Category Archives: Exhibits

There’s Moai than meets the eye in the Maps Library

By Jenny Litz

Easter Island, the one of the most remote inhabited places on Earth? Yeah, we’ve got maps for that. And the Maps Library also has a display featuring books, images, and artifacts from Easter Island (Rapa Nui). If you can’t go there in person, this is the next best thing. You won’t even need a passport!


The display includes fabrics, handcrafted items and information


Dr. Seuss goes to war

Before Dr. Seuss wrote children’s books he was a political cartoonist. As a captain in the US Army during the war he penned many comics and made movies supporting the war effort. The Donald W. Hamer Maps Library has a few examples of his work from this period, including a cartoon about “Ann” a mosquito with malaria. — Heather Ross, manager, Donald W. Hamer Maps Library


Cartoons as political commentary…close-up of an illustration by Dr. Seuss featured in the display.

‘Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine’

“Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” is now on display in the Harrell Health Sciences Library, Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Hershey. This traveling exhibit was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and will be on display through December 5. Learn more about the exhibit on the NLM website.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the library, in partnership with the College of Medicine Department of Humanities, will sponsor the November 2015 First Friday Presentation: “Magic Words/ Magic World: Early Modern Medicine and Harry Potter,” at noon, on Friday, Nov. 6, in Room C2860. Readers worldwide are familiar with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels as a series of magical adventures. This presentation will examine the medieval and Early Modern medical practices that appear in the Harry Potter series, from alchemy and astrology to healing chants and botanicals. See the library’s news and events webpage for more information.


Illustration of distillation equipment. Ambroise Paré, Les Oeuures d’Ambroise Paré, 1585 — see

Exhibit showcases Lynd Ward prize winners

ThisOneSummerA new exhibit in the Sidewater Commons highlights the work of past winners of the Lynd Ward Prize for Best Graphic Novel of the Year. First issued in 2011 and sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book — an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress — the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or nonfiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident. Read the full story on Penn State News

Right:  2015 Lynd Ward Prize winner, “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki (writer) and Jillian Tamaki (artist), published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press

Libraries exhibit honors nuclear facility’s six decades of education, research

PrintIt’s common knowledge for Penn Staters that the University is a global leader in science, technology and engineering; historical markers across the University Park campus, and others, indicate where Penn State students, faculty, staff and alumni have made great leaps forward in innovation. What many don’t realize is that Penn State also is home to the longest-running university nuclear reactor in America.

“Penn State Power: 60 Years of the Radiation Science and Engineering Center” — on display July 8-Aug. 19 in Sidewater Commons in Pattee and Paterno Libraries — honors the center’s longstanding reputation for nuclear energy education, research and service. Read the full story on Penn State News.

Libraries exhibit ‘Journey to Inclusion: Voting Rights in America’ on display

As Election Day 2016 approaches, a majority of the approximately 250 million U.S. citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote — regardless of their race or skin color, ancestry, sex, education, income, literacy, religion, English language skills, previous incarceration or disability — but this has not always been the case. The University Libraries exhibit “Journey to Inclusion: Voting Rights in America” in the Diversity Studies Room, 203 Pattee Library, on display through July 6, 2016, reflects on nearly 240 years of voting rights history in the United States.


The history of voting rights in the U.S. begins with a very small group of citizens in the newly formed nation and has grown to include nearly every U.S. citizen. Skipping the intervening years, it looks like a straight and easy journey, headed invariably toward inclusion. In truth, it was a mixed journey, full of setbacks and roadblocks, hard-won victories and leaps forward. It was never guaranteed. Along the way there were heroes, “villains” and people who truly thought their ideas of who should decide who should vote were the correct ones.

In five years, on Aug. 18, 2020, Americans will witness the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which, after a long, hard fight, gave U.S. women the right to vote. The years 2014 and 2015 mark the 50th anniversary of “Freedom Summer” and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the “March from Selma to Montgomery” and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The challenges are not necessarily over.

This exhibit offers snapshots and postcards from across the years. It bows to the classifications history has given groups of people, since this is how they were known then and, for the most part, how they are known now. Along the back wall hang the names of some of the main groups affected along this journey. “Voting booths” in the center of the room offer timelines and expand on some of the journey’s major milestones.

The exhibit highlights a very small sampling of the rich and varied resources on U.S. voting rights, citizenship, immigration, government, history, sociology, politics, and law available through the University Libraries. For help finding these resources and others, please ask at any Reference Desk.

