Collections & Exhibits

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Current Exhibits
Exhibit Thumbnail Title Locations Subjects
microfilm worker Well Equipped: Library technology from days past
Over the years Crerar Library has used the newest equipment and technologies to make books, journals and other information accessible to patrons. These tools have evolved through the years. A library card system has been replaced with online catalog with significant collections available electronically. Early techniques for photocopying and microfilming materials have been eclipsed by digital scanning services. Displayed are objects and photos of some of these earlier pieces used by the Library.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Sept. 18 — June 8, 2018
View web exhibit
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Library Science
Exhibits
Anthropoloy at Chicago Anthropology at Chicago: Tradition, Discipline, Department
Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Department of Anthropology, this exhibit traces anthropology at Chicago from the early work of Frederick Starr through the notable era of Fay-Cooper Cole, Edward Sapir, Robert Redfield, William Lloyd Warner, and A.R. Radcliffe-Brown. Concluding sections review the contributions of Sol Tax, Milton Singer, McKim Marriott, Fred Eggan, Lloyd Fallers, David Schneider, Clifford Geertz, and other leaders of late-twentieth-century American anthropology.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1979
Subjects
Anthropology
University of Chicago
The Berlin Collection The Berlin Collection
Showcasing the collection of nearly 100,000 books and manuscripts purchased by William Rainey Harper in Berlin in 1891, which became the core of the University of Chicago Library's holdings and have had an abiding influence on the course of scholarly investigation at the University.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1979
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Subjects
University of Chicago Library
A Bold Experiment A Bold Experiment: The Origins of the Sciences at the University of Chicago
In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the University of Chicago's founding, this exhibit looks back at the establishment of the natural sciences at the University.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Sept. 21 — March 31, 2016
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
University of Chicago
History of Science
Building Collections Exhibit Catalog Cover Building Collections: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of the Joseph Regenstein Library
Drawing on the concept of "building" as both physical space and intellectual activity, this exhibition highlights twenty-five of the notable book, manuscript, and archival collections acquired by the University Library since 1970.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Jan. 31, 1996
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Building for a Long Future Exhibition Catalog Cover Building for a Long Future: The University of Chicago and Its Donors, 1889-1930
This exhibition explores the motivations and purposes of the varied group of donors who supported the University of Chicago from the time of its founding in the late 1880s to the conclusion of the extensive campus building campaign of the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Dec. 31, 2001
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Subjects
University of Chicago
Notable Books and Manuscripts Exhibit A Catalogue to an Exhibition of Notable Books and Manuscripts from the Collections of the University of Chicago Library Prepared for the Dedication of the Joseph Regenstein Library
This exhibition showcases 109 highlights from the the Department of Special Collections on the occasion of the dedication of the Regenstein Library.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1970
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Special Collections
runkle.jpg Catalyst for Change: On the Occasion of Martin Runkle's Retirement as Library Director
This exhibition covers the career of Martin Runkle, on the occasion of his retirement as University of Chicago Library Director
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Aug. 1 — Oct. 1, 2004
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Enrico Fermi Portrait The Chain Reaction: December 2, 1942 and After
This exhibition was organized to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the world's first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, an achievement of Enrico Fermi and his colleagues at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Dec. 1, 1992
Subjects
History of Science
University of Chicago
Physical Sciences
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
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
University of Chicago
Organismal Biology
Biological Sciences
Chicago and Illinois
Ecology & Evolution
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
LGBT Studies
University of Chicago
Atomic Scientists 4yr Reunion December 2, 1942 and After: The Scientist's Movement in America
This exhibit draws on the University of Chicago Archives to present the pivotal role Chicago has played institutionally in the development of the international atomic scientists' movement that took root in America as crucial consequence of the events of December 2, 1942.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Dec. 1 — March 1, 1983
Subjects
University of Chicago
Discovering the Beauty and Charm of the Wilderness Discovering the Beauty and Charm of the Wilderness: Chicago Connections to the National Park Service
The National Park Service offers a rich variety of landforms, flora, and fauna that have been the subject of many University of Chicago scientific studies. The parks have also served as inspiration for art, photography and literature. To mark the National Park Service’s 100-year anniversary, we delve into the Library’s archives and rare collections to uncover Chicago connections to the parks.
