Spring outing in a villa, ca. 1862 from The Floating World of Ukiyo-e
The richness and variety of the Library’s exhibitions reflect the universal and diverse nature of the Library’s collections. Four major themes underlie most of the exhibitions—the presentation of great libraries and written traditions; the exploration of America’s past and character; the examination of world cultures and history; and the celebration of events, individuals, and works that shaped the twentieth century and beyond.
By Title (in alpha order)
August 13, 1992–February 14, 1993
Examines the first sustained contacts between Native American peoples and European explorers, conquerors, and settlers between1492 and 1600.
February 9–August 29, 1994
Marks the publication of The African–American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. The exhibit explores four topics from the book: Colonization, Abolition, Migrations, and the Works Progress Administration.
February 5–May 5, 1998
Showcases the Library’s incomparable African American collections. The largest black history exhibit held at the Library includes books, documents, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings.
November 9, 2000–March 31, 2001
Celebrates a “Gift to the Nation” of original drawings given by the artist in honor of the Library’s Bicentennial. The exhibition features twenty–five drawings that span Hirschfeld’s remarkable career.
May 8–September 6, 2008
Draws from the Music Division’s rich collections to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this acknowledged treasure of American modern dance.
June 16–December 31, 2016
Celebrates the public’s choice of the top 40 books by American authors that had a profound effect on American life.
June 27–September 28, 2002
Features early twentieth-century drawings of women selected from outstanding graphic art in the Library's Cabinet of American Illustration and the Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon.
August 14, 2014–January 24, 2015
The exhibition highlights ABT’s seventy-five year history with objects drawn from the Library’s American Ballet Theatre Collection, as well as from its extensive dance and music collections.
January 12–April 2, 2005
Offers a glimpse into the remarkable history and work of the American Colony, a Christian utopian society that formed in Jerusalem in 1881.
May 5, 1997–August 18, 2007
Provides unique insight into various aspects of American history and culture. Objects displayed are organized according to the three categories that Thomas Jefferson used for his library: memory, reason, and imagination.
June 24–September 3, 2003
Presents ancient manuscripts, dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, which cover every aspect of human endeavor and are indicative of the high level of civilization attained by West Africans during the Middle Ages.
December 9, 1999–May 6, 2000
Presents the work of one America’s leading political artists, in particular his work during World War II, when he produced hundreds of anti–Axis illustrations and cartoons in aid of the Allied war effort.
February 13–July 26, 2014
Celebrates the 100th anniversary of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). It explores the society’s current work and challenges and looks to ASCAP’s future as a vital force in fostering and protecting the creativity of new generations. The Library of Congress celebrates the people who are ASCAP.
May 6–October 30, 2010
Explores the different realms of flute-playing, from the lively to the serene, and takes an etymological and iconographic journey through the depth and breadth of the Library of Congress collections relating to the flute.
Dec. 12, 2005–June 17, 2006
Indicates the depth and breadth of Benjamin Franklin’s public, professional, and scientific accomplishments through important documents, letters, books, broadsides, and cartoons.
June 22–September 16, 2000
Presents twenty–seven drawings, classic examples of Chic Young’s much–loved creative wit, selected from the gift of 150 works donated by Jeanne Young O’Neil, the artist’s daughter.
May 10, 2000–January 9, 2010
Explores variety entertainment through the lens of Bob Hope’s long and rich career, in which he continued to practice the variety traditions he learned on the vaudeville stage.
June 25–September 29, 2012
Marks a starting point—a way to spark a national conversation on books and their importance in Americans' lives, and, indeed, in shaping our nation. This exhibition will preface the National Book Festival scheduled in September 2012.
September 8–January 21, 2006
Presents color images taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. The photographs document not only the subjects in the pictures but also the dawn of the era of color photography.
September 4, 2003–January 3, 2004
Features sixteen paintings selected from a gift by the artist. The paintings reflect the rich variety to be found in the hundreds of paintings that Kunz has created during her twenty–two–year career.
November 2, 2006–January 27, 2007
Presents selections from the Art Wood Collection of Cartoon and Caricature, which contains more than 36,000 original cartoon drawings.
February 22–August 18, 2007
Provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the MacDowell Colony experience and success, from its earliest fellows to the most recent.
Performing Arts Reading Room Gallery, First Floor, James Madison Building
August 13, 2015–January 23, 2016
Featuring selections from her personal papers and original music manuscripts commissioned by the Coolidge Foundation, this exhibit pays tribute to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge’s remarkable life and legacy.
February 5–July 10, 2004
Presents the life of Winston Churchill, his career, and his connection with the United States, a country he called “The Great Republic.” A unique interactive presentation is a featured part of the exhibit.
September 10, 2014–January 2, 2016
Commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, looks at events that shaped the civil rights movement, and explores the far-reaching impact of the act on a changing society.
November 12, 2012–January 11, 2014
The Library's unmatched Civil War collections featured in this exhibition chronicle the sacrifices and accomplishments of those in both the North and South whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865.
February 17–July 16, 2011
Explores a unique time in American history when the federal government organized and produced theater events in an effort to provide work for theater professionals during the Great Depression.
September 8–December 31, 1995
Explores how the relationship between culture and power in France shaped the growth of the the country’s national library.
April 12, 2008–May 5, 2012
Offers insights into how the nation’s founding documents were forged and the role that imagination and vision played in the unprecedented creative act of forming a self–governing country.
February 20–July 26, 2003
Features artwork from the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Archives and Collection, including a selection of Blackburn’s work and prints by collaborators, students, personal friends, and colleagues.
April 20–October 1, 2005
Celebrates the donation of the Jay I. Kislak Collection by featuring fifty highlights from the more than 3,000 rare books, maps, documents, paintings, prints, and artifacts.
February 14–July 27, 2013
Explores the many talents of the powerful entertainment duo Danny Kaye (1911–1987) and Sylvia Fine (1913–1991), both raised in Brooklyn, New York.
August 28, 2013–August 30, 2014
Transports visitors to the momentous day of the March on Washington—a day that transformed our nation—when 250,000 people participated in the largest nonviolent demonstration for civil rights that Americans had ever witnessed.
June 29–July 4, 1995
Presents previews of unique documents from the collections of the Library of Congress.
September 22, 2012–March 23, 2013
Offers new perspectives with which to view our planet through Herblock's editorial cartoons paired with the work of photographers recording the environment.
April 11–July 13, 1996
Displays treasures from Dresden in order to provide an insight into the cultural riches of Central Europe—from the Middle Ages through the nineteenth century.
October 4, 2003–April 24, 2004
Honors the Wright Brothers’ achievement, using the Library’s rare and significant materials to explore the notion that flight, whether fanciful or actual, has inspired and occupied a central place in most cultures.
July 23, 2002–July 3, 2005
Showcases images from the collection of Landsat photographs held in the Geography and Map Division that have been selected for aesthetic rather than scientific value.
May 31, 2011–May 31, 2012
Showcases Landsat 7 images created by the United States Geological Survey. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected from space information about Earth’s continents and coastal areas.
April 17–August 31, 2001
Features the work of a pioneering Russian photographer who photographically surveyed the Russian Empire. The exhibit uses digital technology to reproduce Prokudin–Gorskii’s images, which were originally created in color on glass plates.
July 17, 2006–January 20, 2007
Features original work by the Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist to explore themes important to Herblock that continue to resonate in American society.
December 13, 2007–Present
Features selections from the Jay I. Kislak Collection to examine indigenous cultures, the drama of the encounters between Native Americans and Europeans, and the changes caused by the meeting of the two worlds.
June 4, 2015–January 2, 2016
Tells the story of American printing as it evolved from a colonial necessity to the clarion of freedom.
September 27, 2001–January 19, 2002
Showcases the Library’s spectacular holding of Japanese “Ukiyo–e” prints, books, and drawings dating from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
June 2–August 30, 1997
Marks the fiftieth anniversary of Secretary of State George Marshall’s speech proposing a solution to the hunger, unemployment, and housing shortages that faced Europeans in the aftermath of World War II and examines the ways his plan benefited Europe and the U.S.
November 14, 1996–February 16, 1997
Presents five remarkable projects that Frank Lloyd Wright worked on during the 1920s, in which he developed architectural prototypes of far–reaching consequence.
September 9–December 30, 2004
Features more than two hundred treasures of American Judaica from the collections of the Library of Congress, augmented by a selection of important loans from other cooperating cultural institutions.
May 24, 2004–November 13, 2004
Consists of original materials and oral histories drawn from the Veterans History Project collections at the Library of Congress.
January 12–19, 1995
Shows the Library’s two copies of the famous address. President Lincoln gave a copy to each of his two private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. The Nicolay copy is believed to be the earliest copy that exists.
March 30, 2013–August 17, 2013
Celebrates the work of Charles Dana Gibson and traces the art of the artist's career, highlighting the rise of the Gibson Girl from the 1890s through the first two decades of the twentieth century.
