Current Exhibits

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Farm to Table: Government Information and Food

January 20 – May 1

A new exhibit in Northwestern University Library examines the intersection of the government and our nation’s ability to feed itself. On display in the entry corridor of University Library, the exhibit explores the myriad ways that information produced by the U.S. government has influenced everything from how food is grown to how it's served. 

The exhibition is open to the general public from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at University Library. Members of the Northwestern community with a valid WildCARD can visit during all open library hours.

For more information abou the exhibit, contact Clare Roccaforte at or call (847) 467-5918

Not everything in a library fits neatly between book covers. “Beyond the Book: The Changing Nature of Library Collections” (January 20 – May 8) explores many of the unusual and rare items that occupy Northwestern University Library shelves  – from chalkboards to lollipops – and how the Preservation department ensures they endure. On display in the lobby of Deering Library during open library hours.
For more information abou the exhibit, contact Clare Roccaforte at or call (847) 467-5918

William Hogarth’s Modern Moral Subjects: A Harlot’s Progress and A Rake’s Progress
In 1731 William Hogarth created a series of six paintings that tell the woeful tale of Moll Hackabout, whose seduction into a life of prostitution brings her ruin and untimely death. Encouraged by the popularity of these paintings Hogarth created engraved versions of each and published an edition of 1240 sets of the prints in 1732. These were immensely popular and were reprinted with modifications by Hogarth and later by other publishers after his death.  
Because of the profusion of pirated versions of the Harlot’s Progress prints Hogarth successfully procured a 1735 Act of Parliament to ban that practice and waited until that ban was in effect before publishing his next suite of satirical prints, the eight images that comprise A Rake’s Progress.
Tom Rakewell, the anti-hero of this second tale, inherits and squanders a fortune and winds up a madman in Bedlam prison. This suite was also a huge success and encouraged Hogarth to later create similar narrative satirical sets such as Marriage à-la-Mode.
The prints on display here are from an 1822 edition of Hogarth’s works. The oil paintings of both A Harlot’s Progress and A Rake’s Progress were formerly in the collection of the father of William Beckford, the famously eccentric collector and author. The Harlot’s Progress paintings were destroyed in a fire in 1755. The Rake’s Progress paintings found their way into the collection of Sir John Soane and remain in the London museum that his home became.
The exhibit is open to the public can be viewed on the third floot of Deering Library."William Hogarth - A Rake's Progress - Plate 4 - Arrested For Debt"
William Hogarth - A Rake's Progress - Plate 4 - Arrested for Debt

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.