Treasure Trove of Historical Documents Coming Home to Indiana; Hoosiers Given Chance to Hold History in their Hands
INDIANAPOLIS – Conventional wisdom would dictate that if you owned a multi-million dollar antiquarian document collection, you’d keep it locked away from dirty fingers and damaging sunlight or humidity.
And sure, the keepers of The Remnant Trust are careful to preserve the documents that range from a 1542 edition of the Magna Carta to a 1785 edition of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and an 1869 edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus.
But they are diametrically opposed to the idea that they must never be touched by the public.
“We want these documents to be accessible, for all people with an interest in the history of our civilization and for professors to be able to hold them up in class and for students to get energized by these important works that have shaped our country and the world,” said Chris Talley, chairman of the Trust’s board of directors and an organizer of events that will bring 40 or so historical documents to the Columbia Club in October.
George Will, the noted political commentator, author, baseball and history fan, will give a keynote speech about the importance of such American artifacts on October 21. His keynote will be followed by a panel discussion with local experts discussing freedom of speech and democracy.
The public is invited to view and even touch some of the documents October 21 at the Columbia Club. Tickets are $35 each.
Secure them here.
Members of the media will be allowed to attend and cover the event at no charge.
“My father, who began this collection, is a former member of the Columbia Club, so it’s natural for us to return there to give central Indiana Hoosiers a look at the documents,” said Kris Bex, president of the Remnant Trust. “We see this as the first of many events around the state where Hoosiers will get to literally hold history in their hands.”
The collection includes an exceedingly rare, third Dunlap printing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, an original pamphlet printing of the U.S. Constitution and a first edition of Frederick Douglass’ My Bondage and My Freedom.
The Remnant Trust, a public, nonprofit educational foundation, sponsors about a dozen exhibits each year throughout the country, most often at universities. October’s exhibit at the Columbia Club is part of a 20-year series highlighting some of the documents, which were on display to members as recently as last year.
The Remnant Trust was established in 1997 by Brian Bex, an entrepreneur and television host, who began collecting rare books and materials relating to American history, human dignity and liberty in the 1980s. He began making the materials available on loan to colleges in the 1990s.
The October exhibit celebrates the return of the core holdings of the 1500-piece collection to Indiana from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Remnant Trust officials are exploring partnerships with the Columbia Club and the Indiana Historical Society for curating the materials.