Collections & Exhibits

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Exhibit Thumbnail Title Locations Subjects
Exhibits
Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary: Children's Books and Graphic Art
Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary examines both the intensive and extensive dimensions of Soviet posters and children books.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Aug. 22 — Dec. 30, 2011
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Subjects
Slavic/Eastern Europe/Eurasia
Art
living the legacy African Americans in the Sciences
The Library joins the University of Chicago in its celebration of the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth with Highlights from the Library's African American Collections.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Jan. 7 — Jan. 31, 2005
Subjects
African-American Studies
Default Placeholder Photo African-American Studies: Resources in the University of Chicago Library
This exhibition explores the University of Chicago Library's broad array of research materials documenting African-American history and culture.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — June 1, 1999
Subjects
African-American Studies
Animal Vegetable Mineral Animal-Vegetable-Mineral: Natural History Illustration from the John Crerar Collection
The art and beauty of illustrated natural history books is celebrated in this exhibition. The collection exemplifies the development of natural history illustration and the role of the image in disseminating knowledge of the natural sciences.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Sept. 30, 1991
Subjects
History of Science
Art
Default Placeholder Photo Arcangela Tarabotti: A Literary Nun in Baroque Venice
The exhibition focuses on the writing and cultural context of Arcangela Tarabotti, a Benedictine nun who published defenses of women that protested against social injustice, especially that of forced religious vocations.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — Aug. 31, 1997
Subjects
Women's Studies
Italian Literature
Art in the Stacks Art in the Stacks
The Special Collections Research Center is known for being the University of Chicago Library’s center for rare books, manuscripts, and university archives. Nestled within these materials, there is a lesser known aspect of our collections—art. Art in the Stacks highlights these holdings with a selection of original paintings, drawings, and sculptures, in addition to artists’ books and other works on paper produced in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
June 19 — Sept. 15, 2017
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Subjects
Art
bakwin-010_100dpi copy.jpg An Art of Persuasion: Soviet Posters from the Library's Collections
The exhibit showcases twenty-four Soviet political posters from the 1930s. Drawn from the E.M. Bakwin Collection of Soviet Posters and the War Poster Collection in the Library, the exhibition explores the role that these images played in rallying the peoples of the Soviet Union to take up social, political, and war-time causes.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 31, 1987
Subjects
Art
Slavic/Eastern Europe/Eurasia
manifestazione femminista 8 marzo 1977 Artivism: Italy and Social Justice
Art activism in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s
Locations
Regenstein 3rd Floor Reading Room
June 11 — Dec. 15, 2018
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Subjects
Music
Art
Italian Literature
audobon.jpg Audubon's Birds
This exhibition serves as a model for an irregular series of displays from the set of Audubon prints over the next few years.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — May 1, 1996
Subjects
Organismal Biology
Art
B. Heller & Co. Collection The B. Heller & Co. Collection
Founded by Benjamin Heller, whose family practiced sausage-making for generations, Chicago-based B. Heller & Co. began in 1893. Eager to take advantage of new developments in food science and chemistry as well as his skills as a salesman, Benjamin Heller was the quintessential American entrepreneur.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — June 30, 2009
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Subjects
Advertising
Chicago and Illinois
BMRC exhibit thumbnail The Black Metropolis Research Consortium: Fifteen Years of Preserving and Documenting Black History and Culture in Chicago
The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is a Chicago-based membership association that aids in expanding broad access to its members’ holdings of materials that document African American and African diasporic history, politics and culture, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago. Our members include universities, libraries, museums, community, arts-based and government archives. It is the mission of the BMRC to connect all who seek to document, share, understand and preserve Black experiences. In 2021, the BMRC celebrates its 15th anniversary. This exhibit documents the origins of the BMRC, its efforts to aid discoverability and access to Black historical collections, and the consortium’s flagship Summer Short-term Fellowship and Archie Motley Archival Internship programs.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 25 — April 30, 2021
