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.

  • Don Quixote in Beinecke Library

    This exhibition showed the profound impact that this truly novel novel had on world literature, drama, and the public imagination. On display were first...
  • John Locke

    This exhibition addresses the history and the posthumous legacy of each of Locke’s major works, in Europe, the Americas, and around the world over the...
  • To these Shores

    A survey of the Yale Collection of German Literature, focusing on how it was formed and grew over the last century. Collectors, booksellers, scholars, and...
  • The Art of Medicine

    Medieval manuscripts from the collections at Beinecke and treasures from the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library show the importance of the visual in early...
  • Western Photographs: Selected Acquisitions, 2003

    A selection of contemporary and 19th-century photographs of people and places from the American West, all acquired since January 1, 2003. Contemporary works by...
  • From Bojangles to Broadway

    Over 20 vintage photographs and related ephemera, now on display at the Beinecke Library, document the rise of African American entertainers on the American...