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Taxidermy Willie

Hidden Treasures of Northwestern Libraries

January 16 – March 18, 2017

University Libraries house millions of items, from well-used books and databases to rare manuscripts and archives. Three times a year, our Footnotes magazine highlights the hidden treasures most people never encounter. We invite you to discover something new in our display cases and, should curiosity move you, explore it more closely amid our rich collections.

Sounding the Archive

Sounding The Archive: Echoes Of Performance In The Distinctive Collections Of Northwestern University Libraries

Dec. 5, 2016 – March 18, 2017

Deering Library, third floor

An exhibit curated by Northwestern students.

How is sound—ephemeral by nature—registered in material objects? Traces of performance are recoverable across a variety of artifacts found in the distinctive collections of the Northwestern University Libraries. As an outgrowth of the graduate course “Music Historiography” taught by Prof. Ryan Dohoney in fall 2016, “Sounding the Archive” looks for the history of sound in off-center communities — from the occultism movement to labor union meetings— and for traces of musicking both here at Northwestern and nationally.

Karen DeCrow (AP Photo/Bill Ingraham)

You’re No One ’Til Somebody Hates You: Karen DeCrow and the Fight for Gender Equality

Sept. 19 – Dec. 30, 2016

Here at the 50th anniversary of NOW, join Northwestern University Libraries as we celebrate DeCrow’s accomplishments with an exhibit drawn from her personal papers (which were donated to University Archives upon her death in 2014) and materials from our vast Femina Collections documenting the First and Second Wave liberation movements.

Dawes and Coolidge

Dawes Delivers the Vote: A Glimpse at Elections, 1896-1924

June 13 to Nov. 11, 2016

Ambassador, U.S. comptroller, brigadier general, Nobel laureate: Evanston resident Charles Gates Dawes played many roles in his life, but perhaps he is best known as vice president under Calvin Coolidge from 1925 to 1929. As part of the 150th anniversary of Dawes’ birth, Northwestern Libraries present an exhibit that explores his life as a political force and fierce campaigner for Republican candidates and power player in the administrations of William McKinley, Warren Harding and Coolidge.

Virgil Johnson Costume Design for Hamlet

Page & Stage: Shakespeare at Northwestern

April 23 – Sept. 2, 2016

Four centuries after the passing of the world’s most famous author, it’s tempting to put the man on a pedestal —sometimes quite literally. But William Shakespeare didn’t write from a lofty tower; his relatable themes, colorful characters, sharp satire and bawdy jokes have always marked him a man of the people. Which is why connecting with Shakespeare today shouldn’t be difficult or uncommon. Join Northwestern Libraries as we revel in our many holdings that give students and faculty such different ways to discover, read and re-tell Shakespeare’s tales. 

Moorman exhibit glass case

Charlotte's Scene: Archives of the avant-garde found at Northwestern Libraries

Jan. 11 to July 17, 2016

Charlotte Moorman electrified the avant-garde scene in 1960s New York with experimental approaches to music, performance and pure spectacle. Drawn from archives held in the Music Library and Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, scores, publications, photos and promotional fliers illuminate a time when artists rebelled against the rigidity of postwar culture by challenging – perhaps even rewriting – the definitions of art. 

model ship in a glass case

Making Connections: Unique gifts to Northwestern's Transportation Library

Jan. 19 to April 15, 2016

Amid the books, journals, records and reports in the Transportation Library are 14,000 items donated by scholars and transportation enthusiasts. Including queenly coronation timetables, Concorde passenger kits and even airline menus that double as sun reflectors, this exhibit offers a peek inside these donated collections and opens the door for connections yet to be discovered at the intersection of benefactors and researchers.​

Farm to Table banner

Farm to Table: Government Information and Food

Jan. 11 to May 1, 2015

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. 

Beyond the Book poster

Beyond the Book: The Changing Nature of Library Collections

Jan. 20 to May 8, 2015

Not everything in a library fits neatly between book covers. “Beyond the Book: The Changing Nature of Library Collections” 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. 

