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Special Collections and Archives

Past Events and Exhibitions

This page includes information and links related to past events and exhibitions in Special Collections and Archives. Please see our Events and Exhibitions page for information on current programs.

We have also compiled a comprehensive list of past exhibitions This is a link to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file, dating from 1970 to the present.


Event: Library Live: Special Collections Spotlight: The Borowitz Crime Collection
Presented by Cara Gilgenbach and Kathleen Siebert Medicus at University Libraries' Library Live annual conference. Discussed the history and selected highlights of the Borowitz Crime Collection. A Borowitz 25th Anniversary Event

Event: Kent Reads! Crime in Verse: Selections of crime-related poetry from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries
Kyle Snyder, Katelynd Jarvis, and Robin Scheuerman read crime-related ballads and poems, selected from the Borowitz Collection in Special Collections and Archives. A Borowitz 25th Anniversary Event

Event: Kent Reads! Featuring James Jessen Badal
James Jessen Badal discussed his book, Twilight of Innocence, and the disappearance of Beverly Potts from Halloran Park on Cleveland's West Side. A Borowitz 25th Anniversary Event

Event: Collections Spotlight: The Borowitz Crime Collection
Presented by Cara Gilgenbach at the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute, Heidelberg College, Tiffin, OH, July 29, 2013. Discussed the history and selected highlights of the Borowitz Crime Collection. A Borowitz 25th Anniversary Event

Exhibit: US Poets Laureate
Works by past poets laureate of the United States were on display, selected from the strong collection of 20th century American poetry in the University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives.

Exhibit: Meet Me at the Library: 100 Years of Libraries at Kent State University 
The Library has for 100 years comprised the University's center for knowledge and learning, scholarship, exhibitions, lectures and programs, meetings and many other activities. Generations of students, faculty, administrators, and visitors have passed through our doors. "Meet Me at the Library: 100 Years of Libraries at Kent State University"  featured photographs, maps, artifacts, and a timeline commemorate the centennial of Kent State University Libraries.

Exhibit: Bibliomysteries: Bound by Crime
"Bibliomysteries: Bound by Crime" featured a little-known mystery sub-genre, the bibliomystery--mystery stories about books and bibliophiles. This exhibit highlighted the themes commonly found in this mystery sub-genre.

Lecture:  Bibliomysteries by Dr. Joanne Dobson
The 2013 Borowitz Lecture, held April 9, 2013, featured mystery author Joanne Dobson who spoke about bibliomysteries--mystery novels in which a book or manuscript is an essential feature of the plot. Dobson is the author of the popular Professor Karen Pelletier Mysteries, set at a fictional small New England college, including titles such as The Northbury Papers, The Maltese Manuscript, and Death Without Tenure. Her recent book, Face of the Enemy, is part of her New York in Wartime Mystery series.


Exhibition: Publishers' Canvassing Books, November 2012-January 2013
"Canvassing books," "sample books," "salesman's dummies," "prospectuses," and "order books" all are terms related to the phenomenon of subscription publishing. These terms apply to any book volume produced as a partial representation of the full work, used by publishers and their book sales agents to secure buyers of the complete work. This exhibit featured several examples from Special Collections and Archives' collection of over 90 publishers' canvassing books specimens.

Exhibition: Edith Wharton: 150th Birthday of a Great American Novelist, June-August, 2012
Special Collections and Archives celebrated the 150th birthday of Edith Wharton, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature. The display featured first edition copies of six of Wharton's novels, including her Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Age of Innocence with its original dust jacket still intact.

Exhibition: Detective and True Crime Pulps, April-August, 2012
This display highlighted the celebrated pulpwood paper magazines from the early 1920s to the 1950s including some of its most enduring characters and notorious cases. From Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled detective to some of the early 20th century's captivating true crime who-done-its, the pulp magazine enjoyed all the popularity that satellite T.V. does today.

Exhibition: Babar the Elephant's 80th Birthday, September 2011-June 2012
Happy 80th Birthday to Babar, our favorite elephant! Kent State University's Special Collections and Archives is home to over 3,600 Barbar-related items including books, posters and toys. Our birthday exhibition celebrated this famous elephant with a sampling of original Laurent de Brunhoff illustrations, Babar art posters and more.

Exhibition: Civil War Exhibits, September 2011-June 2012
In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, Special Collections and Archives held two exhibitions highlighting our Civil War collections. The first exhibition featured selected materials from the department's Civil War holdings including personal papers of Ohio soldiers and Union Army officers, memoirs, biographies, poetry and literature related to the war, and materials related to Civil War crime and prisoner of war camps. Also featured are original issues of the popular illustrated magazine, Harper's Weekly, including dramatic illustrations of battle scenes and other war-time events. 

The second exhibition, "A Nation in Mourning: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln" included archival sources dating from the time of Lincoln's assassination in 1865. A highlight of this exhibition was a very large photograph of The Old Nashville, an engine that drew Lincoln's funeral train through Ohio as part of the burial processional from Washington DC to Illinois.

Exhibition: Black United Students at Kent State, 1968, February 2012
A sampling of photographs and archival materials from Special Collections and Archives that documents the activities of the Black United Students (BUS) at Kent State. Photographs of the march across campus in memory of Martin Luther King, held on the Monday following King's assassination, supplemented by a sampling of books published during the immediate aftermath of the assassination. Also on view was a striking photograph of the Nov. 18, 1968, BUS walkout in protest of the Oakland City Police's recruiting visit to campus.


Exhibition: A Doorway to the Work of W. S. Merwin, October-December, 2011
This exhibition featured selected works of the 2010-11 US Poet Laureate, W. S. Merwin, acclaimed poet, translator, and prose writer. This exhibition was held in honor of Merwin's visit to Kent State University, October 10, 2011. The items featured are held as a part of the department's literature collection. A printed hand-list of exhibited items accompanied the exhibition.

Exhibition: The Nature of Natural Science, January - August, 2011
The Nature of Natural Science exhibit featured some of the most significant holdings in the history of science held by the Kent State University Libraries' Department of Special Collections and Archives. The exhibition also featured archival materials from two Ohio naturalists and the works of natural science artists.

Lecture: Science as a Bookish Enterprise? April 4, 2011
In tandem with this exhibition, Dr. Matthew Crawford, Kent State University Assistant Professor of History, presented a lecture entitled Science as a Bookish Enterprise? Text and Image in the History of Science (1500-1900).