LSU Libraries’ Special Collections has opened a new exhibit inspired by One Book One Community’s 2008 winter/spring selection, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. “In Truth’s Bold Cause: Louisiana and the Freedom of the Press” will be on display in the lecture hall at Hill Memorial Library from February 20 to April 25.
Visitors will learn about the early history of the freedom of the press in England and the American colonies as well as in Louisiana during the period of French and Spanish rule. Highlights of the exhibit include a copy of the Comte de Mirabeau’s Sur la Liberté de la Presse (1788), owned by Daniel Turnbull of Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana. In addition to a first edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)—a work which was banned in the South due to its call for the abolition of slavery—a copy of Creole author Charles Testut’s Le Vieux Salomon will also be on display. Although Testut wrote his novel before the Civil War, he chose not to publish it until 1872, fearing that he would be lynched because of its anti-slavery views. Rounding out the exhibit are materials related to Huey Long’s attempts to gag the Louisiana press—including the LSU student newspaper—in the 1930s, one of which resulted in a landmark Supreme Court case.
The library is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, and Tuesday evenings until 8 p.m. For more information, contact Michael Taylor at (225) 578-6547 or firstname.lastname@example.org.