Senior Illini Program: James Bond—A Popular Culture Wonder

Join the Senior Illini group at the talk, James Bond—A Popular Culture Wonder.

"Bond, James Bond."

How often have you heard or read those words? You may have first heard them spoken sixty years ago when the film Dr. No was released. However, that iconic line was written over seventy years ago by Ian Fleming for the 007 novel Casino Royale. This was the beginning of what became a literary, film, recording, and merchandising sensation unmated in the Twentieth Century.

Forty years ago, Mike VanBlaricum set out on a quest to collect as much of Fleming's legacy as possible. He has developed a world-renowned collection of the literary works of Ian Fleming and associated James Bond materials, including manuscripts, letters, books, art, recordings, videos, ephemera, toys, and an extensive collection of research material related to this cultural phenomenon. This talk will hit many of the highlights and a few low points in his journey.

He will look at Ian Fleming and his background as a journalist, playboy, book collector, soldier, and spy which inspired him to write the Bond novels. He will briefly discuss the James Bond publishing phenomenon and the associated films, music, merchandising, and toys as well as the rise of the spy genre. He will include interesting trivia and a brief look at some of the items now in the University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library.


Includes admission, beverages and appetizers.

Organized by University of Illinois Alumni Association and Senior Illini Program.


For further information on this event, contact the Museum Information Desk at or (217) 333-2360

All participants are welcome. To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact Brian Cudiamat at or (217) 244-5586.