Special Collections Research Center

Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions


The Special Collections Research Center is located on the first floor of the Joseph Regenstein Library on the campus of the University of Chicago.  Exhibitions are free and open to the public and can be viewed during the Research Center's regular public service hours. Titles and dates of forthcoming exhibitions are subject to change. For further information about the exhibition program, please contact:

Special Collections Research Center
The University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Phone: (773) 702-8705

Current Exhibition

Researching Mexico: University of Chicago Field Explorations in Mexico, 1896-2014
Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
June 30, 2014 – October 4, 2014

University of Chicago scholars have traveled to Mexico since the late nineteenth century, pursuing research subjects ranging from archival investigation of revolutionary leaders, to documentation of indigenous communities and languages, to the search for the cause of a deadly strain of typhus. Drawn from the holdings of the Special Collections Research Center, including the papers of Friedrich Katz, Robert Redfield, Norman McQuown, Manning Nash, Howard T. Ricketts, Sol Tax, Frederick Starr, and others, this exhibit presents correspondence, diaries, photographs, sketches, recordings and objects generated and collected by these scholars in the field, as well as holdings from the Rare Books and Manuscripts collections that continue to support study of Mexican history and culture. Presented in conjunction with the University of Chicago's Katz Center for Mexican Studies, this exhibition will mark the meeting in Chicago of the XIV Reunión Internacional de Historiadores de México on September 18-21, 2014.

Forthcoming Exhibitions

En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I
Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
October 14, 2014 – January 2, 2015

En Guerre will offer a fresh examination of World War I through the lens of French graphic illustration of the period. Illustrated books, journals, and prints on display will present new perspectives on themes essential to an understanding of France's role in the war: patriotism, nationalism, and the soldier’s experience, as well as French home front mobilization encompassing fashion, music, humor, and children’s literature. Materials in the exhibition will be drawn from the rare book holdings of the Special Collections Research Center, other public institutions, and private collections including that of exhibition curators Professor Neil Harris and Teri J. Edelstein.

“I Step Out of Myself”: Portrait Photography in Special Collections
Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
January 12, 2015 – March 21, 2015

“I Step Out of Myself”: Portrait Photography in Special Collections will highlight outstanding examples of fine art and photojournalistic portraiture held in the Special Collections Research Center. Displaying selections rarely on public view, the exhibition will draw from the work of a varied group of twentieth-century photographers: Eva Watson Schütze, Carl Van Vechten, Layle Silbert, Mildred Mead, Yousef Karsh, Alice Boughton, Joan Eggan, and Tina Modotti. From the romance of Schütze’s portraits of domestic life at the turn of the twentieth century, to the stylized glamour of Van Vechten’s celebrity photographs in the 1930s, to the unflinching presentation of raw poverty in Mildred Mead’s portraits of residents of Chicago slums in the 1950s, “I Step Out of Myself” will explore the wide range of technique, style, subject matter, and emotion found in modern photographic portraiture.

Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: A History of LGBTQ Life at the University of Chicago
Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
March 30, 2015 – June 15, 2015

From woman-centered relationships between early female professors to the beginnings of Gay Liberation on campus, this exhibition will examine the range of experiences lived by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students and faculty on the University of Chicago campus. Drawing on the rich holdings of the University Archives -- including the papers of Marion Talbot and Ernest Burgess, administrative records, and a multitude of campus publications – the exhibition will display letters, academic papers, and student newspaper articles, as well as posters, photographs, and other visual documentation. In tracing this complex history, the exhibition will also introduce new materials collected through outreach to alumni along with selections from oral histories of alumni collected by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.