Special Exhibitions

Visitors are welcome throughout the year to the Beinecke Library’s ground floor and mezzanine public exhibition areas, to see the building, permanent exhibitions, and varied special exhibitions throughout the year. Admission is always free.

There are typically three sets of special exhibitions a year, on view generally from mid-January to late April, early May to mid-August, and early September to mid-December. These exhibitions showcase collections materials using the flat cases on the ground floor and the curved cases and vitrines on the mezzanine. Detailed information on each special exhibition’s topics, themes, and contents, as well as specific opening and closing dates, can be read in the individual listings below.

The special exhibitions can be enjoyed on a self-guided basis.Please check the Hours and Accessibility page on this website for detailed information on daily hours and for schedule holiday closures.

  • Road Show: Travel Papers in American Literature

    An exhibition celebrating the American love of travel and adventure in both literary works and the real-life journeys that have inspired some of our most...
  • Subscribed: The Manuscript in Britain, 1500-1800

    “I’ll call for pen and ink, and write my mind.” Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part I Was the pen ever mightier than the sword? This exhibition looks closely at the...
  • Beyond Words: Experimental Poetry & the Avant-Garde

    So I judge a poem’s importance, if it is obviously as well conceived as possible, if it is also the most perfect, but above all if it was capable of joining...
  • Drafting Monique Wittig

    Monique Wittig (1935 – 2003) was an influential feminist writer who explored the intersections of gender roles, sexuality, language and literary form. Her...
  • Eye on the West: Photography and the Contemporary West

    The North American West has been inhabited for millennia, but our vision of its history and cultures has been shaped, perhaps disproportionally, by the modern...
  • Text and Textile

    Even as the Fates spin the thread of our lives, text and textile enshroud the body in the fabric of myth, the costume of the domestic or the exotic, the...
  • + The Art of Collaboration

    + The Art of Collaboration + The Art of Collaboration explores the excitement and power of separate elements combining to make things that are new, beautiful,...