February 12–July 25, 2015
Journeys from the Baroque courts of Europe to the Broadway stages of the U.S. and offers a glimpse at the theatrical design collections at the Library of Congress.
February 4–July 9, 2005
Presents woodcut–illustrated books from the Library’s Rosenwald Collection. These books were printed within the first century after Gutenberg mastered printing with moveable type in Europe.
October 13, 2009–May 1, 2010
Celebrates the gift of the Herb Block Foundation and features a selection of original cartoons spanning the artist’s remarkable career.
March 18, 2011–Present
Celebrates the work of editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block—better known as "Herblock"—with an ongoing display of ten original drawings, to change every six months, drawn from the Library's extensive Herbert L. Block Collection.
March 12–June 28, 2003
Celebrates the gift of the Herb Block Foundation and features a selection of original cartoons spanning the artist’s remarkable career.
October 17, 2000–February 17, 2001
Presents works by cartoonist Herb Block, who chronicled the nation’s political history and caricatured twelve American presidents from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton.
June 11, 2010–Ongoing
Explore the interplay of politics and entertainment, focusing on the careers of Bob Hope and other entertainers who were involved in the political climate of their times.
June 3–September 11, 2004
Celebrates Ann Telnaes’s generous gift of eighty–one original drawings that represent the range of themes that engage this gifted artist who has recently emerged as a leader in American editorial cartooning.
January 8, 2005-April 8, 2005
Offers a glimpse into the history of American presidential inaugurations. Eighteen presidents are featured in the display, from George Washington to John F. Kennedy.
October 6–December 30, 2006
Presents a single work of art, an illuminated, handwritten Bible commissioned by Saint John’s University and Abbey in Minnesota. The exhibit also includes several priceless volumes from the Library’s Bible collection.
August 4, 2011–January 28, 2012
In celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the show's debut, the Library of Congress presents I Love Lucy: An American Legend. This exhibition explores the show's history through the Ball and Arnaz family scrapbooks as well as photographs, scripts, printed and manuscript music, and other documents from the Library of Congress.
October 7, 1994–March 4, 1995
Presents objects from a relatively unknown archive of significant documents. The exhibit explores the moving human exchanges that took place between the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska and Native Alaskans between 1794 and about 1915.
Repositions Jacob Riisas a multi-skilled communicator who devoted his life to writing articles and books and delivering lectures nationwide to spur social reform.
February 11–July 23, 2016
Offers perspectives on the art of vocal jazz from the 1920s to the present. Rare video clips, photographic portraits, musical scores, correspondence, drawings, and watercolors reveal the sometimes exuberant, sometimes painful, but always vibrant art and life of jazz singers.
November 18, 1999–March 4, 2000
Brings together for the first time treasures from the two greatest libraries in the English-speaking world—The British Library and the Library of Congress—in order to illuminate the relationship between the two countries.
August 5, 1993–January 18, 1994
Offers a tour of four sections of the United States through literary maps that focus on geographical areas, individual authors, and particular works. Features passages from authors whose works are rooted in a particular place as well as images of the places.
April 12, 2011–August 13, 2011
Features 379 Civil War-era ambrotypes and tintypes of enlisted Union and Confederate soldiers.
April 12, 2008–Present
Explores the significance of the Giant Bible of Mainz and the Gutenberg Bible, as well as sixteen selected Bibles from the Library’s collections.
October 20, 1999–January 29, 2000
Presents a collection of American prints and drawings informed by a sympathy for the condition of working people, as well as a concern for social and political issues.
January 28, 2006–January 2007
Shows historical maps of Los Angeles from the Library’s Geography and Map Division. These diverse works provide a guide to some remarkable stories of the city’s history.
November 5, 2009–January 30, 2010
Gives insight into the legacy of Louis Braille and his version of a tactile system of reading and writing—later refined to enable blind and visually handicapped people throughout the world to read and write.
One day only, March 16, 2001
Examines documents related to two seminal events in which Madison played a major role: the drafting and ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the introduction of the amendments that became the Bill of Rights.
November 6, 2014–January 19, 2015
Features the magnificent 1215 Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta and explores it emergence as an enduring symbol of law.
November 11, 2013–Present
Abel Buell’s New and Correct Map of the United States of North America is the first map of the newly independent United States compiled, printed, and published in America by an American. This important early American map is known to exist in only seven copies. Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has generously placed his copy of the map at the Library.
September 14, 2005–August 19, 2009
Explores surveying, cartography, geodesy, and geographic information systems. It draws on the Library’s American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Collection as well as on historic maps.