Locations
The John Crerar Library
Oct. 31 — Dec. 31, 2016
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Subjects
University of Chicago
Environmental Studies
Organismal Biology
American History
Colonel Francis Wayland Parker Education for Life: 100 Years of the Laboratory Schools
This exhibition examines the pedagogical philosophy of John Dewey and the founding group of Lab Schools teachers, educators, recent advances in academic standards and educational technology, and demonstrates the varied experiences of students at all levels as they learned and explored individual potential in Lab Schools classrooms, laboratories, theaters, machine shops, art studios, and field trips.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Oct. 31, 1996
Subjects
Education
University of Chicago
Elective Affinities: Private Collectors and Special Collections in Libraries Elective Affinities: Private Collectors and Special Collections in Libraries
Elective Affinities: Private Collectors and Special Collections in Libraries
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 2001
Subjects
Special Collections
University of Chicago Library
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
Default Placeholder Photo Friends of the Library
Friends of the Library
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1979
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Nobel Prize From DNA to the Expanding Universe: The University of Chicago and the Nobel Prizes in the Sciences
This exhibit, originally developed for the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition of the Nobel Foundation in Sweden, and displayed in the Museum of Science and Industry in the fall of 2003, has been adapted for display in the John Crerar Library, with a focus on Nobel Prize winning scientists such as Enrico Fermi, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar and James Watson.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Nov. 7 — Feb. 4, 2006
Subjects
Science, Technology, and Math
Biological Sciences
Physical Sciences
University of Chicago
Default Placeholder Photo A Gray City Dinner Party: Commemorative Dinner Plates from the University Archives
In June 1930, the University of Chicago Magazine notified the alumni of the creation of a special set of Spode dinner plates featuring views of twelve of the University's Gothic buildings. The exhibit offers these notable artifacts of the University's invention of its own self-imagination along with documents and advertisements from the original release.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 1, 1985
Subjects
University of Chicago
Mortimer Adler and assistants working on the Great Books Index The Great Ideas: The University of Chicago and the Ideal of Liberal Education
Drawing on the papers of Robert Hutchins, Mortimer Adler, William Benton and Walter Paepcke, this exhibition explores the cultural milieu that made the "Great Ideas" central to the University's educational mission both on and off campus.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Sept. 30, 2002
Subjects
University of Chicago
Education
swift.jpg Harold Swift and the Higher Learning
This exhibition marks the centenary of the birth of Harold H. Swift, who in 1914 became the first alumnus to be appointed to the University Board of Trustees, as well as its youngest member.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Jan. 1, 1986
Subjects
University of Chicago
John Crerar Library Bookplate Highlights from the History of the John Crerar Library
This exhibit presents the history of the John Crerar Library thematically, celebrating the role of the library as an intellectual resource in the city of Chicago, placing the Library within the context of Chicago industrial growth, and highlighting the individuals and institutions that supported, created, and sustained the Library.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Dec. 1 — April 1, 1990
Subjects
University of Chicago
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
Innovations and Innovators Exhibit Innovations and Innovators: The School of Social Service Administration's Contribution to Direct Practice Social Work, 1945-1975
This exhibition honors the 50th anniversary of the publication of Charlotte Towle's influential work, Common Human Needs (1945), and three decades of innovation in social work practice by Towle and her colleagues at the School of Social Service Administration.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — June 30, 1995
Subjects
Social Services
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
University of Chicago
African-American Studies
John Gunther: Inside Journalism John Gunther: Inside Journalism
The papers of John Gunther, one of the most prominent journalists of the 20th century, have been made public for the first time in this exhibition. Gunther got his start as a literary editor for the Daily Maroon at the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 1922.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Sept. 1 — Jan. 1, 1991
Subjects
University of Chicago
Journalism
regenstein library.jpg The Library: A Retrospective View
This exhibit presents a broad, retrospective look at the origins, development, holdings, and operations of the University of Chicago's Library.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — Jan. 1, 1981
Subjects
University of Chicago
Life of the Spirit, Life of the Mind Life of the Spirit, Life of the Mind: Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at 75
