Browse Exhibits (48 total)

‘The Machine That Changed the World’: ACM and the History of Computing, 1947-2010

The ACM Records, donated to the Charles Babbage Institute by ACM's Headquarters office in 2008, contain 57 boxes of information about ACM's administration, operations, and projects and tell the story of the society's development and expansion over the first 60 years of its existence. Focusing on many of the key aspects of the work of the association, this exhibit pulls together documentary and visual evidence of ACM's activities from the organization's records as well as from supporting collections.

"A Long, Troublesome, and Dangerous Passage" from England to India

The following exhibition catalogues Terry's voyage from England to India. It does not document every encounter on his journey, but instead highlights a number of encounters that give readers a glimpse into the life and times of a 17th-century Englishman. The entire journey of Edward Terry can be found in A voyage to East-India: Wherein some things are taken notice of in our passage thither, but many more in our abode there, within that rich and most spacious empire of the Great Mogol. Mix't with some parallel observations and inferences upon the storie, to profit as well as delight the reader, located in the James Ford Bell Library.

A Woman's Place: Women and Work

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The stories of women as workers are as complex, varied, and engaging as the women themselves. Whether their work is paid or unpaid, by choice or by necessity, a path to freedom or a system of exploitation, the idea of “women in the workplace” has embodied many of society’s greatest hopes and fears about what it means to be a woman.

This exhibit attempts to unpack the stories of what “women’s work” truly embodies by pulling materials from units across the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections, as well as from the Wangensteen Historical Library and the Doris S. Kirschner Cookbook collection.

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Alexander: The Inevitable Belt

In the summer of 1915, Purcell wrote a letter to Charles O. Alexander, an industrialist and director of sales at the Alexander Brothers Leather and Belting Company in Philadelphia. Purcell gradually assumed the duties of advertising manager there. During this time, he developed Charles Alexander's existing advertising campaigns, taking them to new levels of inventiveness. Examples from this collection include advertisements, brochures, calendars and company stationery for the Alexander Brothers Leather and Belting Company, its subsidiary the Charlotte Leather Belting Company, and its offshoot, the International Leather & Belting Corporation.

Balloons Over Broadway, Melissa Sweet, and the Engineering of a Picture Book

This exhibit shows the process of making a nonfiction biographical picture book, using Melissa Sweet's Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade as an example.

Becoming Minnesota

"Becoming Minnesota" was first mounted in the Fine Arts Building at the 2007 Minnesota State Fair, and was on display in the Elmer L. Andersen Library January 23 - March 12, 2008. The exhibit focused on six themes: exploration and discovery, peiople, recreation, business and agriculture, education, and the arts. Each of the twelve Archives and Special Collections primary collectiong areas contributed to this exhibit.

Campus Kiosk: The Voice of Student Groups at the U

Students are the core to what makes up a university. Their voices matter. Throughout history, students have always fought for what they believe is right, even when people in positions of power undermine them. Come see how student organizations used freehand drawing, screen printing, and photography to decorate, illustrate, and depict messages on posters, fliers, and signs throughout time, in order to communicate events, meetups, and calls to action. Meant to attract audiences to a particular place and time, these ephemeral visual representations of student life have survived the decades and now tell us more about who these people were, what communities they represented, and what role they had in shaping campus life.

Captain Cook's Voyages of Discovery

Captain James Cook was the most prominent explorer of the late 18th century, and one of the greatest explorers of all time. His three famous voyages of discovery to the Pacific Ocean made great contributions to Western knowledge of the region, and changed the course of history.

This exhibit looks at the cultural and scientific discoveries of Cook’s voyages as illustrated by images from the collections of the Bell Library.

Celebrating Venice: On Land and Sea

In the fall of 2012, the Bell Library mounted a gallery exhibition with the same title. This online exhibit was drawn from the exhibit guide for the physical exhibition, exploring Venice from its origins as a sanctuary for refugees fleeing waves of Germanic invasions and Huns to a thriving a city state that functions as a cultural and commercial hinge between east and west.

