Ingersoll on VivisectionApril 29, 2015
In August, 2014, the Robert Green Ingersoll and the Reform Imperative conference was held at the Center for Inquiry. During that event, I was photographed showing Susan Jacoby a letter that Ingersoll wrote about vivisection (the image can be seen on Jacoby’s Wikipedia page). Vivisection is the practice of performing operations on live animals for the purposes of research.
CFI Libraries Announce the Martin T. Orne CollectionJanuary 2, 2015
The Center for Inquiry Libraries (CFI Libraries) have acquired the collection of materials of Dr. Martin T. Orne (1927-2000), the eminent professor of psychiatry and psychology. Included in the Martin T. Orne, MD, PhD Collection are books, dissertations, audio-visual materials, as well as legal case files and correspondence files relating to Dr. Orne’s work in hypnosis, memory distortion (false memories), and lie detection.
Ingersoll and Bennett PortraitsNovember 5, 2014
Earlier this year, we received two paintings from the James Hervey Johnson Charitable Education Trust. These paintings might seem familiar to those who have more than a passing interest in Freethought history. Robert G. Ingersoll and D.M. Bennett are the subjects of these two portraits soon to be displayed at the Center for Inquiry.
Martin Gardner’s 100th BirthdayOctober 14, 2014
October 21st, 2014 will be Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday. “The Father of the Modern Skepticism” was a polymath, magician, skeptic and writer. His book Fads and Fallacies In The Name of Science (Dover, 1957) was the work that kicked off the modern interest in skepticism.
Crimes Against Criminals, Book and Copper Printing PlateSeptember 22, 2014
The Robert G. Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden, NY has undergone a major overhaul, with expert assistance from the Exhibition Alliance, and reopened in 2014 with new displays and a new design. During this reconstruction and reworking of the displays, new ideas on how to display the various items were discussed frequently with the Exhibition Alliance and Tom Flynn, director of the museum. The Little Blue Book printing plate, shown here, is the original plate used to print Ingersoll’s Crimes Against Criminals, LBB no. 139.
Susan Jacoby and an Ingersoll LetterSeptember 8, 2014
During the recent Ingersoll Conference here at CFI, I was able to show-off many of the amazing artifacts that we have here as a part of CFI and the library collections. I was able to bring one such artifact to the attention of Susan Jacoby after her lecture, one that I see on an almost daily basis.
“Death-Bed Conversion of Robert G. Ingersoll”August 18, 2014
The Ingersoll Conference occurred this past weekend here at CFI, and while I was preparing some display cases for the event, I re-discovered many interesting items that are part of our libraries’ collections. I also discovered some history about Ingersoll and his supposed conversion while on his death-bed back in 1899.
R.V. Pierce CollectionAugust 6, 2014
I have worked for the last five or six years on digitizing various items of historic value in my role as an adjunct instructor at the University of Buffalo. I have used the class I taught to not only teach the students various issues that arise while digitizing, but also to help small cultural institutions in the WNY area learn about digitization and get them started in making their collections available to a larger pool of people; namely those who are aware of NYHeritage.org, a repository of digital items from the various libraries of New York State. One of the first collections we converted to digital was the R.V. Pierce Collection of Medical Artifacts.
“Religions Are For a Day: Robert Green Ingersoll Appreciated”July 18, 2014
The folks here at the Center for Inquiry have published a new book on Robert Ingersoll. Tom Flynn, director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum and editor of Free Inquiry, and Julia Lavarnway, assistant editor of Free Inquiry, put together this work which includes a biography of Ingersoll, several short pieces by Ingersoll himself, and descriptions and stories of some of the more interesting pieces at the RGI Birthplace Museum. The Freethought Trail, another of Flynn’s related projects, has several chapters devoted to it in this work.
“Reason: The Only Oracle of Man”June 16, 2014
This work, first published in 1785, is considered the first work critical of Christianity published in the New World, but is also considered a Deist work, and a freethought work as well. Given the fact that there was a limited run and a fire in the print shop where it was created, it is a wonder (dare I say miracle) that it survived and we are lucky to have a first edition here at CFI’s libraries.