Revisiting the Past—Imagining the Future

Friday, January 27, 2023 to Sunday, July 9, 2023
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library hopes to inspire an engagement with the past to transform the future. Our mission, as part of Yale Library, is to connect the public with collections, to foster inquiry and creativity, and to preserve a record of the past for study and inspiration.
This exhibition features books, manuscripts, and visual materials from many different time periods and locations. Some of the materials have been at Yale for decades, others have only recently been added to the collections.
What brings these items together? The groupings of materials on view in this exhibition—selected by curators from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, subject specialists in the Area Studies department of Sterling Memorial Library, and Yale undergraduates—act as focused lessons in pairing the old with the new. We hope they kindle your imagination.
Creators represented in the exhibition include a broad array of artists and writers, including, to name a few, José María Alvarez, Simone de Beauvoir, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Elizabeth Catlett, Geoffrey Chaucer, Alexandre Dumas, Desiderius Erasmus, Barbara Hammer, Mustapha Khayati, Stephen Mopope, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gordon Parks, Mary E. Jones Parrish, Arthur Sze, Dora Teitelboim, Jacqueline Woodson, and Ren Xiong.
To read about all the selections in the exhibition, you can see and download all exhibition labels here:

This exhibition has been coordinated by Timothy Young, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, and Lucy Mulroney, Director of Collections, Research, and Education, with selections made by: Melissa Barton, Curator of American Literature; Ray Clemens, Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts; Roberta L. Dougherty, Librarian for Middle East Studies; Nancy Kuhl, Curator of American Literature; Konstanze H. Kunst, Librarian for Judaic Studies; Michael Meng, Librarian for Chinese Studies; George Miles, Curator of Western Americana, retired; Haruko Nakamura, Librarian for Japanese Studies; Kevin Repp, Curator of Modern European Books and Manuscripts; Jude Yang, Librarian for Korean Studies; and, Timothy Young, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts; as well as Yale students Gabby Colangelo ‘22 and Zia Tollette ’23, who worked with Nancy Kuhl and Melissa Barton, respectively, on selection of materials.