Browse Exhibits


Alley Oop

Curated by Katie Carr, 2008. Updated in 2021.

In September 2008, MU Libraries celebrated the 75th anniversary of the syndication of the comic strip Alley Oop with an exhibition drawing from the libraries'V.T. HamlinandComic Art Collections.


Anatomical Illustration

Curated by Michael Holland, 2010.

The 6th annualMU Life Sciences and Society Symposium (March 2010)took as its theme, From Art to Biology and Back Again. The virtual exhibit you are about to enter is our effort to explore one of the most interesting interactions in the human experience, how man sees and understands man as an organism.

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Children's Literature in Special Collections

Curated by Karen Witt, 2009.

"Children's Literature: Selections from the Special Collections Department of Ellis Library" was originally an exhibit mounted in the Ellis Library Colonnade from October 1st-31st, 2009. This digital exhibit reflects the items displayed as well as additional volumes that were not included in the physical exhibit.


Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance by African American Women

Curated by Adetokunbo Awosanmi, 2019.

The twenty-one books in the exhibit represent how invaluable the Harlem Renaissance was for African American children’s literature.


Commercial Art: Travel Posters in Special Collections

Curated by Allison Overschmidt, Bethany Bade, and Katy Bond, 2020.

This exhibit focuses on nine European travel posters from Spain, France, Italy, Britain, Germany, and Norway. In a century of much social, political, and economic change, these posters functioned as a way to search for national identities and to promote tourism to countries in financial need pre- and post- World Wars.


Engraved Throughout

Curated by Timothy Perry, 2018.

This exhibition features engraved books housed in Special Collections & Rare Books, and includes some of the finest engraved books ever made.


Fragmenta Manuscripta

Curated by Brittany Rancour and Nicole Songstad, 2018-2021.

Fragmenta Manuscripta is a collection of manuscript fragments that date from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries.



Curated by Kelli Hansen, 2015.

Although the scientific study of epigenetics only dates to the middle of the twentieth century, scientists have puzzled over related questions of heredity and development for hundreds of years. Does it matter whether you inherit a trait from your mother or father? How do your earliest stages of development influence the rest of your life? Which characteristics are inborn, and which are learned? These are questions being asked by epigenetics researchers today, and they are...


Hiller Collection

Curated by Yueheng Lyu, 2019.

The Hiller Collection documents cities, industries, farming, and everyday life in China during the second phase of the Chinese Civil War, 1945-1948. The part of The Hiller Collection, Drawer Nine, in this exhibit focuses on two cities in Jiangsu Province. It is mainly about two cities in Jiangsu Province of China, Nanking (Nanjing) and Soochow (Suzhou).


In-Flew-Enza: Spanish Flu in Columbia

Curated by Amanda Sprochi, 2018. Header image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In fall, 1918, an outbreak of epidemic influenza spread across the entire world. Erroneously dubbed "the Spanish Flu," the pandemic was to eventually cause the death of 50 million people, more than the total casualties of the first World War.


Incunables in Special Collections

Curated by John Henry Adams, 2020.

Printing with moveable type began in Europe in the 1450s in the German city of Mainz with the Gutenberg Bible in 1455. The technology spread swiftly across the continent: in ten years, there were printing presses in operation in Italy. By 1475, printing had spread to France, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, and Spain, and by 1485, England, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden were also printing. Other regions would follow suit until by 1500, there was...


Kindred Kingdoms

Curated by Alla Barabtarlo, Kelli Hansen, and Julie Christenson, 2013.

This exhibit invites you to look at kinship in the kindred kingdoms of nature, placing man in relation to flora and fauna.

Lanford Wilson

Curated by Al Dabiri and David Crespy, 2018.

This interactive display provides some insights into the materials available in the Lanford Wilson Collection, in MU Libraries Special Collections and Rare Books. In particular, this display includes material from the collection which focus on Wilson’s play, The Rimers of Eldritch, and offers samples of posters, programs, photographs, posters, and manuscripts from various productions of the play, as well as materials from the original 1966 production of The Rimers of Eldritch, directed by the author...

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Leaders and Heroes

Curated by John Henry Adams and Courtney Gillie, 2020.

Every age, every race, has its leaders and heroes. ~ Ohíye S’a (Charles A. Eastman) Libraries tend to hold those materials that mainstream society values. Nowhere is this clearer than in the field of rare books. Because of the money required to assemble a strong collection of rare books, rare book collectors tend to come from positions of privilege and their collections reflect that privilege. Collectors have historically prioritized writings by culturally valorized authors. Rare books libraries,...


Life and Letters in the Ancient Mediterranean

Curated by Timothy Perry, 2018.

This exhibit brings together the strangeness and familiarity of the ancient past, concentrating in particular on the literary and intellectual legacies of ancient Greece and Rome.


Many Happy Returns

Curated by Timothy Perry, 2016.

This exhibit brings together a selection of items associated with the most important literary anniversaries celebrated in 2016.

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One Hundred Rare Book Terms

Curated by John Henry Adams, 2020.

Rare books libraries and reference materials for working with rare books are full of specialist terms (or terms that mean something different in the context of special collections). To make it easier for you to use our materials, we have prepared a glossary of terms you may encounter. Other Glossaries Other useful glossaries can be found online here: The British Library. Online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts — Glossaries. Carter, John, and Nicolas Barker. ABC for Book Collectors, 8th...


Places in the World: Treasures from the Venable Collection

Curated by John Henry Adams, 2021.

Maps tell us where we are. The most obvious way they do this is geographical, but there is also a wealth of cultural and social information that accompanies a map. What has been labeled? What has been left blank? What kinds of decorations are included in the map? A map that takes the time to mark the estates of major landlords is indicating something about the importance that proximity to the wealthy means socially and...

Preservation Week 2021 and the Adopt-A-Book Program

Curated by Lily Hunter, 2021.

This exhibit contains information on preservation within the library and the Adopt-A-Book program. This was completed in preparation for Preservation Week 2021, at the University of Missouri's Special Collections in Ellis Library.


Science of Love

Curated by Timothy Perry, 2017. Online version constructed in 2018 by Kelly Filippone.

This exhibit presents the many faces of love as they appear in the literature of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. It covers both the theories of love found in philosophy and science, from Plato to Leon Abravanel, and more literary accounts of love, including Terence, Ovid, and theRoman de la Rose.


Special Collections Scavenger Hunt

Curated by Kelli Hansen and the staff of Special Collections, 2018-2021.

This exhibit is a part of the University Libraries Online Scavenger Hunt. Whether or not you're a scavenger hunter, click below to explore just a few of the items in these amazing collections.


University of Missouri course catalogs : a hidden resource

Curated by Mitch Sumner, 2019.

The University of Missouri course catalogs, announcing the schedule of courses and the other relevant information for current and incoming students has been published annually since 1843, shortly after the founding of the university.


Vesalius at 500

Curated by Alla Barabtarlo, Kelli Hansen, Julie Christenson, Amanda Sprochi, and Trenton Boyd, 2014.

Vesalius at 500 showcases materials from the Libraries’ collections that helped to shape Andreas Vesalius’ career, including medieval manuscripts and early printed books on medicine. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Vesalius’ most famous work, De Humani Corporis Fabrica. The Libraries hold two copies of this important book, a second edition printed in 1555, and a later edition from 1568.


Winds of Change

Curated by Kelli Hansen, Timothy Perry, and Alla Barabtarlo, 2016.

This exhibition investigates the relationship between weather and time by questioning past perceptions, examining measurement and prediction practices, and surveying sources of historical data.