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.

  • Blue: Color and Concept

    Libraries conventionally organize and classify collections according to author, title, and subjects as diverse as children’s literature, amateur photography,...
  • Devotion and Inspiration: Beinecke People

    Devotion and Inspiration: Beinecke People Founded in 1963, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is recognized worldwide for its exceptionally deep and...
  • The Power of Pictures

    Power of Pictures displays the depth and breadth of images in Beinecke’s collections, from woodcuts to photographs, diagrams to cartoons. It shows how pictures...
  • Permanent Markers: Aspects of the History of Printing

    How did printing help define the modern world? Techniques from eighth-century Japan to Gutenberg, lithography to xerox, printing on ceramic, silk, and metal...
  • The Stolen Texts of Molière

    This exhibition examines how seventeeth-century publishers pirated, plagiarized, and mis-appropriated Molière’s plays. Drawing on the Walter L...
  • Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass at 150

    Celebrating the first publication of Leaves of Grass in 1855, the exhibition includes copies of the rare 1855 edition of this ground breaking work, as well as...
  • A Book of Her Own

    Books tell us many things beyond what their authors write in them. Single copies of books, for instance, often reveal their particular history­-who owned them...
  • Friedrich Schiller

    To mark the 200th anniversary of Schiller’s death, the library presented an exhibition that included first editions of Schiller’s works, musical...