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Browse Exhibits


150 Years of On the Origin of Species

Curated by Michael Holland, 2009.

150 Years of The Origin of Species: The Historical Journey from Specimens to Species to Geneswas a physical exhibit mounted in the University of Missouri's Ellis Library from March 5th to March 31st, 2009 to honor the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of hisOn the Origin of Species. The exhibition was part of the2009 MU Life Sciences & Society Symposiumsponsored by theChristopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.


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.


Collective Voices

Curated by John Fifield-Perez, Catherine Armbrust and Nicole Johnston, 2020.

October 2 – November 19, 2020 ​ George Caleb Bingham Gallery, Fine Arts Building, School of Visual Studies, University of Missouri ​ ​ Movements and stories appear and disappear throughout the human timeline, often transformed by subsequent generations. Many of these stories are shared through the lens and voices of underrepresented populations or their allies, in a multitude of forms preserved by archives and collections such as those at the University of Missouri. Collective Voices includes art, archival, and...


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.


Controlling Heredity

Curated by Michael Holland, 2011.

This virtual exhibit explores the intersections between ethics and the pseudo-science of eugenics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


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.


Food Revolutions: Science and Nutrition, 1700-1950

Curated by Kelli Hansen, Gary Cox, and Karen Witt, 2012.

This exhibition was originally mounted in the Ellis Library Colonnade during March 2012 as part ofFood Sense: The 8th AnnualLife Sciences and Society Symposium.


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...

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Geofroi Jacques Flach

Curated by Erin Zellers, 2008.

This site documents the journey of the library of Geofroi Jacques Flach from France to Missouri. He collected books over forty years during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The books were purchased by the University of Missouri from the Flach estate in the spring of 1920.


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...


John T. McCutcheon: A Cartoonist in his Prime, 1930s

Curated by Allison Cathey, 2021.

Works from American cartoonist John T. McCutcheon in the 1930s.


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,...


Leaders and Heroes 2: The Arts

Curated by Courtney Gillie and John Henry Adams, 2021.

This exhibit was born out of a desire to showcase materials within Special Collections at the University of Missouri that were produced by historically excluded people. We want all of our students to be able to see themselves proudly reflected in our collections.


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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Masks, Hells, and Books: The Nuremberg Schembartlauf (1449-1539)

Curated by John Henry Adams, 2022.

The Schembartlauf (“the running of the masked men”) was a traditional element of Carnival in Nuremberg in Franconia. Celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, it consisted of a parade of men in masks and ornate costumes who came down from the castle into the city, culminating in a dramatic destruction of their parade float in the town square.