This exhibition in the Harold B. Lee Library traces the origin of the idea of national parks back to the leading poet of the English Romantic Movement, William Wordsworth. Wordsworth inspired millions of hikers, climbers and artists as well as later American authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir.
The library’s exhibition includes both Wordsworth’s writing and examples of those who followed him. On display, in addition to Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads and A Guide through the District of the Lakes in the North of England, are first editions of Emerson’s Nature, Thoreau’s Walden, and Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Also presented are John Muir’s Our National Parks and My First Summer in the Sierra, as well as examples of influential nature writing connected with Utah and its national parks. En route, visitors will see various treasures of visual art, including a rare Thomas Moran lithograph of Yellowstone and Ansel Adams photographs of the Yosemite Valley.
William Wordsworth and the Invention of National Parks is located on level 3, the main level of the library. Admission is free and it is open during all library hours. It will be in place until October 2013. Below are transcriptions from the four main panels of the exhibit along with their related case items.