Digital Exhibitions

Links below to online exhibitions that draw from Beinecke Library collections. Also make sure to explore the more than one million images in the digital collections and visit more Yale Library online exhibits here.

  • "FREE THE NEW HAVEN PANTHERS": The New Haven Nine, Yale, and the May Day 1970 Protests That Brought Them Together

    “FREE THE NEW HAVEN PANTHERS”: The New Haven Nine, Yale, and the May Day 1970 Protests That Brought Them Together was curated by Kathryn Schmechel ‘21 for the Senior Exhibit Project at Yale University Library, 2021.

    “This exhibit builds on a Department of History senior essay and highlights materials from the Manuscripts & Archives May Day Rally and Yale Collection, among other Yale archives. The exhibit serves as an attempt to grapple with just a small selection of critical archival holdings at Yale, in order to give some sense of what the Black Power movement involved, what May Day constituted, and what happened after the arrest of those known as the “New Haven Nine.” Fifty-one years later, the events surrounding May Day 1970 still feel relevant, especially in the aftermath of last summer’s global protests for racial justice after the horrific murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other Black Americans. Much work remains to be done, but I hope that looking at the May Day Rally in a new light can be a part of this critical work.”

  • Publication & Prejudice

    Publication & Prejudice brings together more than twenty versions of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice based in the Yale collections. Every one of these books tells more or less the same story. The volumes, however, encompass a plethora of formats, editions, and re-imaginings. Some reinvent Austen’s text in bold and modern ways. Others use the tools of printing and publication to make claims about the original text itself. Even when they contain exactly the same words, many small choices by publishers combine to create a completely different reading experience. This exhibition tells a visual story of how a book can be changed by its publishers, and by its readers.

  • Edith Wharton: Designing the Drawing Room

    Edith Wharton: Designing the Drawing Room brings together both aspects of Wharton’s career. It explores the rules she defined in The Decoration of Houses and their application in her own homes, alongside her attention to design details in the handwritten manuscript of The Age of Innocence. This exhibit focuses on Wharton’s treatment of the drawing room, which provides a particularly rich context for understanding Wharton’s elite New York City society at the turn of the twentieth century and the role of women within it.

  • The Bollingen Prize for American Poetry

    An exhibition devoted to the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, a prestigious literary honor bestowed on a poet in recognition of the best book of new verse within the last two years, or for lifetime achievement.

    Updated biennially with each award recipient

  • 12 Portraits: Studies of Women at Yale

    The portraits featured in this exhibit are drawn from a larger series of photographs by Tanya Marcuse (MFA ‘90). The project was commissioned by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in honor of the university-wide 50 Women at Yale 150 celebration, which aims “to showcase the depth of women’s contributions to Yale and to the world, to celebrate women at the university, and to inspire thoughtful conversation about the future of women at Yale and in the larger society.”

  • Subscribed: The Manuscript in Britain, 1500-1800

    Was the pen ever mightier than the sword?  This exhibition looks closely at the hand-written text in early modern Britain, and asks what it has to tell us about power, wit, and the questions we should ask of the manuscript past. Read and download the exhibition brochure PDF and see 20 videos of exhibition highlights.

  • Go, Little Book: Portable Medieval Manuscripts from the Beinecke Library

    Three portable medieval manuscripts, in celebration of the Medieval Academy of America’s meeting in New Haven, Connecticut, March 18-20, 2010

    Date created: March 2010

  • Firsts & Founders: Early Women in Drama at Yale

    A glance back into the archives shows us that women have been students, faculty, and staff in the Yale School of Drama since its beginnings as the Department of Drama in 1925. Championed by founding chair George Pierce Baker, women made up one-third of the first classes in the Department of Drama and one of the four first teaching faculty. Women have been involved in all aspects of theater production at Yale from the earliest days, and they have brought their talents to teaching, writing, and creating theater around the world. This exhibition, drawn from materials in Arts Library Special Collections, Manuscripts & Archives, and the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, highlights just a few of those first women.

  • Not Reading in Early Modern England

    Drawing on the early modern and Osborn collections at the Beinecke Library, this exhibit showcases three genres of early modern study aids: the commonplace book, the epitome, and the index. 

  • Making the Medieval English Manuscript: The Takamiya Collection at the Beinecke Library

  • “Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing”

    The song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” written by James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson at the turn of the twentieth century, is often known today as the Black National Anthem and is sung in schools, churches, and civic settings throughout the United States.

    This exhibit offers a look at the creation of the song, and at the lives and careers of the brothers who created it, through primary sources held in the Yale University Library. It is intended to provide teachers and students at the K-8 level with information about the history of the song, but also to serve as a primary-source teaching tool that can be tied into various aspects of the curriculum at the teacher’s discretion. Captions are often minimal so that the material may speak for itself.

  • Carl Van Vechten’s Harlem Renaissance Portraits at Beinecke Library

    The portraits in this online exhibition were exhibited in 2017 at Beinecke Library in Gather Out of Star-Dust: The Harlem Renaissance and The Beinecke Library and are from prints in the Carl Van Vechten Papers at the Beinecke Library.

  • Gather Out of Star-Dust: The Harlem Renaissance and The Beinecke Library

    In an era that made Bessie Smith and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson household names, taught the world to Charleston, and introduced America’s favorite poet, Langston Hughes, Black American cultural and intellectual endeavor surged into the American mainstream. Hughes himself described the period most aptly, just after it ended, as the time “when the Negro was in vogue.”  Called a “movement” or “renaissance” by many of its own participants, and now most commonly remembered as the Harlem Renaissance, the period from about 1917 to about 1939 saw unprecedented achievements in Black American publication, performance, and visual arts. In the century since, this period has captured the American popular imagination with its style, music, and dance.

  • No Place on Earth: America and the Utopian Dream

    An introduction to American utopias—from the first Puritan settlements to the communes of the 1960s—through literary works and manuscript collections in the Beinecke Library.

    Date created: 2006

  • The Illustrated Word

    An online exhibition curated by Yale University undergraduate students in the Spring 2006 course “Print Culture at the Fin de Siècle.”

    Date created: 2006

  • The Speculum Theologiae

    A collaborative project created by the undergraduate students in Brian Noell’s seminar “The Medieval World of Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose.” The Speculum Theologiae explores the Beinecke Library’s manuscript MS 416, a late thirteenth-century or early fourteenth-century collection of mnemonic devices from the Cistercian abbey of Kamp in western Germany.

    Date created: Spring 2006

  • Arthur W. Wang: Photographs

    An online exhibition celebrating the portraits taken by the distinguished book editor, Arthur W. Wang.

    Date created: July 2002

  • Imprints: David Plowden, a Retrospective

    An online exhibition of the photographer David Plowden who has documented vanishing landscapes and artifacts, forming an image of life in 20th century urban and rural America.

    Date created: September 1997

  • Petals on a Wet Black Bough: American Modernist Writers and the Orient

    An online exhibition exploring the influence of the Far East on American Modernist writers. The exhibition details the experiences of writers including Ezra Pound, H.D., Wallace Stevens, Williams Carlos Williams, Amy Lowell, E. E. Cummings, Marianne Moore, Thornton Wilder and others. 

    Date created: October 1996

  • The Illustrating Traveler

    An online exhibition displaying illustrated traveler’s narratives and original art by travelers from the later 18th to the late 19th century.

    Date created: September 1996