Current Exhibits

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May 18 – September 4, 2015

Art and science have often been considered diametrically opposed, but in truth they have never been. Both are born from individual creativity and invention, and both employ process, and both attempt to make sense of the world. This fascinating exhibit examines the historical interconnectedness of art and science, two disciplines forever linked on the same spectrum of creativity and draws upon the work being done around Northwestern, as well as from the Library’s eclectic holdings, to demonstrate how these two fields are constantly informing the other. From the intricate scientific illustrations at the dawn of anatomy to the photography that is helping us discover the universe, "Art and Science” shows how these fields are complementary fields, not contrary.

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

Midwest Renaissance: Printed Books at Northwestern from Shakespeare’s Time
Feb. 2 through June 21, Deering Library, third floor
Tens of thousands of Renaissance-era books can be found in Midwestern libraries, arriving from half a world away via circuitous paths and the untraceable efforts of collectors and scholars. This exhibit displays more than two dozen such books held by the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, from volumes of poetry and prose by eminent Renaissance writers, to “used books” bearing traces of their owners, as well as educational treatises, Continental literature in translation, and travel guides. These books are part of a 2014 effort begun at Northwestern entitled "Renaissance Books, Midwestern Libraries" (RBML) to boost awareness of books printed between 1473 and 1800 in the English language (or in England and its territories) that now reside much closer than libraries in Europe.

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.