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Browse Exhibits (4 total)

The Sixties: A Time in Transition

Man on the Moon. Civil Rights Act of 1964. Vietnam War. A country divided between a consumer culture and a counterculture. These events defined the 1960s as a time of transition. A transition that improved the lives of millions in the U.S. while bringing untold pain and hardship to millions of others abroad. These exhibits showcase selected items from SC&A that illustrate the dramatic changes over the course of one decade.

This exhibit is divided into three parts. In Popular Literature of the 1960s, several books by important 1960s authors are displayed. American Life includes photographs of space exploration and transportation and pamphlets on vacationing. Politics and The Cold War features items from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the Civil Rights Movement, and materials pertaining to nuclear war, Cuba, and China.

Excerpts from a Life Well-Traveled: The Jan Morris Collection of the University Libraries

George Mason University Libraries recently acquired a collection of rare Jan Morris first editions and pre-release review copies. The collection consists of 135 books and one rare signed poster from the 1940s. 

Born James Morris in 1926 in Somerset England, Morris underwent gender re-assignment surgery in 1972. In her highly personal work Conundrum: From James to Jan - An Extraordinary Personal Narrative of Transsexualism, Morris describes her life and sexual reassignment

Morris began as a newspaper writer, working on the editorial staff of The Guardian from 1957 to 1962 and was the first journalist to report the conquest of Mount Everest. Morris also served in the military, was married, and has 5 children. One of her children is Twm Morris, the musician and poet.

Her most famous work is arguably the Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of the British Empire. She is also widely acclaimed for her travel writing, which includes famous profiles of Oxford, Venice, Wales, Hong Kong, and New York City.

The collection is the generous gift of Philip M. Teigen. Teigen also donated a substantial collection of rare John Richard Green volumes to the Libraries in 2008.

Teigen’s interest in collecting Morris’ works stems from his development of the John Richard Green Collection. He wrote in a letter to the Libraries that he views Morris as Green’s “20th century intellectual heir.”

This exhibit combines images with excerpts from select works. 

Ours the Greater Luxury: Gender and Gentility in 20th Century Advertisements

Print advertisement is a ubiquitous mode of communication that has been in existence for centuries. The images and ideas found in advertisements reflect the spirit, values, and norms of society and exploit this aspect of the human experience for commercial gain.

Special Collections & Archives staff selected advertisements from the Early Twentieth Century Women's Magazines collection and the Charles Rodrigues Playbill collection that exemplify advertising as a historical record. The advertisements in this exhibit present a number of different themes in order to appeal to the consumer; including gender roles, refinement, and the goal of attaining “the good life.” Through copy and imagery, the ads demonstrate important changes affecting the traditional societal roles of men and women in the early half of the 20th century.

Please visit the exhibit on the second floor, C-wing of Fenwick Library

An exhibit from Special Collections & ArchivesGeorge Mason University Libraries

Beyond the Book: An Exhibition of the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection

This digital exhibit serves as a companion to the larger physical exhibit on display in George Mason University Libraries' Fenwick Library on the Fairfax Campus.

The exhibit highlights both the Brian P. Lamb Booknotes Collection, which was donated to the University Libraries by Mr. Lamb in April 2011, and interviews Lamb conducted with the authors of each of the books. The collection comprises 801 books which were read by Lamb for research and to prepare for interviews with their respective authors. Many of the titles in the collection have extensive marginalia and other notes made by Lamb during the research process.

Brian Lamb is the founder and chief executive officer of C-SPAN a cable/satellite-based television network dedicated to delivering government activities and events and other public affairs content to the American television viewer. Lamb has served as the company’s CEO since its beginning in 1979. After his graduating from
Purdue University, Lamb joined the Navy where he spent nearly two years at sea, served as an aide to President Lyndon Johnson, and was later stationed in the audiovisual office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

In the late 1970s, with a group of key cable industry executives, Lamb worked to create a television network that would deliver gavel-to-gavel coverage of the proceedings of the United States Congress. Creating C-SPAN as a non-profit entity, this group built one of the Washington area’s first satellite uplinks.  On March 19, 1979 C-SPAN presented the first televised session of the U.S. House of Representatives to millions of cable television viewers nationwide.

An accomplished interviewer, Lamb conducted one of his first interviews with the members of the musical group, The Kingston Trio at age 17. As an employee of a radio station he interviewed other musicians including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, and Count Basie. In April 1989, Lamb and C-SPAN began to air a program called Booknotes.  Its format was described by Lamb as "one author, one book, one hour." The weekly program, which concentrated on non-fiction books was hosted by Lamb, himself, who spent an average of 20 hours reading and preparing for each interview. 

The program began officially on April 2, 1989 as Booknotes with an interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski about his book, The Grand Failure, but its roots were in a series of interviews conducted by Lamb and shown on C-SPAN in September and October 1988.  With the release of Neil Sheehan’s landmark book on the Vietnam War, A Bright and Shining Lie during that year, C-SPAN wished to feature the author and his work in a series of interviews. Over two and one-half hours were recorded for C-SPAN to televise in five parts that fall. The show format was quite simple. Lamb and his interview subject were seated on a dark empty set with sparse lighting. The cameras focused primarily on the subject, and only rarely did we see the interviewer. The author being interviewed did most of the talking as Lamb would only ask brief questions and  follow up periodically. The website features an insightful 40-minute documentary on the program at the bottom of the following page:

In total Booknotes comprised 801 interviews and ran from 1989 to 2004. It focused primarily on contemporary nonfiction books, though one title, Say Cheese, by Vasily Aksyanov was actually a fiction novel. With Booknotes C-SPAN established a popular television forum for writers of history, biography, politics, and public affairs. Lamb is currently host of a new interview series on C-SPAN entitled Q&A.    

This exhibit features a selection from the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection.  Many of the titles in the collection feature annotations made by Mr. Lamb while reading and preparing for the interview.

His notes follow a clear pattern. People and ideas noted in the margins and underscored in the text reappear in what are often copious notes on the end papers and fly leaves of the books.  The earliest volumes in the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection contain very few notes, while later volumes include up to six pages of notes.  Chronologies include an author or subject's education, jobs and or pivotal events.  Questions, quotations and philosophical, political, historical and scientific ideas appear along with the names of people central or in contrast to the subject. 

To view the catalog records for the books from the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection please visit this link: