Special Collections Exhibits

The Special Collections exhibits offer visitors an opportunity to experience the rich historical, photographic, and literary collections available at UMBC. In addition to the physical display areas in the Library Rotunda and the Special Collections Reading Room, exhibits are increasingly being hosted online. UMBC faculty, staff, and students interested in partnering on an exhibit should contact Chief Curator Tom Beck for more information.




Reading Room

The exhibit space in the Special Collections Reading Room (rm 104) has developed into a space that highlights student produced research and exhibits. Special Collections student assistants and interns work directly with faculty to select, arrange, describe, display, and promote the exhibits. Faculty interested in using the space to display course projects should contact Chief Curator Tom Beck. A listing of previous exhibits in this space is available.

Exhibits may be viewed during the Reading Room's open hours or by appointment.

Library Rotunda

Located on the first floor of the Library, this central display space is primarily used for display of short-term Special Collections exhibits or extensions of the larger shows in the Library Gallery. UMBC faculty and departments interested in using the space should contact Chief Curator Tom Beck. A listing of previous exhibits in this space is available.

Online exhibits

These online exhibits have been created by Special Collections volunteers, student assistants, and staff. The exhibits highlight the holdings of Special Collections and provide more detail and history about the materials and subject matter.

  • Sharing the Past, Building the Future: UMBC at 50: Learn about UMBC's first 50 years, including a timeline, the founding, diversity, innovative academics and research, student activism, student publications, student life, athletics, True Grit (mascot), presidents and administration, and campus growth.
  • Science Fiction Pulps & Fanzines: View this online exhibit and learn more about science fiction in general, the origins of sci fi pulp fiction, the sci fi community, fanzines, and notable sci fi authors.
  • Growing Baltimore: Images from the Hughes Company between the World War: Curated by three students from Denise Meringelo's Spring 2011 HIST 705, Introduction to Public History. The exhibit uses the Hughes Company Glass Negative collection from UMBC's Special Collections Department and examines the expansion and development in Baltimore after the 1918 annexation.
  • evolveUMBC: Tracing the evolution of our campus, this exhibit uses digital images and original archival resources to demonstrate how the school has changed while maintaining its original mission. This exhibit was curated by hree students from Denise Meringelo's Spring 2011 HIST 705, Introduction to Public History.
  • In the Archives: UMBC at 45: A sample of the records, photographs, publications, and pom-poms that document our shared campus history, presented in conjunction with American Archives Month and Homecoming 2011.
  • The Evolution of 20th Century Camera Technology from the William B. Cavanaugh Collection: This exhibit features historic cameras from the William B. Cavanaugh collection. Fascinated by cameras, Cavanaugh collected over 100 vintage cameras and camera accessories, twentieth-century cultural relics. His complete collection represents different advancements in the field of photography and technological developments that made photography easier, more accurate, and more accessible to the general public.
  • The Photography of John G. Bullock: presents an overview of nearly four decades of Bullock's photography, and highlights some of the major themes that defined his work in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Curated by Special Collections student assistant Sarah Klimek in Spring 2015.

Library Gallery

The Albin O. Kuhn Gallery serves as one of the principal art galleries in the region. Items from the Special Collections Department, as well as art and artifacts from all over the world are displayed in challenging and informative exhibitions for the University community and the public. Moreover, traveling exhibitions are occasionally presented, and the Gallery also sends some of its exhibits throughout the state and nation.


Special Collections Services

Contact

Special Collections Hours

  • Monday - Friday 1pm - 4pm
  • Thursday 1pm - 8pm
  • By appointment during Summer Term, Winter Term, and Intersession

Gallery Hours

  • Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm
  • Thursday 10am - 8pm
  • Saturday - Sunday 12noon - 5pm