Past Exhibits


Main Exhibit Space:

Other Spaces:

Main Exhibit Space:

The Murder That Wouldn't Die: Leopold & Loeb in Artifact, Fact, and Fiction

March 3 - June 30, 2009

The 1924 murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb is an infamous piece of Chicago—and American—history. Contemporaries called it "the Crime of the Century" and it has continued to fascinate writers, film-makers, legal scholars, and their audiences ever since. 
Featured in this exhibit are many of the most critical primary-source documents related to the case, held in Northwestern University Library here to view online exhibit

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Sound Design: The Rise and Demise of Album Art

July 7-September 10, 2009

New technology gives us music at our fingertips. But has it destroyed a once-rich art form?

The experience of music is often wrapped around a particular time, place or event. Part of the fun of buying recorded music used to be taking the time to study the cover art and read the liner notes--and like the music itself, many of the covers and notes became important in our memory. In the era before the MP3, record companies committed considerable time and expense to developing highly creative and often moving covers for their albums. Sound Design explores the vanishing art of the album cover. Click here for more information.

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The Green Revolution: Information for Innovation

September 15 - November 19, 2009

Northwestern University Library joins the conversation on this year's One Book, One Northwestern selection: Hot, Flat, and Crowded:  Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman.  The Library welcomes new and returning students with an exhibit highlighting library collections and services related to the book's themes.

Items on display include material from Project Survival --a precursor to Earth Day--which took place at Northwestern in 1970, books on automobiles and the environment and energy development in Africa from the world renowned Transportation and Africana  libraries, and biodiversity materials from Government and Geographic Information and Data Services.

The exhibit shines a spotlight on behind the scenes activities that make paperless research possible as well as activities and tips to "green" the library. Resources for the exploration of the environment and related topics from a myriad of disciplinary viewpoints are also presented.

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Illuminating Hanukkah: The Art and Eloquence of the Modern Menorah

November 24, 2009 - January 8, 2010

In the story of Hanukkah, illumination is a central idea. Literally, the holiday celebrates the miracle of the oil that lit a menorah for eight days and nights, when it should only have lasted one. But to Jews everywhere, Hanukkah lights have come to symbolize many other things as well, including faith, hope, and perseverance in times of persecution, and the warmth that holds families and communities together.

This holiday season, an exhibit at Northwestern University Library uses the Library's extensive Jewish Studies collections to illuminate the menorah itself. Illuminating Hanukkah: The Art and Eloquence of the Modern Menorah explores the events, cultures, and artistic styles that have shaped the menorah's evolution over time and around the world. Books, CDs, musical scores, and other items from the collections illuminate some of the traditions that surround the lighting of the menorah. And the exhibit includes twelve unique menorahs, each with a different story to tell about its origins.

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Other Spaces:

Special Collections and Archives

The Artist's Telescope: Science Fiction and Illustration

March 2 - June 30, 2009

Isaac Asimov defined science fiction as the branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advances on human beings. Using narrative and illustration, authors and artists explore the possible consequences of technology for social, political and ecological issues. This exhibit traces changes in the depiction of interplanetary worlds in popular literature. 19th century authors such as Robida and Grandville illustrated their own fantastical visions of future worlds. Authors like Jules Verne were able to base their lunar or Martian landscapes on maps printed from images seen with powerful telescopes. Heroes like Flash Gordon and the possibilities of space travel captured popular attention in comics and pulp magazines before World War II, and the Space Race...more

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

August, 2009 - January, 2010

At a new Northwestern University Library exhibit, works by 23 talented children's illustrators from around the globe confirm the fact that kids' books aren't just for kids. "Best of Bologna: Edgiest Artists of the 2008 International Children's Book Fair" presents a selection of artists chosen from an original pool of more than 3,000 who entered a competition to be featured at the world's largest and important annual children's book event. Read more in the press release.

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Africa Embraces Obama

January - June 2009embraces

Then entire continent of Africa was buzzing with Obama-fever, from the first announcement of the presidential run in 2007, to the inauguration in 2009. This exhibit documents the excitement and pride through documents, artifacts, and ephemera. Highlights include a hand-carved mask, an Obama beer bottle, and a hand-painted portrait. For more information, please see the In the Spotlight NU Library news article.


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Art Collection

Accumulation: Contemporary Artists Making Sense by Making More

October-December 2009

This exhibit features books from the Art Collection about contemporary artists whose work incorporates accumulations and juxtapositions of objects on a large scale, including Yayoi Kusama, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

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Deering First Floor Hallway

Changing Faces, Changing Places: 150 Years at Northwestern

2001-July 2009

Since its founding in 1851, Northwestern University has continually grown more diverse - in its student body and faculty, its course offerings, and its educational facilities. This exhibit hightlights some of the subtle and the dramatic changes that have occurred on the University's Evanston and Chicago campuses in the past 150 years. The exhibit was developed by the Northwestern University Sesquicentenial Office and University Archives.

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Exhibits Committee
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2300

Last updated: April 30, 2010