The Golden Door

The Golden Door

We are excited to announce that the library is hosting “Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience,” a traveling exhibition documenting the life and influence of the social activist who wrote the famous poem on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”    

 lazarus exhibition

Other exhibits and displays in the library focus on immigration.  Dr. Joanne Passet has generously loaned artifacts owned by her great grandmother, Annie Townsend Quantic when she immigrated to the United States in 1894. Items include a dressing gown, bible, ship manifest, and photographs.


There will also be an opportunity to talk with ‘Emma Lazarus’ personally, as historian Susan E. King will be presenting the life Emma Lazarus in-character on Tuesday, September 20th from 2-3 pm.  The program will be in the Library lobby in Hayes Hall and is free and open to the public.  Sue King holds a dual master’s degree in Library Science and Public History from IUPUI.  She has been the Archivist at Morrisson-Reeves Library since 2002.  Ms. King has worked extensively with the Wayne County Historical Museum, serving as a board member, docent, and the organizer of the annual walking tour of Earlham Cemetery: “Tales From the Departed.”  She has written an article for the Indiana Historical Society magazine and her book, Richmond, about the town’s history, is part of the Postcard History Series from Arcadia Publishing.

 passet family artifacts

Admission is free and open to the public, for both the exhibit and Ms. King’s presentation.  The exhibition will be on display until October 14th, Mondays-Thursdays 8 am -8 pm and Fridays 8 am -5 pm.  The IU East Library is one of only 18 libraries selected nationwide to host this exhibit, which is sponsored by the American Library Association and Nextbook Press and was curated by Esther Schor of Princeton University.


For more information about the exhibition, contact IU East Library Director Frances Yates at or 765-973-8470. For resources about Emma Lazarus and immigration you can view a library guide at


Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience was developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life.

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