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Subjects
History
African-American Studies
American History
Chicago Celebrates Darwin Chicago Celebrates Darwin
The John Crerar Library presents Chicago Celebrates Darwin, an exhibit which revisits the Darwin Centennial Celebration hosted by the University in 1959. We look back at the original letters, pictures, and documents from that conference to get a sense of the atmosphere and the importance of the events, including the effect of Darwin’s theories on the research and popular opinion of the day.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Oct. 19 — March 26, 2010
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Subjects
University of Chicago
Ecology & Evolution
Organismal Biology
Biological Sciences
Chicago and Illinois
trains Chicago Central: A History of Rails and Trains in the City
The exhibit examines some elements of this history, including the city's stations, trains and rail workers and innovations in train technology.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
April 16 — Oct. 12, 2012
Subjects
Chicago and Illinois
Technology
Closeted/Out in the Quadragles feature image Closeted/OUT in the Quadrangles: A History of LGBTQ Life at the University of Chicago
Historical view of LGBT faculty, student, and staff life at the University of Chicago.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
March 30 — June 12, 2015
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Subjects
LGBTQIA Studies
University of Chicago
Curated Mysticism Curated Mysticism: Visual Representations of the Cosmos and Consciousness
Humans have had a long history of interpreting the "symbols" around them, from divining the future through the arrangement of stars in the night sky, to tracing out the lines of luck and life on palms, to predicting future fortunes from a stack of cards. This rich visual tradition of mysticism has trickled down to us today in the form of magazine horoscopes, "cootie catchers" (origami fortune tellers), appropriated evil eyes, and more recently, the outpouring of mandala colouring books.
Locations
Regenstein 1st Floor Reading Room
May 16 — July 31, 2016
Subjects
Religion
Art
scrc_baldridge_titlegraphic.jpg Cyrus Leroy Baldridge: Illustrator, Explorer, Activist
Cyrus Baldridge (1889-1977) was an artist, illustrator, and author whose travels took him across Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Far East. His artistic training began at age 9, followed by education at the University of Chicago. Baldridge also developed an acute social and political awareness through a range of experiences, from working in a social settlement house to cattle ranching in Texas.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
June 27 — Sept. 9, 2016
Subjects
Humanities
Social Sciences
Art
enguerre_cover.jpg En Guerre: French Illustrators and World War I
En Guerre will offer a fresh examination of World War I through the lens of French graphic illustration of the period.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 14 — Jan. 2, 2015
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Subjects
European History
Art
Lewis.jpg Expanding Sources: Recent Additions to Special Collections [Temporarily Closed]
As academic fields expand and diversify, Special Collections is building collections to support these new directions. Researchers are drawing on original materials in many areas including race and gender, cinema and media, graphic design, arts practice, and cross-cultural global studies. This exhibition displays recent acquisitions with research potential for a range of disciplines. The materials represent many formats, including children’s books, family letters, journals, fine book design, posters, research notes, clothing, board games, and printed ephemera.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 6 — April 24, 2020
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Chicago and Illinois
University of Chicago
Mattys hot dog stand From Sausage to Hot Dog: the Evolution of an Icon
The hot dog is an American creation, and Chicago even has its own style. But where did this popular food come from and how did it develop? This exhibit looks to the hot dog's origins in sausage-making practices brought by European immigrants to the Midwest. We consider techniques used in neighborhood butcher shops and the rise of industrial meat production. Homemade recipes and artisanal makers past and present are also examined.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Oct. 29 — Dec. 31, 2013
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Subjects
History of Science
History
American History
Chicago and Illinois
Silhouette of Crowd with Shahada The Graphics of Revolution and War: Iranian Poster Arts
Designed for mass distribution and aimed towards a large public audience, posters embed social, political, and religious concerns that frequently are articulated through both text and image. Perhaps more so than at any other moment in recent history, posters served as powerful modalities for mobilization and communication during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88).
