NYU Fales Library Celebrates Alice in Wonderland’s 150th Birthday


New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections is pleased to announce an exhibition, 'Go Ask Alice': Alice, Wonderland and Popular Culture, exploring Alice parodies and ephemera for viewers of all ages, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the beloved children's story by Lewis Carroll.

nyu-fales-library-celebrates-alice-in-wonderlands-150th-birthday
Alice in Wonderland Stitch-a-Story. Pawtucket, RI: Hasbro, 1969.

New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections is pleased to announce an exhibition, 'Go Ask Alice': Alice, Wonderland and Popular Culture, exploring Alice parodies and ephemera for viewers of all ages, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the beloved children's story by Lewis Carroll.

"Go Ask Alice" will be on view from September 26-December 11, 2015 in the Mamdouha Bobst Gallery, Bobst Library, First Floor, 70 Washington Square South, (at LaGuardia Place). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.].

The exhibition draws material from Fales Library’s Alfred C. Berol Collection, the largest collection of Lewis Carroll materials in the United States. Additionally, materials from the Jon Lindseth collection of Alice in Wonderland ephemera will be on display for the first time. Mr. Lindseth, who is a major collector of Lewis Carroll and other 19th century novelists, donated his collection of more than 1,000 Alice items to Fales Library in 2012.

“Almost as soon as the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland appeared, consumer goods related to Alice began to appear, too,” said Marvin J. Taylor, director, Fales Library and Special Collections. “Rather than show the same editions other institutions have on display for the sesquicentennial of Alice in Wonderland, which we have shown before, we’re highlighting the Jon Lindseth Collection of Alice in Wonderland Ephemera. The materials in our exhibition show a cross section of the vast and varied media the Alice industry has produced over the past 150 years.”

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the Lewis Carroll Society of North America is coordinating a number of national and local events, centered on a celebration in the fall of 2015 in New York City. (http://www.alice150.com) Other exhibitions that will include materials from Fales will be on view at the New York Public Library and the Morgan Library. Lewis Carroll and Alice will be simultaneously celebrated in the UK, Japan, Brazil, and Canada, where there are active Lewis Carroll societies, and in many more countries that have vibrant expressions of Wonderland in their own cultures.

About Fales Library and Special Collections:
The Fales Library, comprising nearly 358,000 volumes and over 10,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection and the general special collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection, founded in 1993, documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video. The goal of the Downtown Collection is to comprehensively collect the full range of artistic practices and output of the Downtown scene, regardless of format. This research collection, built on a documentary strategy, supports the research of students and scholars who are interested in the intersection of the contemporary arts with other forms of cultural and artistic expression.

The NYU Division of Libraries holds over 4 million volumes and comprises five libraries in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai,. Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, receives 2.6 million visits annually. Around the world the Libraries offers access to more than 1.2 million electronic journals, books, and databases. For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit http://library.nyu.edu


Alice, March Hare and Cheshire Cat. Porcelain figurine. Walt Disney Productions, circa 1970s.


Alice in Wonderland. Metal ball puzzle game. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. F. Drueke & Sons, ca.1940s – 1960s.


Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Sewing Cards. Whitman Publishing, 1951.


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