November 30, 2001–May 31, 2002
Documents Mead’s life, her career as an anthropologist, and the critical reception of her work by drawing upon the 500,000–item Mead Collection, one of the Library’s largest collections for a single individual.
Tells the dynamic story of the complex relationship between Mexico and the United States during the Mexican Revolution. Drawn from the vast and unique collections of the Library, the online exhibition features extraordinary items from many parts of the Library including letters, photographs, books, manuscripts, maps, and songs and videos.
November 12, 2009–March 27, 2010
Explores the unparalleled collections in the Music; Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound; and Prints and Photographs divisions of the Library of Congress. Molto Animato (“very animated”), juxtaposes music scores, lyrics, and drawings with film clips and sound recordings to provide a glimpse into the intricate wedding of art forms that bring drawings to life. This exhibition provides a small sample of the Library’s treasures that demonstrate the magic of animation and the music that makes it come alive.
Monstrous Craws & Character Flaws: Masterpieces of Cartoon and Caricature at the Library of Congress
February 25–July 6, 1998
Reveals how for centuries great graphic artists have created enduring images that demonstrate the power of art as a vehicle for social and political commentary.
August 16, 2012 – January 26, 2013
Explores the work of Victor Herbert (1859–1924), Irish-American composer, conductor, and activist, whose best-known work is Babes in Toyland (1903).
August 15, 2013–January 25, 2014
Presents opera-related items from the Library of Congress Music Division, including manuscript and printed scores, librettos, photographs, and set designs dating from the late-eighteenth century through the beginning of the twentieth century. The exhibit also commemorates the bicentennials of opera composers Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, both born in 1813.
April 29–August 15, 1998
Commemorates the Library’s acquisition of sixty cartoon drawings, sketchbooks, and illustrations by one of America’s foremost editorial cartoonists.
March 29–June 30, 2007
Marks an exceptional cross–cultural exchange and celebrates the generous donation of prints exhibited in the show to the collections of the Library by the College Women’s Association of Japan.
May 8, 2015–November 12, 2016
Marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the acquisition of Jefferson’s 6,487-volume library. This acquisition was the foundation of the modern Library of Congress.
June 28–September 29, 2001
Focuses on Green’s art and distinctive features of her illustrations and working methods. Although her work shares similarities with that of other women in the profession, it stands apart in its scope, quality, and originality.
March 21, 2015–March 19, 2016
Features editorial cartoons by Herblock paired with the work of his contemporaries, providing visual insights into key moments that shaped the United States in the twentieth century.
February 16–July 28, 2012
Explores how American choreographers between World War I through the Cold War realized this vision, using dance to celebrate American culture, to voice social protest, and to raise social consciousness.
June 17–September 25, 2010
Features the preeminent psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung’s famous Red Book, which records the creation of the seminal theories that Jung developed after his 1913 split with Sigmund Freud, and explores its place in Jung’s work through related items from the Library’s collections.
September 14–December 27, 2003
Presents photographs from a larger group of pictures that were generously donated to the Library by the Moscow Times, the first English–language daily newspaper ever to be printed in Russia.
June 4–August 29, 1998
Documents the role religion played in the shaping of early American life and in forming the American republic.
June 15–July 16, 1992
Presented documents, photographs, and films from the highly secret internal record of Soviet Communist rule for the first time in a public venue.
May 16–December 3, 2005
Traces the different occupations and preparations that led Whitman to become the author of Leaves of Grass, as well as his subsequent evolution as a poet.
July 24, 2003–November 29, 2003
Features the Library’s rich collections of exploration material documenting the mid–eighteenth to mid–nineteenth century quest to connect the East and the West by means of a waterway passage.
May 16–September 7, 2002
Examines Stevens’s career through the great number of stage productions that he presented or fostered indirectly, his involvment with the National Endowent for the Arts, and his role as in creating the John F. Kennedy Center
January 8–April 30, 1993
Documents how the Vatican Library became a center for the revival of classical culture known as the Renaissance.
March 20–September 15, 2012
Offers an opportunity to deepen understanding of Japanese culture while celebrating the Washington cherry blossoms as symbols of the enduring friendship between the people of Japan and the United States. Coincides with the city-wide centennial celebration of the 1912 gift.
April 29–August 1, 1993
Presented twelve scrolls and archeological materials from Israel. It told the fascinating story of the scrolls’ discovery and explored their archeological and historical context.
June 4, 2009–October 10, 2009
Features material concerning Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, one of the most influential dance companies of the twentieth century, including objects from the Library's Bronislava Nijinska collection.