Children’s Book Art:  Techniques and Media

This is a digital resource examining the works of over 60 artists' materials and process for the making of illustrations using primary sources held in the Kerlan Collection of the University of Minnesota’s Archives and Special Collections.

Digital State

Former director of the Charles Babbage Institute, Thomas J. Misa, drew on a variety of rare archival sources to write his book, Digital State, which unveils the story of computer development in Minnesota after World War II. This exhibit is intended as a companion piece to the book.

Early Atlases and How They Shaped the World: Examples from the Bell Library

Tracing the myriad geographical discoveries that were made between the 15th and 17th centuries, the maps in early European atlases formed powerful perceptions of the newly mapped regions of the world by publicizing the most accurate geographical information shortly after it was known to explorers and scientists. This exhibit explores that history, and the achievements of six landmark atlases in shaping human perceptions of world geography, illustrated by images from the James Ford Bell Library.

Engraved in Copper: The Art of Mapping Minnesota

This exhibit highlights unique engraved copper plates used to print topographic maps of Minnesota in the early 1900s, surveying and mapmaking techniques, and government documents related to the process.

The plates are part of the evolution of government mapping and the history of the United States Geological Survey, from early mapping efforts to Geographic Information Systems. 

Exploring Kierkegaard in Minnesota

The exhibit features Kierkegaard scholarship, translations, library collections, and illustrations from Kierkegaard's life -- brief in time but extraordinarily rich in thought, creativity, and legacy.

Exploring the Historic Mississippi River


This exhibit examines maps and drawings of the Mississippi River and its various cultures, focusing on several of the most important explorations in the period of first contact between Europeans and Native Americans through the 19th century.

Gender Codes


This exhibit is intended as a companion to Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing, edited by Thomas J. Misa, former director of the Charles Babbage Institute.

Houlton's Legacy: The Magic of Dance

Loyce Houlton's legacy includes her stunning original repertoire of choreography, a major school of dance and professional company, and a community resource that is rich with opportunity for young dancers and artists, and a range of audiences to learn, grow, and discover their creative passions.

In The Public Interest


An Account of Community Service Rendered In a Statewide Emergency by Station KUOM - By Burton Paulu, Manager, University of Minnesota Radio Station, KUOM

Juhla! Celebrating 150 years of Finnish Immigration to Minnesota

Juhla is a Finnish word for celebration, and it is our hope that Juhla! Celebrating 150 years of Finnish Immigration to Minnesota honors Minnesotans, past and present, who consider themselves Finnish American. This online exhibit is presented in eleven topics, and the contents were selected in consideration of our collection strengths, so as to celebrate, too, the IHRCA’s holdings.

K is for Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate

From apples to zinnias, stunning images in this horticultural alphabet highlight Andersen Horticultural Library's special collections of vintage seed catalogs, treasured rare books, and 19th century garden magazines.

Keeping Fit

"Keeping Fit" was a 48-poster series produced by the U.S. Public Health Service and the YMCA in 1919. It was designed to educate teenage boys and young men about the dangers of sexual promiscuity and urged them to embrace moral and physical fitness. A parallel series, "Youth and Life" was designed for girls and young women.

Labor in the Eyes of Artists: Zines, Scenes and Inbetweens

The exhibit highlights artist zines, posters and other forms of aethetically derived text/image formats to explore issues of social justrive as a means to promote social change. The materials on exhibit are from the Francis V. Gorman Collection of Rare Art Books, and the University Libraries' Special Collections.

Little Red Riding Hood: A Comparative Folk Tale Study

This exhibit uses materials from the Kerlan Collection with a focus on the Jack Zipes Rare Book and Art Collection. This project is a comparative study of versions of Little Red Riding Hood and a digital exhibit that can be used as a template for future fairy tale studies.

