initiative. The resultant Reed College Heritage Master Plan is now available to the Reed community, a plan that will both inform the college’s future development and provide a thorough documentation of the campus’ physical history. Four flat cases and the wall case near the reference desk. October 2006 – January 2007.


New Books by Faculty

Twenty-three books by current faculty members published since 2000 are on disply in the library cases. These titles present a diverse and vibrant body of intellectual pursuits leavened by at least one lighter study. Almost every subject field is represented as is the broad range of faculty expertise and curiosity, from visiting assistant professors to the college president. Most all books are held in the Reediana collection of the library’s Special Collections & Archives. April – June 2005

New Case Works

Case Works exhibition 7: Vitamin A, a student art organization dedicated to promoting art and creative boondoggle among the Reed College community, presents Danger and Safety. Work in the exhibition explores the delicate and sometimes disturbing relationship between vulnerability and security that permeates our lives both locally, nationally, and beyond. April – May 2005.

The Reed Thesis

A new exhibit mounted in the main Reed library cases displays the history and several of the interesting or infamous examples of the Reed thesis. Required since the inception of Reed in 1911, every Reed graduate has struggled with this time-consuming, demanding, often frustrating, and very long senior project. Over 12,700 people have completed this requirement, and 15 representative products are shown, including the theses of two students from the first class of 1915 and of Philip Whalen, Dorothy Johansen, Richard Crandall, Janet Fitch, and the modern “illuminated manuscript” of ’05 student, Linnane O’Connor. December 2004-February 2005

New Case Works

“A Secret History,” by Portland artist Cynthia Lahti, will be on view August 20 through November 18 in the Hauser Memorial Library. Lahti’s mixed media installation weaves narratives of fear, loss, joy, and discovery. Lahti creates individual objects and drawings from a wide variety of traditional and ephemeral media such porcelain, found paper, ink, pen, cloth, and paint. The materials and processes are juxtaposed in relationships that seem joyously playful, yet carry an undercurrent of melancholia, dislocation, and menace. Lahti describes the discrete elements of A Secret History as “artifacts of life.” Lahti states, “Art is an affirmation of existence. A scrap of paper with the words ‘I love you’ written on it can change someone’s life.”

James Beard Exhibit

James Beard for decades was called the foremost cooking authority in America. Active in New York from the late 1930s until his death in 1985, he was born and raised in Portland and lived, during the summers, in Gearhart at the Coast. A Reed student in 1920-21, Beard next tried his hand at acting and singing before gravitating to food and its preparation, always relying upon his childhood memories of the excellent dishes his mother created from the local fresh produce and seafood. Reed awarded Beard an honorary doctorate in 1976, and Beard bequeathed the collection of his own cookbooks to Reed. This exhibit draws from Beard’s printed culinary works housed in the Reed Library’s Special Collections. The exhibit is on display in the library’s main cases just beyond the circulation desk from August – November, 2004.


Beat Poets

The connection between Reed College and the Beat Poets is a strong one. Three central figures from the movement, started in 1955 with a poetry reading in in San Francisco at Six Gallery, are Reed friends and graduates: Gary Snyder ’51, Philip Whalen ’51, and Lew Welch ’50. Influenced by their “poetic endeavors” and such faculty as Lloyd J. Reynolds while at Reed, all were exposed to Zen Buddhism and an effort to express themselves in a new and different manner, called “Beat”, especially after Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” was published in 1957. Reed now owns a collection of Philip Whalen’s correspondence and manuscripts presented by the author, as well as correspondence from Gary Snyder presented by his mother. The Lloyd J. Reynolds papers also include letters from Snyder and Whalen. This exhibit displays selected letters, publications, and other materials from the Library’s Special Collections; it will remain up in the main Library cases and in the wall case behind the reference desk through the Spring semester.

Early Maps

Early maps of Africa, America, and the known world are on display in the Reed Library in the wall case by the tower stairs and the flat cases beyond the Circulation area. Hand-colored and lavishly decorated, these beautiful antiquarian maps entertain and amuse us now, but we should remember that they were the objects of intense study and represented the understanding of the physical world in the 16th and 17th centuries. The earliest examples are two maps printed by Abraham Ortelius, the “father of the atlas,” both from different editions of his title, Theatrum orbis terrarum. His 1570 map of North Africa shows the Barbary Coast with sea monsters and tiny city buildings, all hand-colored. The 1587 map of America already shows the whole of the west coast in substantially the correct shape. A later map of central Africa, Aethiopia, printed by Amsterdam’s Joan Blaeu in 1635, shows the kingdom of the mythical Prester John. William Berry, an English cartographer of the late 17th century, printed a large map of North America in 1680. Lacking good cartographic information, his map shows California as an island and it labels the rivers that might be the Columbia and the Hudson both as Rio Grande. The French royal geographer, Jaillot, produced a map of the “known world,” his Nova Orbis Tabula in 1694, but it also shows California as an island. However, the decorations depicting native women from all parts of the world are quite wonderful. This exhibit has been mounted to correlate to the current Jennifer Bartlett exhibit in the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. The maps, from Reed College Library’s Special Collections, will remain up through December, 2003.


Extraordinary artists’ books have been chosen from the Reed Library collection to show in conjunction with the Bibliocosmos exhibit mounted in the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery starting August 27, 2003. The artists’ book collection in the Special Collections & Archives unit has been built over the last six years by Geraldine Ondrizek, associate professor in the Art Department, and provides the items being shown both here and in the Bibliocosmos exhibit. A focus in the library cases is the work of Angela Lorenz, an American book artist living in Bologna, Italy. Her seven included works are wildly creative, for example, Soap Story consists of 6 small bars of soap that must have the small linen text pages “released” by washing to emphasize the true story of the Italian woman told in the text; Librex Solaris is a copy of a sun-clock popular in the 16th century; and her Bologna Sample contains 179 watercolor samples of the colors of Bologna buildings. Other works shown have been created by both local and national book artists. This exhibit fills both the main flat library cases and the wall case next to the reference desk.

Reed Campus History

The original plans for the Reed College Campus were extremely ambitious, encompassing a paved quadrangle with fountain in the middle surrounded by buildings, most of which were never built. Although plans called for dormitories to be built across the canyon, so was a separate Women’s College. On display are early architect’s plans for both the campus and the Eastmorland residential development area and a 1976 student-drawn plan. (Upright Cases facing old Front Entrance)