Apartheid to Democracy logo

Apartheid to Democracy: 20 Years of Transition in South Africa

April 4 to Aug. 29, 2014

In 1994, South Africa held its first fully democratic election and witnessed the inauguration of its first black president. To mark 20 years of democracy, this exhibit explores the struggles and progress of the South African democratic movement through materials from the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies. It 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.

interior of a monument

Ancient Monuments of Rome: Reconstructions by the Students of the Académie Française

Jan. 6 to June 20, 2014

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 studied at the French Academy in Rome were obliged to produce a reconstruction of an ancient monument.  In the 1870s, the best and most interesting of these were engraved and published by the French government. This display, drawn from volumes in our McCormick Library of Special Collections, illustrates how the techniques of conceiving such an archeological reconstruction changed and matured over time.

tree-lined street

Photographic Views of Picturesque Evanston

Oct. 9, 2013 to Jan. 3, 2014

Local photographer Alexander Hesler (1823–1895) published a volume photographs of Evanston buildings and streetscapes, Photographic Views of Picturesque Evanston, in 1887. The exhibit celebrates Evanston's 150th anniversary with 40 images from Picturesque Evanston, which highlight Evanston's past—gracious homes, tree-lined streets and the young Northwestern campus. Thanks to Hesler's photography and the magic of technology, a slice of Evanston's history is vividly brought back to life.

Two Degrees and You logo

Two Degrees and You: An NU Approach to Climate Change

Jan. 13 to March 21, 2014

Northwestern University has approached climate change through science, innovative engineering, student initiatives and strategic imperatives to reduce greenhouse gases and develop clean energy. This exhibit highlights these efforts and the vast book, map, digital and archival resources of Northwestern University Library.

Clara, Lu ‘n’  Em advertisement

Tune in Again:  How Three Northwestern Coeds Created One of Radio’s First Soap Operas

Feb. 3 to March 21, 2014

From 1930 to 1946, radio listeners were fascinated by show Clara, Lu ‘n’ Em. These gossiping  gals with prosaic lives and sloppy grammar were invented and portrayed by the University’s School of Speech alumnae. Clara, Lu ‘n’  Em was the first radio show created and performed by women, who wrote every script and negotiated the complex world of sponsorships and contracts. “Tune in Again” features scripts, news clippings, audio and artifacts from the show, received as a generous donation to the University Archives from “Em’s” family. 

Past, Paper, Scissors logo

Past, Paper, Scissors: Scrapbooks from the Northwestern University Library Collections

Sept. 16, 2013 to Jan. 3, 2014

In an era of Facebook and Instagram, it’s important to recall that once we collected our own histories by pasting them into scrapbooks. Past, Paper, Scissors explores history at Northwestern and beyond as depicted by the photos, clippings, ticket stubs, faded flowers, and dance cards packed onto the scrapbook pages of a bygone era—and looks forward to the ways we can preserve our increasingly digital memories to create tomorrow’s history. 

Khidekel building

Homage to Khidekel

Aug. 30 to Dec. 13, 2013

Printmaker and art-book creator Mikhail Karasik brings us "Homage to Khidekel." The suite of prints interpret the work of the artist and architect Lazar Khidekel (1904-1986). Khidekel, a pupil of the Suprematist artist and theorist Kasimir Malevich. While he tried to incorporate Suprematist and Futurist aspects into his architectural work, the cultural climate of Stalinist Russia turned against the avant garde, and much of his commissioned work conformed to state sponsored aesthetics.

Spolin banner

Viola Spolin: Improvisation & Intuition

April 1 to Sept. 9, 2013

Viola Spolin was a pioneer in American Theatre. She has been called “the high-priestess of improv” and is best known as the creator of theater games, originally created as a series of exercises to aid students in the study of drama. Her games and approach to theatre inspired the creation of The Second City, other famous theatre projects, and was the fundamental impetus for Chicago’s improv theatre movement.

Patricia Neal

On Her Own Terms: Patricia Neal's Life and Legacy.

Jan. 10 to March 22, 2013

A star of the stage and screen, Northwestern alumna Patricia Neal was best known for her film roles in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Hud, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. But her other starring roles included a mother to her five children, the survivor of a disabling stroke from which she painstakingly recovered, and a passionate advocate for other stroke patients. The exhibit explores all these legacies, based on the extraordinary collection of personal papers, Hollywood souvenirs, photos, and other memorabilia held by University Archives.

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