May 24, 2005

'Dublin to Ithaca,' a rare look at James Joyce collection, opens June 9

ITHACA, N.Y. -- For the first time in 30 years, Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections will exhibit parts of the university's extensive collection of James Joyce letters, manuscripts and books, considered the richest in the world on the Irish writer's early life and career.

The exhibit, "From Dublin to Ithaca: Cornell's James Joyce Collection," will be on view from June 9 through Oct. 12 in the Hirshland Exhibition Gallery of the Carl A. Kroch Library. Cornell University Library acquired the Joyce collection in May 1957 from Nelly Joyce, the widow of Joyce's younger brother, Stanislaus. The gift of William G. Mennen '08, the collection contains more than 1,300 letters, manuscripts, photographs and documents.

The exhibit will coincide with the 2005 North American James Joyce Conference, "Return to Ithaca," which will be hosted by Cornell University Library from June 14 to 18. The biennial conference -- co-sponsored by Cornell's English department and Society for the Humanities, the Pennsylvania State University Libraries and the Ithaca College Department of English -- will attract more than 150 Joyce scholars and students from around the world.

For more information about the exhibit and collection and for a complete conference schedule, see or contact Jim LeBlanc, conference host committee chair, at

As part of the opening of the exhibit and of Reunion Weekend, a lecture, "An Unlikely Story: The Joyce Collection at Cornell," will be given by M.H. Abrams, Class of 1916 Professor Emeritus of English, on Thursday, June 9, at 4:30 p.m. in Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium of Goldwin Smith Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. An opening reception for the Joyce exhibit will follow, at 5:30 p.m. in the Hirshland Gallery.