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
Special Collections Research Center
Aug. 22 — Dec. 30, 2011
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Subjects
Slavic/Eastern Europe/Eurasia
Art
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
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — June 1, 1999
Subjects
African-American Studies
Allen Debus American Popular Music and Entertainment: The Gay Nineties to the Great Depression
Exploring a unique era in American musical and cultural history, the exhibit features sheet music, cylinders, discs, and phonographs from the extensive private collection of Allen G. Debus, the Morris Fishbein Professor of History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — May 31, 1989
Subjects
Music
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
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
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 31, 1987
Subjects
Art
Slavic/Eastern Europe/Eurasia
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — June 30, 2009
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Subjects
Advertising
Chicago and Illinois
The Book in the Age of Theatre Exhibit The Book in the Age of Theatre. 1550-1750
This exhibition explores the relationship between the printed book and the theater during a key period in their developments in Europe.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — April 1, 2001
Subjects
Theater
vanvechten.jpg Carl Van Vechten
Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964, University of Chicago Ph.B. '03), arts critic, novelist and photographer, played an important role in the American literary and arts scene of the 1920s through the 1940s. In addition to the acclaim he received for his own work, Van Vechten was instrumental in promoting the careers of other writers and artists, among them Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 1, 1994
Subjects
American Literature
Photography
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
Special Collections Research Center
March 30 — June 12, 2015
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Subjects
LGBTQIA Studies
University of Chicago
Default Placeholder Photo Culture of the Camera: The Irving Leiden Collection
Culture of the Camera: The Irving Leiden Collection
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1979
Subjects
Photography
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
Special Collections Research Center
June 27 — Sept. 9, 2016
Subjects
Humanities
Social Sciences
Art
Diaghilev Ballet Russes Exhibit The Diaghilev Ballet Russes, 1909 - 1929: An Exhibition of Original Designs and Documents
This exhibition is being held on the occasion of a dance history seminar funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 1, 1975
Subjects
Dance
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
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 14 — Jan. 2, 2015
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Subjects
European History
Art
Eva Watson Schutze Exhibition Catalog Cover Eva Watson Schutze and the Philosophers' Circle
Eva Watson Schutze, wife of a young German instructor at the University of Chicago, was a founding member of the Phot-Secession, a turn-of-the-century movement led by Alfred Steglitz that sought to establish photography as one of the fine arts. The exhibit includes letters, diaries and memoirs.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — April 1, 1985
Subjects
Photography
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
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 6 — April 24, 2020
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Chicago and Illinois
University of Chicago
family album.jpg A Family Album--Unfamiliar Faces and Places from the University Archives
This exhibit invites students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University to help identify some of the mysterious people and places represented in unidentified photographs from the University Archives.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — April 1, 1982
Subjects
Photography
University of Chicago
Firmness Commodity Delight thumbnail Firmness Commodity and Delight
Firmness, Commodity, and Delight was the inaugural exhibition in the new Special Collections gallery, running from May through July 2011. The exhibition celebrated the opening of the new SCRC exhibition gallery and the completion of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library with a display of books, manuscripts, and archival drawings and photographs representing our collections in architecture. The exhibition also had two items provided by the architectural firms who designed the Mansueto and Special Collections spaces – one drawing each from Murphy/Jahn (Helmut Jahn) and Booth Hansen. The exhibition was presented in conjunction with "500 Years of the Illustrated Architecture Book," a city-wide festival marking the publication of the first illustrated book on architecture, the Fra Giocondo edition of Vitruvius's De architectura libri decem.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 9 — July 29, 2011
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Subjects
Architecture
Frederic Chopin and His Publishers Frederic Chopin and His Publishers
This exhibition, which surveys the relationship between Chopin's music and its publishing history, includes first editions, images of Chopin and his associates; facsimiles of autograph manuscripts; and later editions prepared by Chopin's students and performers of his music.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — April 30, 1998
Subjects
Music
History of Print
From Dreamland to Showcase Exhibit From Dreamland to Showcase: Jazz in Chicago, 1912 to 1996
This show highlights the development of jazz music and musicians in the Chicago area through the use of sheet music, photographs, recordings, music manuscripts, posters and other treasures from the University Library's Chicago Jazz Archive and from private collections.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Feb. 28, 1997
Subjects
Music
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
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 15 — Dec. 18, 2011
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Subjects
Art
Middle East
Default Placeholder Photo A Gray City Playbill: Student Theatre at The University of Chicago, 1895-1950
