Cornell University

Opening Reception for the Exhibition "Wardrobes and Rabbit Holes"

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Kroch Library, Level 2B, Rare and Manuscript Collections
Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Cornell University Library invites you to a reception celebrating the opening of the exhibition “Wardrobes and Rabbit Holes: A Dark History of Children’s Literature,” on view in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, in the Hirshland Gallery.

Since the debut of the wildly popular “Harry Potter” series in the late 1990s, literature for children has seen a tremendous surge in the public consciousness. Increased attention leads to increased criticism, and many concerned adults have spoken out against what they perceive as a growing trend towards “darkness” in children’s books. Sex, drugs, violence, death and even magic are often cited as dangerous themes. However, children’s literature has always reflected the darker elements of society from the very beginning. This exhibition explores the vast wonderland of children’s literature, shedding new light on the shadows lurking in the rabbit holes.

Preceding the reception is the opening lecture given by M. T. Anderson in the Lewis Auditorium at 5:00 p.m. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For Saturday hours, check the Library Web site for updates at

The lecture and reception is funded through the generous support of the Stephen E. ’58 and Evalyn Edwards ’60 Milman Fund, Jon ’56 and Ginny ’56 Lindseth, and the Nathan Zimelman Endowment.

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Cornell University Library, English



Free and open to all



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Donna Moore

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