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Friday, May 25, 2012

Bloomsday (Exhibition) is Here!

This year's Bloomsday exhibition is here--it was slated to open next Wednesday, May 30, but we managed to get everything in place early. Below, you can see a couple of the photos I snapped during the installation. The theme this year is Who Owns Ulysses? Joyce and Copyright and it delves into the fascinating legal controversies surrounding the novel, from the famous obscenity ban to the equally famous copyright issues surrounding Joyce's work, both in his own lifetime and after. We've got part of the Ulysses manuscript on display, first editions, pirated editions, the Woolsey decision allowing Ulysses into the U.S., and all kinds of other great stuff.

It was a bit of a challenge to find a good Ulysses blue for the cases, but I think we found a pretty good shade. You can read about the headache the blue caused the original printer in this old blog post.
An interesting bit of current Joycean news related to copyright is that the National Library of Ireland has digitized its Joyce manuscripts acquired since 2000 and is making them available on its website. This move has been contested by an independent scholar who claims to hold EU copyright to the manuscript texts by having been the first to publish them. You can read about the whole issue in the Irish Times.

Twenty two days until Bloomsday--but who's counting. (Actually, we are--see Bloomsday Central for a countdown clock and a great list of Bloomsday resources.) If you can't wait until June 16, join us for a conversation with exhibition curator Melanie Micir on June 7, which will be a chance to learn more about the exhibit and to bring all your questions about Ulysses's twisted legal history.

Kathy Haas is the Assistant Curator at the Rosenbach Museum & Library and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog

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