Category Archives: Exhibits

On Display – Depicting the Tōkaidō Road: Woodblock Prints from the Charles Nelson Spinks Collection

AU Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce its newest exhibit featuring woodblock prints of the Tōkaidō Road from the Charles Nelson Spinks Collection. It will be on display through the end of the summer at AU Archives on the second floor of the Spring Valley building. The images on display will rotate so feel free to drop by more than once.

 

One of the many images of the Tokaido Road from the Spinks Collection.

 

On Display – World War I Remembered: Camp American University

In 1917, American University (AU) offered the government use of its unfinished campus for army training. At the time, AU only had two buildings Hurst Hall and McKinley. The Army used both buildings during the war years. The government established two separate camps, Camp American University and Camp Leach. The largest operation was the Engineer Officers’ Reserve Corps training camp. Camp Leach also offered training for camouflagers and foresters. Camp American University was the birthplace of American chemical warfare. Scientists working with the army’s Gas and Flame Battalion (the 30th Engineers) developed gases and apparatuses for use at the front.

 

Troop Inspection at Camp American University

Camp Leach from the Rooftop of Hurst Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new exhibit on the first floor of Bender Library featuring photographs and postcards of Camp American University and Camp Leach will be on display through the end of 2018.

Welcome to the New AU Archives and Special Collections

This is a first in a series of posts introducing our new space.

Upon entering American University Archives and Special Collections, visitors encounter colorful displays of treasures from Special Collections. Our new entrance features motion activated lighting and temperature and humidity control. This will allow us to display a broader range of materials from our collections. We plan to change our exhibits more frequently to encourage repeat visits.

 

Archives and Special Collections Entrance November 2017

 

Our first two displays in this space feature items from the rare book collection. 19th century illustrators and American authors take center stage. The varied styles of the illustrators and the colorful book jackets vie for your attention. These items will remain on display up until winter break.

 

20th American Authors Display

 

Visitors are welcome to stop by between 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.

On Display – From Farm to Urban Campus: Campus Design through the Years

Campus planning is both an art and a science. Campus leaders and planners work together to create a vision and plan. They study factors such as enrollment, traffic patterns, open space, and sustainability goals. A new exhibit on the first floor of Bender Library uses maps and photographs to illustrate the development of American University’s campus from its purchase to the present day. The exhibit will be on display through the end of the fall semester.

 

Aerial view of American University’s Campus, Circa 1930

Aerial View of American University’s Campus, June 1969

Spring Exhibit – Stability and Growth: The Hallmarks of the Kerwin Years

A university president serves many roles such as champion, fundraiser, leader, strategist, and visionary. AU’s 14th President Neil Kerwin brought a forthright manner, honesty and passion to his work. Please join AU Library in celebrating the many accomplishments of his presidency through an exhibit of photographs that will be on display on the first floor of the Library through the end of the semester.

 

President Kerwin with Clawed and the Nationals Mascot, Screech, at AU Night at the Nationals on August 31, 2012

Currently on Display: The Peace Corps through the Lens of its Volunteers

In conjunction with the annual conference of the National Peace Corps Association that will be held in September 2016 in Washington, DC, AU Archives and Special Collections is highlighting its Peace Corps Community Archive with the launch of two new exhibits one in Bender Library and the other online. The Peace Corps through the Lens of its Volunteers will be on display through the end of the semester on the third floor of the Library. The Peace Corps and Its Volunteers, the online companion exhibit, will go live this Friday August 26.  Both exhibits are drawn from the collections of the Peace Corps Community Archive.  They feature journals, letters and photographs that showcase the experiences of Peace Corps volunteers from the 1960s to the present.

 

PCCA_Randall_0006

Currently on Display: Eyewitness to History: Presidential Visits to AU

Although there has never been any formal connection between American University and the White House, eight presidents, one vice president who became president, and two former presidents have all visited campus. AU’s Board of Trustees included a sitting U.S. president for its first thirty years. The longest serving trustees were Herbert Hoover (1945-1950) and Theodore Roosevelt (1900-1919). AU awarded honorary degrees to four sitting presidents.

A new exhibit on the first floor of Bender Library features photographs from these significant moments in AU’s history. Visitors can also hear excerpts from speeches made by John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. The exhibit will be on display through Inauguration Day 2017.

 

President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the cornerstone laying for the McKinley building on May 14, 1902

Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the cornerstone laying for the McKinley building on May 14, 1902

 

Former President Gerald R. Ford gave two separate speeches at AU on December 13, 1978.

Former President Gerald R. Ford gave two separate speeches at AU on December 13, 1978.

 

President Barack Obama spoke about immigration reform at AU on July 1, 2010.

President Barack Obama spoke about immigration reform at AU on July 1, 2010.

Currently on Display: 19th Century Travel Writing from the Artemas Martin Collection

Do you love to travel? Are you an armchair traveler? Travel writing has been around for centuries. Featured in the current display on the third floor of Bender Library are a selection of works of travel writing from the Victorian era. The works on display include narratives on Alaska, Cuba, Egypt, Hawaii, Panama, the Philippines and Central and South America as well as records from scientific expeditions. The exhibit will be on display through the middle of August.

Currently on Display: “All of AU is a Stage: Performing Arts at American University”

Stop by the first floor of Bender Library to see our new exhibit which features photographs and programs that showcase the longevity and diversity of the performing arts at American University. AU has offered instruction in dance, music, and dramatic arts since the undergraduate college’s inception. 1926 and 1927 were banner years with the launch of the College Orchestra and Glee Club and the first spring play. The performing arts remain vibrant at AU with numerous acapella, dance and theatre ensembles. The exhibit will be on display through the end of the spring semester.

Cabaret 1987

Cabaret 1987

Storytelling through Japanese art

In addition to being beautiful, Japanese wood block prints present a wealth of information about Japanese history and culture. The newest exhibit on the third floor of Bender Library features works from the Charles Nelson Spinks and Dorothy A. and Charles A. Moore Jr. collections. The prints on display show details of Ainu daily life and seasonal ceremonies, provide guidance on visiting pilgrimage sites, and illustrate the traditional process of making Mochi.

The triptychs from the Moore Collection are composed of three individual prints that were joined together. They had been stored rolled for many years and could no longer be displayed flat. This fall we sent the two rolled prints from the Moore Collection to a conservation lab for humidification and flattening. Now visitors can now enjoy the prints in their entirety.

 

Mochi Making

Mochi Making

 

Kabuki Actor Prints

Kabuki Actor Prints

 

The exhibit will be up through the end of the semester. The images will rotate so be sure to visit several times.