Drawing on photographs and documents from the University Archives, this exhibition explores how the planners of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, Chapel Deans, the student body, and the broader community have interpreted this mission to shape the architecture of the Chapel as well as the programs it supports.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — June 1, 2004
Subjects
University of Chicago
Life on the Quads Life on the Quads: A Centennial View of the Student Experience at the University of Chicago
"Life on the Quads: A Centennial View of the Student Experience at the University of Chicago," the second Centennial exhibition in Special Collections, surveys the history of the University from the perspective of students over the past century.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — March 1, 1992
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
University of Chicago
regenstein construction.jpg Looking Back at the First Regenstein Library Construction Project
Reproductions of construction photographs produced for the 1995 exhibition celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Regenstein Library provide an appropriate backdrop to the start of the Regenstein Reconfiguration Project. University yearbooks and other publications from the archives complement the images on view.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 1, 1999
Subjects
University of Chicago
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
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
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
Women's Studies
University of Chicago Library
One in Spirit One in Spirit: A Retrospective View of the University of Chicago
An introduction to the scope and diversity of the University Archives; not a history but an array of documentation and iconographic resources for the history of an institution.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — March 31, 1974
Subjects
University of Chicago
Nurse with Baby Past, Present, Future: the Evolution of Medicine at the University of Chicago's Hospitals
This exhibit provides an overview of the history and evolution of the medical school program, the hospital facilities and their technology, and medical partnerships with other Chicago area hospitals.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Oct. 15 — March 30, 2012
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Subjects
University of Chicago
Medicine
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
Presidents of University of Chicago The Presidents of the University of Chicago: A Centennial View
This exhibition, the fourth in a series marking the Centennial of the University of Chicago, examines the distinctive contributions of each of the ten chief executives of the university over the past century.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Feb. 1, 1993
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Subjects
University of Chicago
Default Placeholder Photo Robert Rosenthal: A Memorial Exhibition
This exhibition opens the day of the University memorial service for Robert Rosenthal, who died on December 27, 1989, while visiting friends and book dealers in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Rosenthal joined the staff of the University of Chicago Library in 1950 as Assistant Curator for Manuscripts, Archives, and Lincolniana.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Feb. 1 — March 1, 1990
Subjects
University of Chicago
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
seminary coop thumbnail.jpg The Seminary Co-op Documentary Project: Capturing the Bookstore’s Distinctive Character and History
After 51 years, the Seminary Co-op Bookstore left cherished home in the basement of the former Chicago Theological Seminary. The importance of the Co-op in the history of the University and for the greater Chicago and intellectual community warranted a significant effort to document it before it began the next phase of its life and to renew interest in this valuable asset on Chicago's South Side.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
April 1 — July 31, 2013
Subjects
University of Chicago
Shared Past, Shared Future Shared Past, Shared Future: The Marine Biological Laboratory and the University of Chicago
The recent affiliation between UChicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is the latest chapter in the long, intertwined history of the two institutions.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
April 19 — Oct. 31, 2016
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Subjects
Organismal Biology
University of Chicago
This Library Will Contribute to the Liberation of the Mind, the Understanding of Civility, the Exaltation of the Spirit This Library Will Contribute to the Liberation of the Mind, the Understanding of Civility, the Exaltation of the Spirit
This Library Will Contribute to the Liberation of the Mind, the Understanding of Civility, the Exaltation of the Spirit
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Dec. 31, 1970
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
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
ida noyes.jpg Travels with Ida: Letters and Photographs from Abroad Selected from the Ida Noyes Papers in the University Archives
Beside the voluminous correspondence between Ida and La Verne Noyes, the exhibit presents Ida Noyes's diaries, and the hand-colored photographs she took and developed on the way. The exhibit not only sheds light on the life of one of the most influential women in the University's early history, it also presents a unique view on the world as it looked to one of the privileged travelers able to circle the globe before the beginning of the 20th century.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Sept. 1, 1982
