About exhibits

Special Collections exhibits program

Since the reopening of the Bing Wing of Green Library in September of 1999, the exhibits staff of Special Collections, in collaboration with a host of curators, have produced more than fifty major exhibitions, including Herbert Matter: Modernist Photography and Graphic Design, Zuancho in Kyoto: Textile Design Books for the Kimono Trade, Charles Dickens & Show Biz, The American Enlightenment: Treasures from the Stanford University Libraries, the two-part Monuments of Printing: From Gutenberg through the Book Arts Revival, and Scripting the Sacred: Medieval Latin Manuscripts, among others.

At present, the Department of Special Collections presents three primary exhibits per calendar year in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda. The goals of the exhibits program are to:

  • enhance the visibility and accessibility of Special Collections and University Archives materials by providing viewers with a scholarly, visually dynamic, and interpretive context in which to consider objects on display; 
  • inform the university community of recent acquisitions, and reveal resources for teaching and research in Special Collections and the Libraries as a whole;
  • encourage working collaborations between the libraries and academic departments, faculty, students, and the broader Stanford community;
  • promote collection development through publicity and outreach

For more information about the Special Collections exhibits program, please contact Deardra Fuzzell, Manager & Designer of Exhibitions; Stanford University, Department of Special Collections, Stanford, CA 94305; ph. 650-521-1037.


University Archives exhibits program

In addition to the primary exhibits offered through the Special Collections exhibit program, the Stanford University Archives offers a number of smaller exhibits throughout the year, often in partnership with Stanford departments, student organizations, and other affiliated groups, to present exhibits of historical material from our holdings. 

Services provided by the University Archives include:

  • Orientation to the Archives for representatives of organizations; instruction on locating and identifying materials for exhibit from the archives.
  • Developing captions with appropriate contextual information for exhibit items.
  • Publicizing the exhibit via our blog, Twitter account, and/or Facebook page, as appropriate.
  • Installation and deinstallation of exhibit. Supervision of exhibit when materials are not installed in secure cases.
  • Upon request, presentations to groups about the exhibit topic.

Responsibilities of partner departments, groups, and organizations:

  • Contact the University Archives well in advance to begin planning for your exhibit/event. We recommend at least 4-6 weeks lead time.
  • Collaborate with Archives staff to define exhibit themes, identify relevant holdings, and select items for exhibit.
  • Publicize the exhibit / event to ensure interest among the campus community.


The Archives utilizes exhibit spaces and cases in Green Library, including the Bender Room, the South Lobby, and the Barchas Seminar Room. We also partner will the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center and other campus groups to mount exhibits onsite.

Security of exhibit items

If original materials are to be left in display cases unattended, cases must lock and must be approved by University Archives staff in advance. Archives staff reserve the right to refuse to display original materials when the exhibit cases provided will expose materials to harmful levels of light and UV rays.


Spotlight at Stanford exhibits

In addition to physical exhibits, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives also curates a wide variety of online exhibits showcasing collection materials, accessible via Spotlight at StanfordAlthough occasionally physical and online exhibits will be produced in tandem, many physical exhibits do not have online counterparts, and likewise many online exhibits do not have physical counterparts.

If you would like to learn more about the Spotlight at Stanford service, or if you are a Stanford affiliate and would like to request an exhibit, please contact the Spotlight at Stanford Service Team.