Martin Waldseemüller & the Map that Named "America"

German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller made history by carving the name "America" into wood blocks for two maps he created to illustrate new discoveries in the western Atlantic. This online component of the James Ford Bell Library's exhibition lets you explore Waldseemüller's life, works, and legacy, and understand his maps in the context of the world in which he lived.

Mary Read and Anne Bonny: Two of England's Most Notorious Pirates

Two of England's most notorious pirates happened to be women. This is their astonishing, swashbuckling, adventure-filled story.

This exhibit presented by the James Ford Bell Library.

Memorial Stadium 1924-1992

With this interactive digital archive, the University of Minnesota honors the history of Memorial Stadium. In 2008 while watching enthusiasm grow as TCF Bank Stadium came to life an inspired group of University Libraries staff explored how the rich archival resources and the digital technology expertise of the Libraries could be channeled to capture and share the history of Memorial Stadium.

Nagasaki Harbor, 1741: Navigating the Many Dimensions of a Map

Within the James Ford Bell Library rests folded within a thin, square wooden box sits; though the box is small, it once held a colorful, detailed cartographic depiction of a bird's-eye view of Nagasaki Harbor in the middle of the eighteenth century.  This is the story of that map.

Olaus Magnus' 16th-Century Map of Scandinavia

The Carta Marina is a fascinating map of Scandinavia from the 16th century. It was the first large-scale map of a European region. The portrayal of what we know as Scandinavia, while still not accurate by today's standards, was more accurate than on earlier maps of the period. The illustrations remain beautiful to this day.

Open Heart: Intracardiac Surgery at the University of Minnesota

Open heart, or intracardiac, surgery became a research priority at the University of Minnesota in the late 1940s. Through the availability of state and national funding for medical research, increased awareness of heart disease, and an environment of collaboration and committed inquiry within the Department of Surgery, doctors at the University of Minnesota were able to perform the world’s first open heart surgery in a dry field under direct vision on September 2, 1952.

Portolan Charts

Maps called "portolan charts" recorded the accumulated experience and wisdom of generations of Mediterranean seafarers. Portolan charts were practical, no-nonsense tools made for the use of sailors who sailed "great waters."

Ptolemy's World

Claudius Ptolemy is one of the most famous namesin the history of geography. His maps had order, logic, a sense of control in contrast to other fifteenth-century maps. Other maps of their time paled in impact by comparison.

Reaching for Gold

This exhibit explores the story of the origins and development of the Olympic movement in China by looking at the YMCA's introduction and promotion of athleticism there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Rejoice The Legacy!

This exhibit displays original manuscript pages, artist dummies, picture book proofs, original art, and sketches selected from among Andrea Davis Pinkney’s more than 20 published children’s and young adult titles. The exhibit provides insight into one writer’s creative process as well as a peek into editorial practice.

Seed Stories: Catalogs of Life and Gardens in America

This online exhibit comprises nearly 150 catalog covers, pages and plates, culled from the Andersen Horticultural Library's extensive collection of over 57,000 historic seed and nursery catalogs.

Seeing Child Labor


Child labor evokes images of exploitation. And yet, it’s complicated. Through one photographer’s lens, we can see children working under terrible conditions, and we also can see children working along with their families, children reading while they work, children playing in workplaces, and children doing schoolwork. Through these images, we view children across the globe as more than just “objects” who are manipulated by adults. Though relatively powerless, they are also active subjects who see the world through their own perspectives and act on it as agents.

Presented by Social Welfare History Archives

Sem, GiGi, and Caricature

The exhibition Sem, GiGi, and Caricature celebrates the new thirty-foot long acquisition Sem au Bois, accompanied by other special collection materials contextualizing caricature during la Belle Epoque in France, and as expressed in the comedic novella, GiGi, written by the French author Colette Willy.

Something About Cuba

"Something about Cuba" is based on an exhibit of books and other library material at the University of Minnesota Libraries, highlighting its collections on Cuban history, literature, art and music from the conquest of Cuba by Diego Velazquez in 1512 to the present.