Exhibition features ornate book covers, bindings

Exhibit 16b

“Catching Your Attention: Decorative Book Covers and Unique Bindings,” is on display through July 7 in the Sidewater Commons, 102 Pattee Library. William Minter, the Libraries’ senior book conservator, created the exhibition, which highlights a sampling of books and bindings primarily drawn from the Eberly Family Special Collections Library.

Through examples suggested by Sandra Stelts, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, this exhibit includes images of some unique bindings, both old and new, that are among the Libraries’ holdings.

Among the more intriguing books on display is the cloth-bound, exquisitely crafted “The New Day: A Poem in Song and Sonnets,” by Richard Watson Gilder; “The Anatomy of Melancholy,” by Robert Burton, published in 1624 — a book of such great value that it had to be chained to the bookcase; and “The Smallest English Dictionary in the World.”

The exhibit is open 7:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The Libraries will be closed on July 3 and 4.

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, contact Jenna Gill at or 814-865-9406, in advance of your visit.

Art professor’s journals chronicling four decades of journeys featured in new exhibit


Visual journals chronicling Penn State art education professor Brent Wilson’s four decades of journeys across North America, Europe, Egypt, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Brazil will be on display from May 15 to September 13, in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library. “Brent Wilson: Journals and Journeys Too” will feature art journals from the Wilson archival collection, housed within the Penn State Special Collections Library.


The 90 art journals contain a wealth of visual and written records documenting Wilson’s travels from the 1980s through 2013, where he taught, conducted research and lectured in many countries and in the United States. They chronicle his visual and verbal responses to national and international professional conferences, his eight years as head evaluator for the Getty’s discipline-based art education regional professional development institutes and his time spent in Washington preparing “Toward Civilization,” a report to the president and congress on the status of arts education, in 1988. In addition, the journals highlight the struggles involved in developing an art structure for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.


The journals reveal the outlines for books, book chapters, journal articles, diagrams and rudimentary theories. There are plans for thousands of paintings and sculptures and draft pages for artist books. They contain hundreds of pages of playful collaborative drawings made with children—graphic conversations that Wilson describes as “third-site pedagogy.”


“My journals are filled with schizophrenic, unrestrained images surrounded by mostly pedestrian prose and a few poems—they show my attempts to make a profession and a life more interesting than they would otherwise be,” says Wilson. He says that while it is difficult to pinpoint the time he first became a journal keeper, he began writing little notes in his sketchbooks and began drawing pictures in his datebooks as early as 1979. Over time, he became fascinated by what sketches and sentences could say to one another, and their dialogues became a daily preoccupation.


Wilson taught in Penn State’s art education program from 1974 until 2004. During his tenure he pioneered the study of children’s image making in natural settings and developed a paradigm-changing theory relating to how children learn to draw by borrowing images from popular culture. Among his research interests were the study of language used to describe and judge works of art, the assessment of art educational outcomes, the extra-structural dimensions of art teaching and the nature of child art.


Wilson was the principal art consultant to the National Assessment of Educational Progress in Art from 1967 to 1982. He drafted the National Endowment for the Arts “Toward Civilization: A Report on Arts Education” and worked as an evaluator for the Getty Trust between 1982 and 1996. He is the recipient of the National Art Education’s Manuel Barkan Award and the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Educational Press Association (both shared with Marjorie Wilson). He received the Edwin Ziegfeld Award given by the International Society for Education in the Arts and has been invited to give Studies in Art Education and Lowenfeld Lectures in recognition of his research. In 1988, he was made a Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association and in 1989 was named the organization’s Art Educator of the Year.


Three special events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition:

  • The Brent Wilson Gallery Talk, on Friday, June 5, at 3:00 p.m., in the Special Collections Library;
  • An online Digital Journal Website demonstration, on Thursday, July 9, at 2:00 p.m., in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library and
  • The Art Education Graduate Student Colloquium, on Wednesday, September 2, at 7:00 p.m., in the Special Collections Library.


For more information about the exhibit, the Wilson archival collection and access to digital journal images, contact University Archivist Jackie R. Esposito, 814-863-3791 or

Jazz Riffs: Breaking Boundaries and Crossing Borders


The exhibit “Jazz Riffs: Breaking Boundaries and Crossing Borders”, presented by the Arts and Humanities Library and the News and Microforms Library, in the libraries’ Diversity Studies Room, 203 Pattee Library, has been extended and will be on dIsplay until July 1.

The exhibit speaks like a riff in jazz—a short simple melody used for creating more complicated musical patterns. It makes no claim to being all-inclusive; just a one-toe dip in the river of jazz, its music, and the lives of a few of its artists.

