October 19th marks the opening of the exhibition “Advancing Scholarship & Learning for 80 Years: LSU Press and The Southern Review” at Hill Memorial Library. The timing is particularly appropriate, as October is American Archives month, a celebration of the efforts of archivists to preserve, maintain, and make accessible the records central to our cultural memory.
In The Duty of An Educated Mind (LSU Press, 1936), Charles Pipkin (Southern Review founder and dean of the Graduate School at LSU) argues that scholarship is central to human security in the larger world: “Scholarship is the great tradition of using the intelligence to gain a larger measure of freedom in human and social action…The academic world is in direct line of the great adventure of mankind. To know is to be free.” “Advancing Scholarship” illustrates how LSU Press and The Southern Review have advanced learning through the publication of original scholarly and creative works, and promoted the free exchange of ideas. Exhibited materials are an extension of that notion, the tangible fruits of scholarly labor, creativity, and cooperation that embody the pursuit of knowledge and the sharing of ideas that are vital to a democracy.
“Advancing Scholarship” demonstrates the integral relationship among LSU Press, The Southern Review, and LSU Libraries Special Collections. The exhibition covers the history of LSU Press and The Southern Review, and an overview of what is arguably LSU Press’s most famous book, A Confederacy of Dunces. Also included are works published by LSU Press reflecting the major topics of history, the history of LSU, art, anthropology, geography, political science, literature, poetry and music. Books were chosen to underscore the enduring connections among scholars, poets, editors, LSU Press, The Southern Review, archivists, librarians, and LSU Libraries Special Collections; span the eight decades of publication history; represent groundbreaking and iconic works in particular fields; showcase scholars’ use of Special Collections archival and rare material in their research; demonstrate Special Collections holdings related to the process of publication; and spotlight the variety in cover design.
But the story does not end here. LSU Press and The Southern Review continue their commitment to excellence in publishing – and LSU Libraries Special Collections has dedicated space on the shelf, poised to preserve and make accessible new works and to inspire new scholarship for years to come.