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Exhibitions & Events

Highlights of ongoing and upcoming events from across Harvard's libraries. Find more events by visiting the Harvard Library calendar, or submit a library event.

 
 

Picturing Harvard's Past

An exhibit shows how class albums evolved, and photography along with them.

Picturing Harvard's Past
 
 

Exhibitions

 

Unmasking Jim Crow: Blackface Minstrelsy in Popular Culture

Through May
8

The Harvard Music Department's student-curated library exhibit, which came out of Professor Carol J. Oja's fall-term course on blackface minstrelsy, includes images, sheet music, songsters and other minstrel-show artifacts from the Harvard Theatre Collection, which houses one of the most important collections of 19th-century minstrelsy materials in the world. The exhibition is supported by grants from the Elson Family Arts Initiative Fund and the Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities. It runs through May 8.

 

"We Carry With Us Precious Memorials": Harvard Class Photograph Albums 1852-1865

Through May
29

“No friendships of after-life begin to equal in ardor and intensity those of college days,” Charles Carroll Tower, Harvard Class of 1855, mused. “[T]hanks to the aid of photography we are enabled, as we take leave of each other today, to carry with us precious memorials of college associations.” With the introduction of photography in the mid-19th century, Harvard graduates could remember their college years with a new fidelity. The earliest class pictures were daguerreotypes, unique images on a silver plate. From 1853 to 1864, class photographs took the form of salted paper prints, the first negative-to-positive technique. Year by year, photographers perfected the science and artistry of this pioneering process. Seniors assembled the collection of images into custom-made albums, which began as simple notebooks and by the 1860s had transformed into handsome, gilt-edged tomes. The poignant reminiscences and elaborate embellishments through the years reflect the evocative ways in which graduates commemorated this formative period of their lives for themselves and for posterity—at the moment when Harvard itself was transitioning from a provincial college into a major university. The exhibition runs through May 29.

 

Beacons of the Water World: The Evolution of the Sea Chart

Through Jun
10

For much of human history, the most efficient and least cumbersome way to cover long distances and transport goods was on water. Yet navigation—whether by canoe, galley, caravel, ketch, or schooner—was never without its hazards. Survival often depended upon detailed information gathered orally from seasoned mariners or from written instructions compiled from numerous logs of voyages into unfamiliar seas. By the late 16th century, the expansion of trade within Europe and the increasing pace of exploration abroad created an urgent need for reliable accounts and accurate surveys of new navigational routes. This exhibit investigates the evolution of sea charts—from pilot books with a focus on European waters to multi-volume atlases ranging the great seas of the world. It surveys the major chartmakers of northern Europe, with attention to the development of a common symbolic language for depicting navigational hazards and aids. The exhibition runs through June 10.

 

Ragged Claws: T.S. Eliot's Prufrock at 100

Through Jun
27

The publication in June 1915 of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was a pivotal event in modern poetry. While many critics dismissed it at the time as unskilled and obscure, Prufrock is now acknowledged as the first masterpiece of modernism in English, as well as Eliot’s first important publication. In both its themes and technique, Prufrock broke sharply with the conventions of Romantic and Georgian poetry. The exhibition explores the genesis of the poem by way of various manuscript and typescript reproductions, as well as “exploding” the poem by providing materials illustrating Eliot’s evocative imagery, such as an authentic magic lantern. It includes multiple printings of Prufrock, from its debut in 1915 in Poetry magazine to its first independent appearance in book form in 1917, along with books from Eliot’s library that provided source material. The exhibition runs through June 27.

 

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee: 75 Years of Service

Through Jul
31

Andover-Harvard Theological Library is hosting an exhibit of historic documents and images chronicling 75 years of global human rights advocacy and humanitarian work by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. The display is drawn from the library's official archives of some 260 boxes of documents and images, starting with UUSC's heralded work rescuing European refugees during World War II. The exhibit, which spans three floors of the library, will be on display through July 31. 

 

Georges F. Doriot: Educating Leaders, Building Companies

Through Aug
3
Georges F. Doriot

This Baker Library Historical Collections exhibit examines the career of Harvard Business School professor Georges F. Doriot (1899–1987), a legendary educator, a founder of the modern venture capital industry and a US Army general during World War II. It features selections from the Georges F. Doriot Collection—on permanent loan to Baker Library from the French Library and Cultural Center in Boston—that reveal the ideas and ideals of a man who played an important role in the emergence of the postwar entrepreneurial economy. The exhibit runs through August 3.

 

Occupied Cuba, 1898-1902: Photographs from the Theodore Roosevelt Collection

Through Dec
31

The years between the end of the Cuban War of Independence in 1898, facilitated by United States involvement as part of the Spanish-American War, and the proclamation of the Cuban Republic in 1902 were a time of much change and transition in Cuba. After the last of the Spanish troops left Cuba in 1898, the United States took over the governance of Cuba. Occupied Cuba brings together some documentary photographs of this time gathered from Harvard’s Theodore Roosevelt Collection. The exhibition runs through December 31. 