Jazz Riffs looks at three major story elements in the history of jazz—GENDER, RACE, and WORLD—focusing on a few musicians or groups from each of these categories.

Each of the three themes in the exhibit include musicians’
stories and their music and goes deeper into the history, music,
biography, film and fiction of jazz found within the rich resources of the University Libraries.


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps display

By Heather Ross, supervisor, Social Sciences Library and Donald W. Hamer Maps Library

sanborn map

The Sanborn collection is heavily used by patrons. — photo by Heather Ross

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps were designed to help underwriters to estimate risk without having to see the buildings in person. These historic maps have so many uses for today’s researchers. Stop down to the Donald W. Hamer Maps Library to see the display.


A close up of one of the posters on display

Download the posters here:

Exhibition highlights Penn State in Space

“Feet on the Ground, Head in the Stars: Penn State in Space,” an exhibition from the Penn State University Archives is on display in Robb Hall, the Hintz Alumni Center, January 27 through June 18, 2015.

On July 20, 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and stated, “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” the imagination of a nation was elevated beyond its wildest limits. At Penn State, creativity, innovation and research were sent spiraling ever upward and onward with space as its goal and vision of an unimaginable future never out of reach. As Penn State anticipates the progress and success of the current Lunar Lion efforts, this exhibition through images and diagrams reflects on the many projects and achievements involving Penn Staters that have changed the face and future of space exploration and research.

The exhibition features Penn State’s outstanding astronauts: Guion Bluford (1st African-American in space), Paul J. Weitz, Robert J. Cenker and James Pawelczyk and their various missions. It also showcases the outstanding and numerous space-related projects in which Penn State has participated since that fateful day in 1969 including the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, Mars Curiosity Rover, numerous Space Shuttle missions and experiments, Swift Telescope, Skylab, pulsars and planet discoveries, Davey Lab and Penn State Behrend observatories to name just a few. The exhibit also features a visual tribute to the current Lunar Lion efforts to revisit the Moon, WPSU space programming, AstroFest events and even a nod to our own Star Trek participant/alum Jonathan Frakes.

The exhibition is structured to whet the imagination and encourage visitors to pursue explorations into the many and various ways Penn State has reached for the stars and enhanced the universe of space, space exploration, space research and space travel—yesterday, today and definitely tomorrow. The exhibition reflects a concept Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, elucidates, when he said, “I think of space not as the final frontier but as the next frontier. Not as something to be conquered but to be explored.” Clearly Penn State’s visionaries have had the same enthusiasm for space and have illuminated that vision through their various efforts for over fifty years.

For more information or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Jackie R. Esposito, University Archivist, 814-863-3791 or

Exhibit displays Martin Luther King Jr. student posters

“Celebrating Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Day and Black History Month,” an exhibit featuring posters designed by Penn State students in the University’s 30th annual MLK poster competition, is on display in the entry lobby of Pattee Library, January 15 through February 28, 2015. This year’s theme is “Now, More than Ever.”

The student posters were created in Graphic Design 400, Time and Sequence, a course that exposes students to real-world design with a fixed deadline and client and prescribed project specifications. It also gets the students involved in a public service project.

The display illustrates a variety of approaches to this year’s theme and demonstrates the abilities of Penn State design students.

Judges from the commemorations planning committee selected as the winning poster, the design by Meaghan Lee Cafferty, a junior graphic design major at Penn State. Her design has been duplicated on buttons and posters to be distributed for Penn State’s 2015 MLK celebration.

In November 1983, former President Ronald Reagan signed into law a national holiday to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1986, Penn State began its official recognition of the holiday on the third Monday in January, celebrating the life of this civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was assassinated in 1968, at the age of 39.

Publications from Prebish Buddhism Collection on display

“The Way is in the Heart,” an exhibition of publications from the Charles S. Prebish Buddhism Collection, is on display January 6 to March 6, 2015, in the Franklin Atrium, first floor Pattee Library, Penn State University Park. Charles S. Prebish will discuss his collection, “The Swans came to Penn State too,” on Wednesday, February 4, noon to 1 p.m., in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

statuePrebish is professor emeritus of Religious Studies at Penn State, where he served on the faculty from 1971 until 2006. He is also Charles Redd Chair in Religious Studies Emeritus at Utah State University, where he served from January 2007 until December 2010.

His formal training in Buddhist Studies initially centered on early Indian Buddhism, with special attention to the disciplinary literature known as “Vinaya” and the development of the monastic system. At Penn State he became interested in Buddhism’s development on the North American continent. He has published over twenty books and nearly one hundred articles and chapters on Buddhism.