This exhibit of programs, photographs, and scripts from 55 years of student productions narrates the history of dramatic satire at the University. Beginning with the Dramatic Club, the University's first theater group, founded in 1895, the exhibit traces the development of the University's famous student theater.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — Feb. 1, 1982
Subjects
Theater
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
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
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Feb. 28, 2009
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Subjects
African-American Studies
University of Chicago
Italian Drama of the Renaissance Exhibit Program Italian Drama of the Renaissance: An Exhibition of Books from the Collection of the University of Chicago Library
This exhibition highlights the University's strong collection of Renaissance drama, which "includes some of the rarest editions of Italian plays ... and examples of every known dramatic genre from the sixteenth century to the middle of the eighteenth century" and recognizes the gifts of Louis H. Silver, Ira J. Hechler, and Howard Weingrow.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — Dec. 31, 1961
Subjects
Italian Literature
Theater
Jazz-the Chicago Scene Jazz-The Chicago Scene: The Art of Stephen Longstreet
The Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s and 1930 is memorialized in this exhibit, which showcases over 60 watercolors, drawings, and collages by art-historian and long-time jazz observer Stephen Longstreet.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Nov. 30, 1989
Subjects
Music
John Morris Donor Bookplate John Morris: Photo Journalism
Showcasing the gift of the papers of John Morris, one of the mid-century's most important photographic editors, the exhibit presents photographs by Toni Frissell, Eliot Elisofon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Cornell Capa and explains Morris's central role in their use in some of the world's most important news stories.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Dec. 1, 1990
Subjects
Photography
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
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Jan. 31, 1962
Subjects
Chicago and Illinois
Jewish Studies
Social Services
legacy_of_sebastian_virdung.jpg The Legacy of Virdung: Rare Books in the Collection of Frederick R. Selch Important in the Study of the History of Musical Instruments
Rare books on the history, design, and use of musical instruments collected by Frederick R. (Eric) Selch (1930-2000) will be on view in this traveling loan exhibition.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — June 1, 2006
Subjects
Music
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
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
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
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
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — March 1, 2001
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
Music in the University of Chicago Library Music in the University of Chicago Library: Selected for an Exhibition at the Joseph Regenstein Library
Representative of the Library's music collection, this exhibition includes fine first editions, works of general historical interest, and music manuscripts showing how the contemporary composer works.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
July 1 — Oct. 31, 1972
Subjects
Music
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
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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
Special Collections Research Center
May 19 — Sept. 10, 2012
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Subjects
Art
European History
History of Print
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
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — Aug. 30, 1995
Subjects
Art
Literature
Default Placeholder Photo Plays, Playwrights, and Players: A Selection from the Drama and Theatre Collection
This exhibit presents rare books, playbills, and posters illustrating the depth of the University Library's drama collections, considered to be among the best in the country.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Feb. 1, 1982
Subjects
Theater
100 yard dash.jpg Preserving the Photofiles: Digitizing Images at the University of Chicago
On view is a selection from the rich collection of more than 60,000 images in the University Archives Photographic Files, documenting individuals, buildings, activities, and events associated with the University, dating back to the pre-Civil War period founding of the Old University of Chicago.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Jan. 31, 2003
Subjects
University of Chicago
Photography
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 14 — Jan. 4, 2014
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Subjects
African-American Studies
Art
shapey.jpg Ralph Shapey Manuscripts
The exhibit showcases some of the manuscripts and sketches Ralph Shapey has donated, which vividly demonstrate his methods for scanning text and seating ensembles. The scores themselves are included as well.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 1, 1981
Subjects
Music
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
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — June 30, 1997
Subjects
Jewish Studies
Art
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
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
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1966
Subjects
European History
Art
Architecture
lewellyn.jpg Through the Lens: Stephen Lewellyn Photographs of the University of Chicago
The prints on display, works by photographer Stephen Lewellyn, document University events, personalities, and campus scenes from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s, and were made from more than 10,000 negatives Lewellyn presented as a gift to the University of Chicago Archives.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Jan. 31, 2003
Subjects
Photography
University of Chicago
Default Placeholder Photo Victorian Song
Victorian Song
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1977
Subjects
Music
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
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Feb. 29, 2008
Subjects
European History
Art
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
Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — Oct. 31, 2003
Subjects
Literature
Art