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Ohio University Libraries host exhibits highlighting materials from across our collection of millions of items, including books, periodicals, multimedia, rare books, manuscripts, photographs, art and anthropological objects, and more. We host traveling exhibits and items on loan from other cultural institutions, and accept proposals to curate exhibits from Ohio University staff, students, faculty, and the Athens community. We encourage exhibitors to consider items, ideas, and curatorial approaches that center marginalized voices and experiences in their exhibits, and we are committed to continually working to make our physical and digital exhibits accessible to all patrons.

Physical exhibit space is located on the first, third, fourth, and fifth floors of Alden Library (though special installations of non-secured works can be arranged in many other library spaces), as well as the Music and Dance Library in Glidden Hall.

Our exhibits program includes digital exhibits curated from our ever-growing digital collections. These exhibits are hosted using Springshare software integrating third-party widgets. For additional information about intellectual property or take down requests, please consult our digital archival collections policies.

Ohio University Libraries patrons or library staff interested in curating an exhibit should first consult the exhibits policies, then review the exhibits handbook before contacting the Libraries.

General procedures and policies

We recommend proposals be submitted 4 months in advance to provide the best experience for the exhibitor and the audience. Acceptance of exhibit proposals submitted less than 8 weeks in advance is subject to availability of resources and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Exhibits as a credited experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Faculty and students should begin by identifying a sponsor from among library staff and contacting the exhibits coordinator. Library sponsors reserve the right to decline such a proposal or to abstain from participating in the evaluation process for these projects.

Ohio University Libraries reserves the right to refuse any exhibit proposal.

Physical exhibit policies

Exhibit space availability will determine the duration of exhibits. The exhibit will be available for view during the regular library hours of the space in which the exhibit is installed.

Exhibits mounted in the Libraries that have not been approved through this process will be removed.

Exhibitors agree to the following:

  • To provide signage for the exhibit that includes the name(s) of the exhibitors, department/group affiliation, title, and dates of the exhibit/display.
  • To provide accurate labels for all items in the exhibit which include creator, title, date, media, and other identification information as appropriate. Price lists may not be displayed. However, contact information can be included in signage.
  • The exhibit area is not to be modified or altered.
  • The use of any adhesive or hardware is prohibited. Exhibitors are responsible for any damage to walls and cases.
  • Exhibit materials must be display-ready at the time of installation. Two-dimensional works must be framed and ready to hang. The Libraries have only a limited amount of hanging hardware (such as hooks and wire) available for use.
  • Exhibitors are responsible for contacting the exhibits coordinator to schedule and remove the exhibit at the end of the exhibit duration, otherwise the exhibits coordinator may do so. The Ohio University Libraries cannot store previously exhibited materials and will not be held responsible for any damage or loss to such materials.
  • Exhibitors are responsible for cleaning display cases/areas they have used for display purposes.
  • Exhibits which incorporate Libraries materials must first obtain permission for using such materials from the Libraries staff member with whom they are coordinating. The Libraries staff member will consult about preservation and other concerns as necessary. Libraries materials must be used with the utmost attention to their access and long-term preservation.
  • Lockable display cases are available. The Libraries are not responsible for theft of or damage to works on exhibit.

Digital exhibit policies

All exhibits will be hosted on a platform administered by Ohio University Libraries.

Exhibitors agree to the following:

  • To provide written information for the exhibit that includes the name(s) of the exhibitors, department/group affiliation, and title of the exhibit. Price lists may not be published online. However, contact information can be included. Exhibitors should protect their personal information online.
  • To provide correct and adequate attribution to digital objects from the Libraries’ digital collections according to the Mahn Center’s guidelines.
  • To provide images or digital surrogates with attributions according to the originating institution’s guidelines if available, and the title of the image and the name of the originating institution if not.
  • To link images or digital surrogates to their corresponding records from the originating institution if available. 
  • To abide by all accessibility requirements to the extent possible.
  • All finished digital exhibits will be subject to final approval by Libraries staff and the collection’s curator, if different from the exhibit curator, before being published. Exhibitors will allow two weeks before the intended publication date for this review process.
  • Takedown requests will be addressed at the discretion of Libraries staff. If you have discovered material in a University exhibit which you consider to be unlawful e.g., breaches copyright, or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, and/or privacy; please contact the Libraries. The concern will be evaluated and a follow-up email with the decision will be sent.
  • Exhibitors should not expect their exhibits to be preserved or retained indefinitely. Online presence of exhibits may be discontinued at the discretion of Libraries staff, and record of the exhibit materials will be retained in the exhibits archive.
  • If the exhibitors wish to include materials in digital exhibits which are not digitized at the time the proposal is submitted, exhibitors must coordinate and receive confirmation of planned digitization with Digital Initiatives and include that confirmation in their proposal. Exhibitors should be advised that Digital Initiatives staff have the right to limit or refuse a scanning request for any reason, and that additional lead time made be required for such exhibits. For more information see the Libraries scan request form.

Submit an Exhibit Proposal