In addition to his research at Penn State, he has been extremely active in a number of professional societies and was one of the initial officers in the International Association of Buddhist Studies. He is the co-founder of the Buddhism section of the American Academy of Religion and is considered a pioneer in the study of western forms of Buddhism.

With colleague Damien Keown, Prebish co-founded the “Journal of Buddhist Ethics.” He and Keown also created a project that focused on creating affordable eTextbooks for courses in Religious Studies. Known as the “Journal of Buddhist Ethics eBook Project,” it has made a major impact on textbook publishing in religious studies.

For more information on the exhibition and talk or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Jackie Esposito at or 814-863-3791.

Exhibition highlights Chip Kidd Archives

“Everything Not Made by Nature Is Design,” an exhibition from the Chip Kidd Archives, on display January 12 through April 24, in The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, features the archives of award-winning graphic designer and Penn State Distinguished Alumnus Charles “Chip” Kidd (’86). Hours are Monday to Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m..

With praise like “the world’s greatest book-jacket designer” (from author James Ellroy) and “design demigod” (from “New York” magazine), it is easy to forget that Chip Kidd is still in the prime of his career. The Pennsylvania native was born in 1964 in Lincoln Park, a suburb of Reading. After studying graphic design at Penn State with Distinguished Professor Emeritus Lanny Sommese, Kidd went to work at publishing house Alfred A. Knopf in 1986. Twenty-eight years later, Kidd has designed over a thousand book covers for Knopf and other freelance clients, for authors such as John Updike, Cormac McCarthy, Donna Tartt, Haruki Murakami and Michael Crichton—including the iconic cover of “Jurassic Park.” Kidd is the recipient of numerous awards, notably the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Museum National Design Award, in 2007, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts Medal for lifetime achievement in 2014.


Art by Chris Ware for “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” by Haruki Murakami, 1st American Edition, 1997, published by Alfred A. Knopf, NY; jacket design by Chip Kidd

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Exhibit highlights Penn State markers

markerA visitor to Penn State University Park will notice the many blue signposts on campus. These Penn State Historical Markers note significant achievements made by Penn State and Penn Staters and are reminders of the University’s role in the history of higher education and in influencing scientific and societal changes. An exhibition of a selection of these markers, “A ‘Marked’ Tradition: Historic Innovations in Science and Technology at Penn State,” is on display in Sidewater Commons, 102 Pattee Library, December 3 through February 19, 2015.

The exhibition focuses on achievements related to STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and medicine. They show Penn State as a global leader in STEM fields. Among the many highlights are atmospheric research, the first-seen atom, biomechanics applied to real-life sports action, the heart-assist pump and more.

Penn State’s libraries specializing in STEM—the Earth and Mineral Sciences Library, the Engineering Library, the Life Science Library and the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library—remain central to the STEM advancements, providing researchers with print and online collections that help them to access critical sources of information.

The exhibition is open during regular library hours, available at 814-865-3063. For more information or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, contact Jenna Gill, exhibits coordinator, at or 814-865-9406.

‘Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves’

“Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves,” an exhibition in the B. and H. Henisch Photo-History Collection Exhibition Room, 201 A Pattee Library, is on display through March 31, 2015.

Dog in basketThe exhibition coincides with the publication of a new book by the Penn State Press, “Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves: Vintage American Photographs,” by Ann-Janine Morey, Volume 4, in the series Animalibus: Of Animals and Culture. Books in the Animalibus series share a fascination with the status and the role of animals in human life. Crossing the humanities and the social sciences, these books ask us what thinking about nonhuman animals can teach us about human cultures, about what it means to be human, and about how that meaning might shift across times and places. (full story on Penn State News)

‘When I was at Penn State …’

“When I was at Penn State … ,” a Penn State University Archives exhibit, is on display through Jan. 13 in Robb Hall, Hintz Alumni Center.

Whenever two or more Penn Staters gather together, the listener will hear “When I was at Penn State … ,” always followed by a story depicting some aspect of student life. Whether the narrator is describing classes, socials, clubs, activities, friends or sporting events, every Penn Stater has a memory that brings a smile to their face and a twinkle to their eye. This exhibit of photographs from the Penn State University Archives attempts to capture some of those momentous occasions. Among the scrapbooked images, the exhibit features dinks, Lion’s coats, songs, mascots, scraps including pushball and tug-of-war, dances, bonfires, tailgating, class registration, moving in, guarding the shrine, May Day queens, Spring Week flings, student rules, freshman proclamations, military drills and more.

Visit this exhibit and bring your memories of the days when you were at Penn State. Story on Penn State News