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Library exhibit traces roots of first superhero

by Denise Fitzpatrick, communications and marketing last modified Mar 09, 2012 03:55 PM

Long before “John Carter” was a Disney movie, it was a book.

Library exhibit traces roots of first superhero

The John Carter exhibit has books and other items.

The University of Louisville’s Ekstrom Library, which houses the internationally recognized Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Collection, is inviting the public to learn more about the history of the character believed to be the first superhero.

The library has assembled an exhibit devoted to Carter that opens today, just as the $250 million mega-action film featuring his story opens in Louisville-area theaters.

Burroughs, who is best known for writing the series of “Tarzan” novels, also created “John Carter,” penning the first of his adventures in 1912 in a series of pulp fiction magazines. The UofL exhibit displays books, magazines, posters and figurines related to Carter's story over the past century.

Although Tarzan proved to be a more popular character over time, the Carter series is also “high adventure,” said George McWhorter, curator of UofL’s Burroughs collection.

The Carter exhibit on the lower level of Ekstrom Library in the Rare Books Room is free and open to the public. It runs Monday through Friday today through March 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

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