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 15 — Dec. 18, 2011
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Subjects
Art
Middle East
Default Placeholder Photo Hands Making Paper: The Art of Japanese Papermaking
More than thirty-five examples of traditional paper types from Japan, including the multi-layered, tie and fold dyed, gilt, and printed papers, were displayed for the first time in Chicago in this exhibit.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
June 1 — Sept. 1, 1988
Subjects
Art
Technology
Huidobro Vicente Huidobro Vicente in Avant-Garde
This major exhibition of photographs, manuscripts and books traces the life and work of the avant-garde poet Vicente Huidobo (1893-1948).
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — March 1, 1988
Subjects
Art
Spanish Literature
I Step Out of Myself thumbnail I Step Out of Myself: Portrait Photography in Special Collections
An exhibition of portrait photography collections in the University Archives.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 12 — March 20, 2015
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Subjects
Art
Photography
University of Chicago
The Life of the Mind Integrating the Life of the Mind: African Americans at the University of Chicago, 1870-1940
This exhibit presents original manuscripts, rarely seen portraits and photographs, African American publications, books by African American graduates of the University of Chicago, and other documents that trace the interlocking strands of academic and gradual social integration through the mid-twentieth century.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Feb. 28, 2009
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Subjects
African-American Studies
University of Chicago
James Baldwin with Statues James Baldwin Among The Philosophers
James Baldwin’s work is widely recognized for its religious overtones and influences as well as for its critiques of racism and heterosexual norms. His work is equally important as a contribution to American philosophy.
Locations
Regenstein 4th Floor Reading Room
Sept. 25 — Dec. 31, 2017
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Subjects
African-American Studies
Religion
Julius Rosenwald Exhibit Program Julius Rosenwald 1862-1932: An exhibition honoring the One Hundredth Anniversary of his birth
This exhibition commemorates the centennial of the birth of Julius Rosenwald, president and chairman of the board of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and a major philanthropist in support of progressive and social welfare reforms.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Jan. 31, 1962
Subjects
Chicago and Illinois
Jewish Studies
Social Services
Livres D'Artiste Livres D'Artiste: An Exhibition of Books from the Collection of Dr. & Mrs. Sam Berkman
The display includes roughly fifty books, on loan from Mr. And Mrs. Sam Berkman, representing thirty-five artists who took part in the collective livre d'artiste effort near the turn of the century in Paris.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Oct. 1, 1981
Subjects
Art
History of Print
Default Placeholder Photo Looking to Learn, Too: Visual Pedagogy at the University of Chicago
This exhibition explores the ways in which objects, artifacts, and images have been collected, deployed, and displayed in teaching, research, and self-representation since the early days of the University.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Oct. 31, 1996
Subjects
Art
University of Chicago
Mapping the Young Metropolis Mapping the Young Metropolis
Between 1915 and 1940, a small faculty in the University of Chicago Department of Sociology, working with dozens of talented graduate students, intensively studied the city of Chicago . They aspired to use the approaches of social science in developing a new field of research, and they took the city as their laboratory.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
June 22 — Sept. 11, 2015
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Subjects
Sociology
Chicago and Illinois
Default Placeholder Photo Matisse's Jazz
"Matisse's Jazz" displays the Library's copy of Henri Matisse's famous livre d'artiste, published in 1947.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — Feb. 28, 1997
Subjects
Art
Default Placeholder Photo Max Liebermann (1847-1935)
Max Liebermann was a German-born Jewish painter and etcher whose career was marked by both success and controversy. The untraditional, proletarian style of his early work contrasted sharply with the academic art then in vogue in Germany. His later impressionist tendency contrasted no less severely.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — April 1, 1986
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
Default Placeholder Photo Max Liebermann: The Eye of the Artist
Max Liebermann (1847-1935), the German Jewish artist who shocked audiences in the 1870s with his somber and rough-textured depictions of workers and later rose to prominence with light-infused scenes of leisure that evoke the style of the French Impressionists, is the subject of this exhibition.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — March 1, 2001
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
On Equal Terms Exhibit On Equal Terms: Educating Women at the University of Chicago
Since the University welcomed its first students in the fall of 1892, women have had very different stories to tell about the experiments in co-education and faculty diversification; the experience of the classroom, the laboratory, the dorm, and the streets of Hyde Park; the issues of mentorship, intellectual community, and career advancement; and the opportunities for political action and community involvement, for friendship, romance, and sexual experimentation.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — July 31, 2009
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Subjects
Women's Studies
University of Chicago Library
Hours of Gladness On Reading Spring
