Special Exhibitions

Note: The Beinecke Library reading room and exhibition hall are open at present only to Yale University students, staff, and faculty authorized to be on campus. A valid Yale I.D. is required for entrance to the building at all times.

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.

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...