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Exhibit in Wells Library features Nobel Peace Prize laureates

Project to move to New York after stay on campus

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Apr. 4, 2006 

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In the east tower of the Herman B Wells Library, 45 free-standing panels celebrate Nobel Peace Prize laureates. The exhibit covers honorees from 1901, beginning with Frederic Passy, to 2005, ending with Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The exhibit was put together by IU's Center for the Study of Global Change. Kenneth Steuer, associate director of the center, said each featured laureate has a strong tie to the League of Nations or the United Nations.

"During World War II, the League led to the U.N.," he said.

A complementary exhibit is on display in the United Nations office of Geneva, Switzerland, and the exhibit that is currently at IU will make its way to Indianapolis and then to the United Nations office in New York.

Each panel featuring an included laureate has a photograph, quote and short biography of the recipient.

Established with a MacArthur grant in the 1980s, the center is now under the direction of Brian Winchester. Exhibit organizers from IU have been working with the United Nations library on a number of projects since 2000, and in the fall of 2004, the United Nations made a recommendation to make the exhibit.

"Our mandate is to internationalize the curriculum both at IU and at colleges across the country, as well as to conduct outreach at K-12 schools, businesses, the media and the general public," Steuer said. "This exhibition is part of our outreach mission."

Steuer led a group of librarians to Geneva last summer to gather the material for the exhibit. They scanned primary documents like photographs, letters, posters and cartoons. The material is available at http://www.indiana.edu/~nobel/.

Robert Goehlert is a librarian of economics, criminal justice, political science and global and West European studies at IU. He contributed to the League of Nations Photo Archive, which was the center's first project and the reason the exhibit was requested. In both 2000 and 2001, he and a team spent two weeks in Geneva scanning one of the library's photo collections.

Goehlert said a reason he got involved is because of the unique material in the League of Nations archives.

"When we get done with the Web site and we have the documents on there it will be making documents that are only in one place in the world, hopefully, more accessible to the world," he said.

Because organizers from the United Nations were pleased with this project, they contacted IU about a Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibit. Goehlert did not go to Geneva for the IU exhibit's research, but he has been working on it in Bloomington. The project team is made up of five to six people from the library, the center and the Teaching and Learning Technology Centers.

Goehlert said IU has a lot of historical ties with the United Nations including former political science faculty members who were involved in the creation of the United Nations, and he mentioned Wells' many international ties.

"I think that even though it's from a place that's far away, the topic of the peace prize is very universal, really," he said.

 

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