The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter

Although the exhibit's contents cover four centuries of literature, The ABC of It is not a strict history of children's books. Rather, it is historian Leonard S. Marcus's thesis on how "books for young people have stories to tell us about ourselves," and that "behind every children's book is a vision of childhood: a shared understanding of what growing up is all about."

The Correct Way to Sail from Lisbon to Calicut

From Lisbon to Calicut was translated by Alvin E. Prottengeier, with commentary and notes by John Parker, curator of the James Ford Bell Library from 1953 until his retirement in 1991. It was published in 1956 by the University of Minnesota Press; the copyright is held by the University of Minnesota.

The Givens Collection of African American Literature: The Arts of Social Justice

"The Arts of Social Justice: The Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature" highlights works by African American artists, activists, intellectuals, and their allies committed to the struggle for social change. Exploring major themes found within the Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature, "The Arts of Social Justice" includes representations of family, community, cultural preservation and heritage, the arts, and social justice found in book art, photography, performing arts, epistolary communications, ephemera, and other archival materials.

The Making of Picture Book Illustrations: What is Preseparated Art?

The Kerlan Collection of Children's Literature contains thousands of pieces of production materials and original artwork. Collectively these materials contain the history of modern children's book publishing. Many of the pieces of artwork in the collection, particularly those created between the mid-twentieth century and the late 1980s, bear little resemblance to the art on the page of the final printed book.

This exhibit was made possible by the generous gift from Leo and Helen Wolk. Additional support was provided by The Kerlan Friends, Ariane Dewey, Ava Weiss, and Paul Zelinsky.

The Word Made Flesh

This exhibit featured examples of biblical texts, including medieval manuscripts and facsimiles. Highlights included two leaves from the 42-line Gutenberg Bible; the original New Testament portion of the King James Bible; other early printings such as the Geneva Bible and the "Breeches" Bible; and related works stemming out of the Reformation such as publications, broadsides, and pamphlets from Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, and others.

Trade and Commerce in 17th-Century England: Proclamations

The James Ford Bell Library is home to a collection of several printed broadsides from 17th century England representing brief but critical moments that shaped many of the trade and commercial policies that influenced England’s role in the global economy and political sphere through the 17th and 18th centuries.

Upper Midwest Jewish Archives: Near North Minneapolis Map


This map, created by Clarence Miller in partnership with the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, illustrates an area of North Minneapolis, where many Jewish immigrant families lived, as it was during the 1920s. In this project we are attempting to pin information found online – from photos to oral histories – to locations illustrated on the map in order to better understand a neighborhood that has passed into memory.

Women's Athletic Association of the University of Minnesota


An exhibit - or "online Reading Room" - presenting the digitized versions of the contents of the Women's Athletic Association records (ua00816), preserved at the University of Minnesota Archives.

YMCA in America

For 150 years, the YMCA has been a pioneering force in the United States—a force so powerful that, as we begin the 21st century, it is arguably the most successful social institution this country has ever known. Above all, the YMCA movement is about people—all ages, races, religions and incomes. Forever mission-driven, Ys exist to mold the kind of people who care about each other, who are firm in their own sense of worth and that of others, who try to foster understanding and respect, who take responsibility for their own lives and help improve the lives of others.

Youth and Life

"Youth and Life" was a 48-poster series, designed to educate teenage girls and young women about the dangers of sexual promiscuity and urged them to embrace moral and physical fitness. It was adapted in 1922 by the American Social Hygiene Association from "Keeping Fit", a similar series for boys and young men.

This exhibit presented by the Social Welfare History Archives.

유대감 (Fellowship): Images of American Efforts to Modernize Korea

This exhibit features lantern slides from the early 20th century, which documented interactions between the Korean people and the American missionaries who made it their life’s work to develop communities.

The exhibit is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Korea Foundation in collaboration with Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Central Library. The exhibit was open July 1 - August 15, 2016. An opening reception was held July 7, 2016.