"On Reading Spring" is divided into six thematic sections, each offering a discreet meditation on the unfolding of the season through experiences commonly ascribed to spring: Refreshment, Vulnerability, Epiphany, Restoration, Tenderness, and Joy. By pairing a selection of the Special Collections Research Center’s rare and unusual published works with archival letters, diaries, photographs, musical manuscripts and early drafts of poems composed between March and June, "On Reading Spring" considers the ways in which diverse works reveal a sympathetic vernal experience across disciplines, cultures, and time periods.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
April 6 — June 30, 2020
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Subjects
Music
Art
Literature
Photography
OntheEdge On the Edge: Medieval Margins and the Margins of Academic Life
This exhibition explores the symmetry between medieval margins and the modern margins of academic life.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
May 19 — Sept. 10, 2012
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Subjects
Art
European History
History of Print
main poster.jpg The Origins of Color
The Origins of Color exhibit explores the historical and scientific development of pigments and dyes and their production and uses in both fine art as well as craft manufacture. The exhibit featured books from our collections together with mineralogical samples, vials of pigments and dyes, and various samples of textiles and other end products of color processes. We thank the John Crerar Foundation for their support of this exhibit.
Locations
The John Crerar Library
April 16 — Nov. 2, 2007
Subjects
Technology
History of Science
Art
Materials Science
Lincoln Our Lincoln: Bicentennial Icons from the Barton Collection of Lincolniana
Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, this exhibition presents a selection of documents and artifacts from the University of Chicago Library's William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Feb. 28, 2009
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Subjects
Chicago and Illinois
American History
Default Placeholder Photo Over There and Here: Posters from the Great War
The exhibit showcases posters commissioned and circulated during World War I by the Committee on Public Information.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — April 1, 1983
Subjects
Art
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Exhibit Planes, Trains and Automobile: The Transportation Revolution in Children's Picture Books
This exhibition reflects growing interest in the artistic and historical significance of children's literature. "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" examines how illustrators in several countries exploited the great changes in travel and transportation that succeeded the coming of the railroad.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — Aug. 30, 1995
Subjects
Art
Literature
Printing for the Modern Age Exhibit Printing for the Modern Age: Commerce, Craft, and Culture in the RR Donnelley Archive
The R. R. Donnelley Archive preserves a fascinating array of historical materials dating from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century, offering research potential in modern social and cultural history, the history of printing and the graphic arts, the history of advertising and mass consumption, economic and labor history, Chicago urban and community history, and modern cultural studies, among many other fields.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Feb. 28, 2007
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Subjects
History of Print
Chicago and Illinois
American History
Race and the Design of Everyday Life Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art
Drawing from collections of food packaging, advertisements, children's books, album covers, and other household goods, this exhibit traces the vexed history of African Americans in commercial art—as images and as makers of their own image—and their vital role in shaping the rise and establishment of our modern consumer society.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 14 — Jan. 4, 2014
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Subjects
African-American Studies
Art
Default Placeholder Photo Scenes of Jewish Life from the Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica
An exhibition of books and prints featuring illustrations of Jewish life and customs and highlighting the work of Bernard Picart, a French Protestant book illustrator who settled in Amsterdam and produced engravings of Jewish life based on first-hand observation.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — June 30, 1997
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
Green Roof on Searle The Science of Sustainability
This exhibit takes a close look at some aspects of sustainable building design and how they can produce greener buildings.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
April 5 — Oct. 1, 2010
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Subjects
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Organismal Biology
Chicago and Illinois
University of Chicago
Something's Brewing: The Art, Science and Technology of Beer Brewing Something's Brewing: The Art, Science and Technology of Beer Brewing
The Crerar Library exhibit, Something's Brewing: The Art, Science and Technology of Brewing, explores the development of brewing, from the ancient Sumerians' rice-based beverages to the rise and fall of the Chicago brewing industry.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Jan. 8 — March 31, 2007
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Subjects
Chicago and Illinois
Materials Science
History of Science
Technology
Sun Ra Sounds from Tomorrow's World: Sun Ra and the Chicago Years, 1946-1961
This exhibit explores Sun Ra’s Chicago years through images and sound recordings of his poetry and music, vinyl records and album artwork, promotional materials and early controversial broadsheets. While living in Chicago, Herman Poole “Sonny” Blount became Sun Ra—the leader of the Arkestra and a composer and arranger of some of the most avant-garde jazz of the time.
