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.

  • 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...
  • St. Petersburg: A Portrait of a Great City

    Books, manuscripts, prints, and photographs document the role of St. Petersburg as a cultural, artistic, and literary center from its founding through the...
  • Intimate Circles: American Women in the Arts

    This exhibition focuses on several loosely defined groups of women, including communities in the American southwest (including Georgia O’Keeffe and Mable...
  • James Lord

    An exhibition celebrating the life and writings of memoirist and Giacometti biographer James Lord, in conjunction with the publication of his latest book,...
  • Hector Berlioz (1803-69)

    This bicentenary tribute to the French composer will feature autograph scores - notably that the King Lear overture, the only major Berlioz manuscript in the...
  • Juvenile Jurisprudence: Law in Children's Literature

    The exhibition, titled “Juvenile Jurisprudence: Law in Children’s Literature,” presents four centuries of books and documents that have taught and amused...