Zionsville Library to host vintage cartoon collection

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By Devynn Barnes 

“Destiny of the Republic” is just one book used as inspiration for the new library exhibit. (Submitted photo)

“Destiny of the Republic” is just one book used as inspiration for the new library exhibit. (Submitted photo)

The Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library will become the home of a special vintage collection of political cartoons from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30, thanks to a loan from the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis. This collection ties into the library’s “United We Read” program, and features original cartoons from 1860 to 1912.

Adult Program librarian Orton Ortwein orchestrated much of the exhibit, originally contacting the Benjamin Harrison Site to discuss obtaining the collection. He said he liked that it coincided with the time period of the book selected the county-wide “United We Read” program, titled “Destiny of the Republic; A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President,” by Candice Millard.

“It just seemed like a really good tie-in,” Ortwein said. The book features a story about President James Garfield and his time in office during the late 1800s.

The cartoon collection contains famous symbols such as Uncle Sam, Miss Columbia, and the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant. It is owned by Julian Ridlen, who will be coming to the library to discuss the historical perspective of the display at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28.

“It’s going to be really fascinating,” said Ortwein about Ridlen’s talk. Registration for the talk is required, and can be completed at the library’s website.

Ortwein said Hussey-Mayfield Library is lucky to host such an important collection. The exhibition opened Oct. 13 and will be available for viewing from 2 to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays until Oct. 30.

To find more information about the display or to register for Julian Ridlen’s talk, visit the library’s website, www.zionsville.lib.in.us. The Hussey-Mayfield Public Library is located at 250 N. Fifth Street in Zionsville.


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