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Free Chamber Concert Celebrating Lionel Semiatin, June 7, 2023

Join us for a free chamber concert at 3:00p.m. June 7, 2023, in the third floor Rotunda honoring the dedication of the Lionel Semiatin collection in our Special Collections Research Center. Members of Semiatin’s family will perform.

A reception will follow in the DeJarnnett American Heritage room next to the Rotunda. Correspondence between SIFest artistic director and conductor Edward Benyas and Semiatin will be on display.

Semiatin was a World War II veteran who composed much of his "American Symphony" while on battlefields. He visited Carbondale in 2014 to hear three of his pieces performed at the 2014 music festival during a D-Day 70th anniversary concert. He died in 2015 at age 98, two months after his entire "American Symphony" premiered in June.

You can learn more about Semiatin at

The concert is part of the Southern Illinois Music Festival. Read a brief overview of the festival at and see the full schedule of performances at

Lionel Semiatin in army uniform working at a portable organ on the beach in Normandy shortly after D-Day.

New Collection: Midwest Riverboat History

The newly acquired Gary Hacker Collection of Midwest Riverboat History includes more than 900 items, from vintage postcards to original bills of lading, dating from the 1830s to the 1950s. Together they document an era when waterways were essential to travel and commerce in southern Illinois and neighboring states. You can view the collection in the Special Collections Research Center reading room. An online exhibit is also planned.

An antique postcard image of the steamboat Rees Lee approaching the Cairo, Illinois, harbor readying to deploy ramps to shoare.

Challenged and Diverse Books Exhibit

Take a few minutes to explore the books donated to our Special Collections Research Center by the Student Multicultural Resource Center on display in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors. The more than 500 titles deal with the experiences and issues faced particularly by the LGBTQ+ community, women, African Americans, immigrants and Native Americans, as well as women’s studies, religion and higher education

Learn more about the collection at

readings and resources on Juneteenth.

readings and resources on antisemitism awareness and Jewish allyship.

readings and resources on the USA's immigrant heritage

newspapers without paywalls: read the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and many more for free through us.

readings and resources on Caribbean American heritage.