Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Cherry Dunham Williams
Lilly Library

Last modified: Wednesday, October 6, 2010

IU's Lilly Library celebrates 50 years with 'Gilding the Lilly' book, exhibition

Oct. 6, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new book by Christopher de Hamel, Gilding the Lilly: A Hundred Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts in the Lilly Library (Phaidon Press), celebrates the 50th anniversary of Indiana University's Lilly Library in conjunction with a "Gilding the Lilly" exhibit curated by de Hamel.

Gilding the Lilly

Gilding the Lilly refers to both the burnished gold illumination used in many of the manuscripts stored at the Lilly Library and to the golden jubilee of the Lilly Library itself, which was founded in 1960.

"Many of the manuscripts are described here for the first time, and include items of extreme rarity and delicate beauty," said de Hamel, Donnelley Fellow Librarian at Corpus Christi University of Cambridge and a world-renowned medievalist.

The "Gilding the Lilly" exhibit opened Oct. 1 at Lilly Library and will remain on display through Dec. 18. The exhibition showcases 100 of the Lilly Library's most important and interesting manuscripts written in the medieval and renaissance eras. From a Roman tombstone to gleaming and delicate Books of Hours, visitors will be able to view many items rarely seen on exhibit together.

The Lilly Library's manuscripts tell the unfolding story of European book production, art, language and literature covering 1,000 years, from the seventh century to the high Renaissance. These manuscripts, which are also depicted throughout the Gilding the Lilly book, serve as a graphic narrative of the survival and dissemination of culture in the pre-industrial world.

The fully illustrated book is available for purchase at the Lilly Library by contacting Penny Ramon,, 812-855-2452, or at the Friends of Art Bookshop,, 812-855-1333. The perfect-bound soft cover edition is $50; the Smyth Sewn hard cover edition is $100; and the limited edition of 100 signed and slip-cased, hard cover copies is $175.

For more information on the Lilly Library's 50th anniversary celebration and a list of the special events, visit the website at