Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Celebrating 50 years of Reading the Landscape with May T. Watts

"There is good reading on the land, first-hand reading, involving no symbols.

The records are written in forests, in fence-rows, in bogs, in play-grounds, in pastures, in gardens, in canyons, in trees rings.

The records were made by sun and shade; by wind, rain, and fire; by time; and by animals."

Opening from the Preface -- Reading the Landscape : an adventure in ecology
by May Theilgaard Watts published by Macmillan in 1957

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Reading the Landscape : an adventure in ecology by May Theilgaard Watts. To celebrate this remarkable book, author and anniversary, the Sterling Morton Library staff has just created an interim display* of some of the treasures in our collection related to May T. Watts. Within the Library's collections can be found original artwork, papers, manuscripts, guides, books, poems, clippings, photographs, and, even, pottery by Watts, founder of the Arboretum's education program and renowned teacher, author, and naturalist. To commemorate this golden anniversary, we've selected items from our collection highlighting Reading the Landscape including manuscripts, original artwork, page proofs, fan mail, and reviews of her groundbreaking book. In addition, we've selected further resources from our collection to present other aspects of her contributions to the Arboretum and the study of nature and ecology.

As you will see when viewing this display, her contributions are significant and, as a bonus, visually interesting! Within the display, we're presenting her early Arboretum visitor maps, original artwork, publications, and even her efforts to create the
Prairie Path which received a letter of commendation from the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon.

What better time to visit the Library, view this display and revisit a classic!

* Make haste! This special interim display will be available for viewing through August 22, 2007 in the
Sterling Morton Library.

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