 
 

Events

 

Vital Conversations: Improving Communication Between Doctors and Patients

May
6

Dennis Rosen, MD, Associate Medical Director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, will discuss his book, Vital Conversations: Improving Communication Between Doctors and Patients. The health-care system in the United States is by far the most expensive in the world, yet its outcomes are decidedly mediocre in comparison with those of other countries. Poor communication between doctors and patients, Dr. Rosen argues, is at the heart of this disparity, a pervasive problem that damages the well-being of the patient and the integrity of the health-care system and society. 

 

Tour of Widener Library

May
7

Tours of Widener Library are offered every Thursday for all currently affiliated Harvard faculty, staff, students and visiting scholars. Conducted by research and reference librarians, the tour includes an introduction to Widener's collections, orientation to the facilities, including the reading rooms and the stacks and an explanation of services available to researchers. All tours begin just beyond the Security Desk at the main (Yard) entrance of the building.

 

Fim Screening: Cherry 2000

May
7

1987, directed by Steve De Jarnatt, starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews, featuring Laurence Fishburne. A quarter century before a man fell in love with an artificial woman in Spike Jonze’s Her, Melanie Griffith starred as a bounty hunter hired to find a replacement for a man’s beloved “Cherry 2000” model android. This campy B-movie is almost forgotten by all but the most devoted fans of cult science fiction flicks, but it raises complex questions about gender roles, sexual commodification, and emotional intimacy between men and women. Part of the Schlesinger Library Movie Night series "Women's Bodies."

 

Tour of Houghton Library

May
8

Public tours of Houghton Library are offered every Friday at 2 pm. Attendees receive a general introduction to the library, followed by a tour of the Emily Dickinson, Amy Lowell and John Keats rooms, as well as the suite devoted to the Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson. Those wishing to take the tour should meet in the Houghton Library lobby. Reservations are not required.

 

Catching Waves: A Panel Discussion on Sustainable Digital Audio Delivery

May
8

In providing digital access to audio collections, much consideration must go into the selection of delivery systems and platforms to ensure long-term usability. Due to differing institutional contexts, the divergent needs of preservationists to manage and protect their digital assets, and a user base who desires more dynamic functionality, the solution in what constitutes an ideal delivery system is not standardized. What trends are emerging in digital audio platforms that allow for both digital asset management and advancements in annotation and tagging? Are these new systems inherently archival? What challenges remain on the horizon for accessing digital audio? Join us for a discussion of these issues and more.

 

Film: Guimba the Tyrant

May
8

The Harvard Film Archive welcomes the recent recipient of the Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Fellowship, renowned Malian filmmaker Cheick Oumar Sissoko, with a screening of his acclaimed 1996 film Guimba the Tyrant, an allegorical re-telling of an important moment in recent Malian history, the 1991 overthrow of Moussa Traore. 

 

Shibboleth: A Gentle Introduction

May
11
Shibboleth: A Gentle Introduction

Shibboleth is a system for "single-sign in" to diverse resources and services across the network—a collection of technical standards and code packages that help a provider of a resource (e.g. HathiTrust) authenticate a user without giving that user yet another name and password to remember—and to forget. In this talk, we will go into details on how Shibboleth works, and will provide a way to think about Shibboleth in the context of the Harvard PIN system. 

 

 

Routine Medical Care: Perspectives from the Practice of Dr. Richard Cabot

May
12
Routine Medical Care: Perspectives from the Practice of Dr. Richard Cabot

Dr. Richard Cabot, a leader of the early 20th-century profession, was by turns both a prominent advocate for and an incisive critic of medicine at the turn of the century. His writings and letters help to document new and persisting dilemmas emerging in the daily practice of medicine. The Boston Medical Library's 11th Annual J. Worth Estes History of Medicine Lecture, with Christopher Crenner, MD, PhD, Robert Hudson and Ralph Major Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. 

 

 

FAST: Structure and Application

May
13
OCLC Research

A talk by Bruce Trumble on FAST Subject Headings. FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is a subject vocabulary developed by OCLC Research and the Library of Congress based on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LSCH) with simplified syntax rules for ease of understanding, control, application and use. In addition, FAST has been developed with an eye to linked-data applications. The talk will focus on the faceted structure of FAST and how it resembles or differs from LCSH. Included will be examples of LCSH headings that have been machine-converted to FAST in OCLC Connexion. The talk will also include a demonstration of searchFAST, a Web-based tool developed at OCLC to help simplify both selecting FAST headings and assigning them in MARC records. This talk is being sponsored by the ITS Training and Learning Initiative.

 

NDSR Boston Capstone Event

May
13
NDSR Boston

Over the past nine months, we have had the privilege to work with five residents participating in the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) Boston program. As the residency comes to an end we would like to give the residents an opportunity to showcase their work in an informal and social gathering. Please join us, meet the residents, hear about their work, and chat with colleagues. We will begin with light refreshments at 3, followed by lightning talks by each of the residents at 3:30.