Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry



The Hicks Undergraduate Library is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a new exhibition this fall from the American Library Association titled, Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry. From August 28th to October 10th, the exhibition and related programs will be available for all library visitors to learn about the Dust Bowl, one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in American history.

The exhibition was organized by the American Library Association Public Programs Office, the Oklahoma State University Library, and the Mount Holyoke College Library. It was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

The exhibition recalls a tragic time in our history and explores its environmental and cultural consequences. Visitors will explore several thought-provoking questions: What caused fertile farms to turn to dust? How did people survive? What lessons can we learn? Audiences will explore this time period as the exhibition delves into the history and geography behind the Dust Bowl. It also delves into the human element through the words of the survivors themselves, showing what it was like to live through such a difficult time.

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry will be accompanied by a series of free library programs, including lectures and film screenings:


September 9, 2014 - 7:00pm*
Hicks Undergraduate Library - Room G980D
The Dust Bowl: Causes and Consequences
Presenter: Dr. R. Douglas Hurt - History Department Head

September 16, 2014 - 7:00pm*
Hicks Undergraduate Library - Room G980D
Prelude to the Dust Bowl: Drought and Depression in the 1890s
Presenter: Dr. Susan Curtis - Professor of History

September 24, 2014 - 7:00pm*
Hicks Undergraduate Library - Room G980D
The Politics of the Dust Bowl: Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck
Presenter: Dr. Harry Targ - Professor of Political Science

September 25, 2014 - 7:00pm
Hicks Undergraduate Library - Room G980D
Dust Bowl Women
Presenter: Dr. Pamela Riney-Kehrberg - Chair - Iowa State University Department of History

October 1, 2014 - 7:00pm*
Hicks Undergraduate Library - Room G980D
Sanora Babb: Whose Names are Unknown
Presenter: Dr. Bill Mullen - Professor of English & American Studies

October 8, 2014 - 7:00pm
Hicks Undergraduate Library - Room G980D
The Plow that Broke the Plains - The Dust Bowl Documentary
Presenter: Dr. Otto Doering - Professor of Agriculture Economics

* Sections of the Ken Burns documentary, The Dust Bowl, will be aired during these presentations.

Each presentation is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. If you have any questions about the display or presentations, please contact Ann O’Donnell (atodonne@purdue.edu, 765-496-1498) or Emily Heitman (eheitman@purdue.edu, 765-494-6732).