Guidelines for Course Exhibitions & Temporary Teaching Exhibitions

On this page, faculty and students will find links to guidelines for working with library staff to design course exhibitions (two-semester model) and temporary teaching exhibitions (one- or two-day).

Faculty and students may occasionally organize exhibitions in Harvard libraries as part of an applied curriculum. These types of exhibitions are generally completed on either a two-semester or one-semester model, as detailed in the Course Exhibition Timeline. They require consistent communication and decision-making. The two-semester model is generally preferred by most libraries to prevent over-scheduling and to address concurrent Harvard priorities. To facilitate communication, an exhibition organizer from the academic team should act as point person and work closely with a designated library contact. Selecting materials in good condition limits the time needed for repair and stabilization treatment, and is strongly recommended. Borrowing works from other libraries requires additional time and early communication with the library contact.

Temporary teaching exhibitions directly support faculty and students by providing group access to rare and special collections for curricular assignments, but are significantly shorter in duration (one day to one month), as detailed in the Temporary Teaching Exhibition Timeline. These exhibitions are limited to one case installation, and use primarily collections from a single library. Generally, no conservation treatment or imaging is conducted prior to the exhibition installation, and the exhibit preparation is completed using pre-made modular cradles and supports. The criteria for selecting materials in good condition should also be used for Temporary Teaching Exhibitions.

The library contact may also wish to consult the factors that may require more time to adjust the overall timeline for a course exhibition or temporary teaching exhibition in accordance with the specific needs of faculty and students.

Questions? Check out our FAQ or email preserve_wpc@harvard.edu.