Subjects
University of Chicago
The University and the City The University and the City: A Centennial View
"The University and the City: A Centennial View of the University of Chicago," the third Centennial exhibition in Special Collections, explores the complex web of relationships between the University and the city of Chicago.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
March 1 — June 1, 1992
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Subjects
University of Chicago
centennial_catalog_life_on_the_quads.jpg The University of Chicago Centennial Catalogues
This online presentation reproduces the complete text and accompanying images from four University of Chicago Centennial Exhibition Catalogues, published in conjunction with a series of physical exhibitions organized by the Department of Special Collections to celebrate the 1991-92 Centennial of the University of Chicago.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — Feb. 1, 1993
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
University of Chicago
University of Chicago Faculty The University of Chicago Faculty: A Centennial View
"The University of Chicago Faculty: A Centennial View" examines the careers of twenty-eight representative scholars from the institution's first century.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Oct. 1 — Dec. 1, 1992
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Subjects
University of Chicago
Law School Time Capsules University of Chicago Law School Time Capsules: 1903 & 1958
In August 2009, University stone masons opened the cornerstone of the University of Chicago's Law School building to unveil two time capsules, one from 1903 and one from 1958.The boxes contained items collected for the cornerstone of the original Law School building and items presented when the current building, designed by Eero Saarinen, was built.
Locations
The D'Angelo Law Library
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
University of Chicago
Law
Default Placeholder Photo University of Chicago Press: A Century of Scholarly Publishing, 1891-1991
This exhibition, organized by the Library in conjunction with the University of Chicago Press, marks the Centennial of the University of Chicago Press by tracing its history from its beginnings as a small private corporation to its current status as America's largest university press.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
June 1 — Sept. 1, 1992
Subjects
University of Chicago
Uses of Gothic Uses of Gothic
The University of Chicago's remarkable adherence to Gothic design and quadrangular planning through four decades of rapid social change and shifting architectural fashion form the theme of this exhibit.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
May 1 — Sept. 1, 1983
Subjects
University of Chicago
We Are Chicago thumbnail We Are Chicago:Student Life in the Collections of the University of Chicago Archives
Drawn from the historical collections of the University Archives, We Are Chicago highlights student experiences over a span of 120 years. This exhibition features recent donations to the collections along with rarely seen materials. Costumes, photographs, T-shirts, letters, posters, publications, and memorabilia will combine to make this the largest and most inclusive exhibition in the ongoing Special Collections archival series, Discover Hidden Archives Treasures.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 2 — March 31, 2012
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
University of Chicago
microfilm worker Well Equipped: Library technology from days past
Over the years Crerar Library has used the newest equipment and technologies to make books, journals and other information accessible to patrons. These tools have evolved through the years. A library card system has been replaced with online catalog with significant collections available electronically. Early techniques for photocopying and microfilming materials have been eclipsed by digital scanning services. Displayed are objects and photos of some of these earlier pieces used by the Library.
Locations
Crerar Library, 1st Floor
Sept. 18 — June 8, 2018
View web exhibit >>
Subjects
University of Chicago Library
Library Science
Default Placeholder Photo Will Cuppy: The Natural History of a Modern Humorist
As a columnist for The New Yorker and other publications, Will Cuppy (Ph.B. '07, A.M. '14) satirized evolutionary theory and commented on the ironies of human history.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Nov. 1 — Jan. 1, 1994
Subjects
University of Chicago
Willam Benton William Benton: A Public Life
This exhibition examines the range and substance of Benton's contributions within a number of distinct but interlocking spheres: founder of Benton and Bowles, vice-president and trustee of the University of Chicago, pioneer in educational films and radio, owner and publisher of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Muzak entrepreneur, unofficial advisor to the isolationist America First Committee, charter member and vice-chairman of the Committee for Economic Development, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, founding delegate to UNESCO, liberal Senator from Connecticut, opponent of Joseph McCarthy, and creator of the Benton Foundation for philanthropy in education and communications.
Locations
Special Collections Research Center
Jan. 1 — May 1, 1987
Subjects
University of Chicago