About Northwestern University Library Exhibits
- Engage non-specialist audiences—including students, faculty, alumni, donors, and the community—in the importance of a specialized subject, discipline, or collection, or of the Library’s mission generally.
- Promote interdisciplinary relationships across campus and interdepartmental collaborations within the Library.
- Encourage scholarly and educational use of the Library.
- Publicize Library collections and services.
- Stimulate intellectual curiosity.
- Telling a story that speaks to a general audience and delivers a clear message
- Illustrating the story using Library resources. Personal collections and loaned items may be included in the exhibit but should not make up a majority of the materials.
- Showcasing diverse materials including books, archival documents, multi-media elements, and three-dimensional items.
- Enlisting the collaboration of Library staff, faculty, students, alumni, and others in creating and supporting the exhibit.
- Partnering with groups and activities on- and off-campus that are relevant to the exhibit’s subject, such as film series, lectures, or other exhibits.
- Exhibits are normally scheduled more than a year in advance, so please plan ahead. Proposals should be submitted at least 18 months ahead of the period of time desired for the installation. If you would like to find out in advance whether a specific time slot is available, please contact the Committee Chair.
- Curators should submit a completed exhibit proposal questionnaire to the Chair explaining how they will meet the goals outlined above. Please provide as much detail as possible about your plans.
- Proposals will normally be reviewed by the entire Exhibit Committee at the monthly meeting following the date of your submission.
- The Chair will respond with a decision or a request for additional information.
- If your exhibit is approved, the Exhibit Committee will appoint a liaison from among its members who will contact you to discuss timelines, facilities, procedures, and supplies.
- The liaison will help you draw up a schedule of deadlines for producing the exhibit. Once dates are established for the deadlines, the schedule should be submitted to the Chair, who will work with the liaison to ensure deadlines are met, and who will keep other Library departments aware of the production schedule. Failing to meet established deadlines may result in the cancellation of the exhibit.
- The liaison will discuss with you what supplies and equipment the Library makes available for exhibits. The liaison can also advise you on producing video, audio, and online components of your exhibit, and should facilitate introductions to other Library staff members who can help you.
- You and your liaison should consider convening a group of stakeholders to guide the exhibit through development. Stakeholders may include subject liaisons, key faculty, student and alumni groups, and outside institutions and individuals.
- Note that the liaison is not responsible for actual exhibit preparation, installation or dismantling, or for preparing labels, posters, handouts or web sites for an individual exhibit.
- It will be your responsibility to identify any Library items you are planning to exhibit that may need conservation attention (e.g., spine repair). Materials requiring extensive repair should be brought to the attention of the Conservation Lab six months or more before the exhibit.
- Your label text will be reviewed by a Library staff member for content, tone, and general effectiveness, and you may be asked to revise your text. Labels will be printed for you by the Library’s Conservation Lab, which will also manage the installation process.
- You will need to work with the Library’s Public Relations department to create graphics for exhibit signage and publicity materials.
For more information on Library exhibits, contact Nina Barrett, exhibits committee chair, at 847-491-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.