Current Exhibits

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From Apartheid to Democracy
In 1994 South Africa held its first fully democratic election and witnessed the inauguration of its first black president, Nelson Mandela. To mark 20 years of democracy in South Africa, Northwestern University Library explores the struggles and progress of the South African democratic movement through an exhibit composed of materials from the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies. From antiapartheid posters to the first election ballot, the exhibit reveals the country’s first electoral process, Northwestern University’s role in the global antiapartheid movement, and the state of democracy in South Africa over the last 20 years.  "Apartheid to Democracy: 20 Years of Transition in South Africa" is on display in University and Deering libraries April 4 - August 29. 

Ancient Monuments of Rome: Reconstructions by the Students of the Académie Française From the Revolution to the 1880's
 
From the time of the French Revolution to the beginning of the 20th century, architecture students of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris who won the five-year Grand Prix scholarship to study at the French Academy in Rome were obliged to produce a reconstruction of an ancient monument for evaluation by the Académie in Paris.  In the 1870s, a half-dozen of the best and most interesting of these were engraved and published by the French government at great expense. This display drawn from volumes in the McCormick Library of Special Collections at Northwestern by art history professor David Van Zanten illustrates how the techniques of conceiving such an archeological reconstruction changed and matured over time.
 
The exhibit is free and open to the public on the third floor of Deering Library during normal libary hours.

Chicago Avenue, looking south from Northwestern's campus gatePhotographic Views of Picturesque Evanston

A new exhibit in the corridor between Main and Deering Libraries on the Northwestern campus creates a passageway back to an earlier time—thanks to modern technology. The plasma screens along the walls offer digitized glimpses of 19th-century Evanston, originally captured by the lens of photographer Alexander Hesler.
 
(Image here shows Chicago Avenue, looking south from Northwestern's campus gate.)
 
Hesler (1823–1895), one of the most prominent regional photographers of his era, spent most of his career in the Chicago area. Among his best known works are portraits of Abraham Lincoln and a panoramic view of Chicago taken in 1858 from the top of the city's courthouse. In Evanston, where he had a home and studio, Hesler focused on portraiture, but also produced widely admired landscape photographs. His volume of photographs of Evanston buildings and streetscapes, Photographic Views of Picturesque Evanston, was published in 1887.
 
The exhibit in the Deering corridor celebrates Evanston's 150th anniversary with a selection of 40 images from Picturesque Evanston. Each of the screens highlights an aspect of Evanston's past—gracious homes, tree-lined streets, school and church buildings, and the young Northwestern campus. Many of the buildings in the photographs are now gone (remaining structures include University Hall, the Frances Willard House, and the Methodist Church)—and many of the leafy street-corners are now busy commercial sites. But thanks to Hesler's photography and the magic of technology, a slice of Evanston's history is vividly brought back to life.
 
The exhibit was curated by Janet Olson and the staff of the Northwestern University Archives; images were digitized by the Library's Digital Collections Department; and the installation was done by the Library Technology Department. 
University Archives holds a copy of Picturesque Evanston and over 150 photographic prints made by Hesler during the 1870s–80s, including portraits of NU faculty and students; and photographs of buildings and student groups. The Evanston History Center has additional Hesler photographs and biographical materials, including an annotated volume of Picturesque Evanston
 
If you don't have the opportunity to visit Deering in person, an online version of the exhibit can be viewed here:
 
Enhance your journey through Evanston and Northwestern's past with these additional digitized resources: 
 
 
For more information, contact Northwestern University Archives, tel. 847-491-3136.

Best of Bologna: Edgiest Artists of the 2008 International Children's Book Fair

This exhibit presents a selection of artists chosen from an original pool of more than 3,000 who entered a competition to be featured at the Bologna Book Fair, the world's largest annual children's book event. The illustrations on display are extremely high-resolution copies of originals that were digitized by the Library's Digital Collections department and are also displayed online, along with a film about the Bologna Book Fair created by created by Ayami Morizumi in 2007. Their permanent installation was made possible by the Walter A. and Dawn Clark Netsch Fund.

The permanent exhibit is located on the fourth floor of Northwestern University Library and is free and open to the public daily from 8:30 am - 10 pm.