December 7–8, 2006
Presents a single drawing, in which Leonardo da Vinci meticulously created a refined perspective grid in order to place architectural structures, human figures, and animals in a realistically proportioned way.
October 15, 1998–January 16, 1999
Examines Freud’s life, his key ideas, and their impact on the twentieth century. The exhibit includes photographs, prints, manuscripts, first editions, home movies, and materials from newspapers, magazines and comic books.
November 5, 1998–April 3, 1999
Explores how performing arts caricature came of age as an art form in the United States as celebrities of song, stage, and screen were transformed into popular icons of American culture.
March 18, 2011–Present
Introduces visitors to the fascinating world of caricatures, political cartoons, comics, animation art, graphic novels and illustrations. A permanent memorial exhibition features fifteen facsimiles of treasured cartoons from the Swann and other cartoon collections, which represent the broad range of holdings in the Library of Congress.
February 24–July 4, 1994
Presents the story of building the nation’s Capitol and the symbolic, aesthetic, and pragmatic issues that surrounded the creation of America’s most important public building.
April 24–October 31, 2000
Draws on the Library’s Thomas Jefferson materials to examine the influence Jefferson’s thoughts and interests had on his own life, the American republic, and the world.
April 12, 2008–Present
Reveals how books were vital to Thomas Jefferson’s education and well–being and how his personal library provided Jefferson with a broad knowledge of the contemporary and ancient worlds.
March 27, 2014–September 20, 2014
Explores a millennium of Persia’s rich literary tradition with materials selected from the outstanding Persian collection in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division.
September 15, 2011–March 10, 2012
Celebrates the development and growth of the comic art collections at the Library of Congress.
April 19–September 26, 2012
Commemorates the 500th anniversary of the first Armenian printing press and book at Venice in 1512 and the designation of Yerevan, Armenia, as UNESCO's Book Capital of the World 2012.
February 24–March 26, 2005
Documents events during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States through personal stories, oral histories, and photographs collected by the “Voices of Civil Rights” project, as well as marking the arrival of these materials to the Library.
February 24–May 8, 2010
Highlights letters sent by citizens of Afghanistan to Radio Azadi, the Afghan branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. These letters capture the concerns and hopes of ordinary citizens in Afghanistan living under the extraordinarily difficult conditions of conflict and war.
October 9, 2008–March 7, 2009
Presents a sampling of the rich collection of campaign songs housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress. From pocket-sized songsters to sheet music, the wide variety of subjects reflect virtually every party platform and national issue on which presidential elections have focused.
June 10–September 18, 1999
Presents the artist’s drawings created for book The Water–Babies in 1916. She bequeathed all twelve drawings to the Cabinet of American Illustration, which is preserved within the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.
September 26, 2007–March 29, 2008
Draws on the Library’s rich music materials, especially those from the Leonard Bernstein Collection. When the show opened on Broadway in 1957, it changed the nature of the American musical and challenged the country’s view of itself.
September 26, 2002–March 22, 2003
Captures through photographs the experience of childhood as it is connected across time, different cultures, and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
May 13–November 13, 2004
Commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark judicial case, which declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” This decision was pivotal to the struggle for racial desegregation in the United States.
February 12–May 10, 2009
Commemorates the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the nation’s revered sixteenth president. The exhibition reveals Lincoln the man, whose thoughts, words, and actions were deeply affected by personal experiences and pivotal historic events.
September 7–October 26, 2002
Features the collections that the Library amassed during the year following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The exhibit is the story of how the materials arrived and how they reflect what America experienced in the aftermath of the attacks.
April 21–September 23, 2000
Looks at the creation of this timeless American classic and traced its rapid and enduring success to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the book’s publication.
September 28–November 18, 1995
Features women journalists who were chosen because of the strength and variety of their collections in the Library. Like their male counterparts, the women followed various paths to their wartime assignments.
October 25, 2012–April 13, 2013
The Library’s Hebraic Section is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. Its beginnings can be traced to Jacob H. Schiff’s gift in 1912 of 10,000 items.
May 7, 2016–May 6, 2017
Presents the work of American Artists who galvanized public interest in World War I from its onset through its aftermath (1914–1918).
May 20–September 4, 1999
Explores how this famous couple shaped America’s culture in the twentieth century. Charles and Ray Eames’s work represented defining moments in American history, such as the economy’s shift from making goods to producing information.
June 7, 2001–March 15, 2003
Looks at how various cultures explained the beginning of the world, depicted the first human beings, and defined the heavens and the earth by drawing upon unique items from the Library’s international collections in more than 450 languages.