Locations
Regenstein 3rd Floor Reading Room
Dec. 1 — Aug. 20, 2010
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Subjects
Music
Chicago and Illinois
Souvenirs thumbnail Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs!
Souvenirs can come in all shapes and sizes; they can be simple or complex, tasteful or tacky. This exhibition presents various souvenirs created for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition, and the City of Chicago. It draws on collections throughout the Special Collections Research Center, catalyzed by the Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
July 22 — Oct. 4, 2013
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Subjects
Special Collections
American History
Chicago and Illinois
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
With over 900 engravings of views and monuments of Classical and early modern Rome, the selections in this exhibition reveal the nature and variety of the University of Chicago's Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae collection, and the rarity and quality of individual prints.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1966
Subjects
European History
Art
Architecture
Cracker Jack advertisement Sweet Home Chicago: Chocolate and Confectionery Production and Technology in the Windy City
Drawing from items in the substantial cookery collection at the John Crerar Library, this exhibit explores the history of chocolate and confectioners in the city and the science and technology of the candy making process.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Oct. 10 — June 11, 2011
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Subjects
Advertising
Chicago and Illinois
Technology
art and astronomy They Saw Stars: Art and Astronomy
This John Crerar Library exhibit highlights works of art and literature influenced by astronomy, either through scientific study, a fascination with the night sky, or as an inspiration for the literary imagination. Both contemporary and historical works are included.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
June 2 — Nov. 1, 2005
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Subjects
History of Science
Art
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Main exhibit poster Under Your Feet, Chicago's Water, Freight, Subway and Storm Tunnels
Under Your Feet explores the system—from the first water tunnels completed in 1867, to the now defunct freight tunnels of the early 1900's, to the subway system we use today, to the Deep Tunnel project and storm tunnels of the future.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Feb. 14 — March 31, 2006
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Subjects
Technology
Art
Chicago and Illinois
Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome Exhibit The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome: Printing and Collecting the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
This exhibition examines the publishing history of Antonio Lafreri's Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae through several generations of printmakers and print publishers, showcasing the Library's Speculum Romanae Magnificantiae Digital Collection.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Feb. 29, 2008
Subjects
European History
Art
Ida B. Wells A Voice for Justice: The Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells
This web exhibit showcases the achievements of civil rights activist Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) and documents her lifelong campaign for the rights and lives of African Americans in the nineteenth and twentieth-century United States of America.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
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Subjects
Chicago and Illinois
American History
African-American Studies
Default Placeholder Photo Writing for the Eyes from Antiquity to the Renaissance
Interactions between the visual and verbal arts are explored in this exhibition of illustrated texts that contain descriptions of actual or imagined works of art.
Locations
The Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — Oct. 31, 2003
Subjects
Literature
Art