Six Wonders of the Lilly Library

IU Bloomington’s Lilly Library is home to an impressive collection of rare books and manuscripts, as well as other items that spark curiosity and wonder.

In this video, you’ll get a peek at the library’s massive collections through some of its most fascinating items, including a lock of Edgar Allen Poe’s hair and a wooden robot puzzle known as Woodrow.

More about the Lilly Library

Between 1954 and 1957, prominent Indianapolis businessman J.K. Lilly donated more than 20,000 books, 17,000 manuscripts, 50 oil paintings, and 300 prints to Indiana University. These items formed the foundation of the collection at the Lilly Library, which opened in 1960.

Since then, the library’s collection has increased twentyfold thanks in large part to more donations. Notable additions include one of the world’s largest collections of miniature books donated by American author and naturalist Ruth Adomeit; more than 30,000 comics donated by Batman producer and IU graduate Michael Uslan; and the papers and memorabilia, including two Oscar statuettes, of legendary film director John Ford donated by his grandson, Dan Ford.

Visit to learn more about the Lilly Library.

This video was originally published for IU Day 2016.

Written By
Andrea Alumbaugh
A native Hoosier, Andrea Alumbaugh is a graduate of IU (BAJ’08) and a senior writer at the IU Foundation.