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Exhibits Policy

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Purpose and Content of Exhibits

The purpose of exhibits in the Library is to educate and inform patrons and visitors about subjects of current or historical interest through the use of scholarly resources.

Exhibits must provide background or other subject enhancement beyond the mere publicizing of an event, expression of opinion, or a display of art objects. Exhibits should include material from a variety of sources, and must include materials in the Library's collections or cite scholarly resources.

Proposed exhibits which emphasize Library activities and collections take first precedence. Those relating to Oberlin College take second precedence.

Who May Exhibit in Oberlin College Libraries?

Any member of the Oberlin College community, in affiliation with an established campus organization (i.e., an academic or administrative department, a chartered student organization, etc.).

Organizations not affiliated with Oberlin College, but with an Oberlin College sponsor affiliated with a campus organization as defined above.

Frequency and Duration of Exhibits

Each individual or organization may sponsor one exhibit per semester.

Exhibits will be displayed for a two week period, renewable for an additional two week period. Renewal request forms are available from and must be approved by the Exhibit Coordinator.

Procedure for Obtaining Approval of a Proposed Exhibit

Obtain an Exhibit Proposal Form from the Exhibits Coordinator.

Return the completed Form at least two weeks before the exhibit opening date (Exhibits of major proportions, involving large amounts of material, special display equipment and insurance provisions, may require notification six to twelve months in advance of the opening date.).

Receive response from the Exhibits Coordinator:

  1. Approval granted, library liaison designated.
  2. Approval withheld pending clarification of specified details or fulfillment of indicated contingencies.
  3. Approval denied, for reasons indicated by the Exhibits Coordinator.

Exhibits prepared by librarians in their departments or branches need not be approved, but a form must be filed for informational and scheduling purposes.

Procedures to Mount and Dismantle Approved Exhibits

The exhibitor should work with the designated liaison to verify the schedule and resolve any problems involving library equipment and materials.

Liaisons will not assist in the actual preparation, mounting or dismounting of exhibits. This is the sole responsibility of the person who submits the Exhibit Proposal Form. Mounting and dismounting of exhibits should be done between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

An exhibit may be cancelled or removed if it does not conform to this Policy statement and other Attachments.

Library reference service and the expertise of other staff subject specialists is available to exhibitors, as to all other library users, for guidance in the location of relevant library materials, assistance in preparation of exhibit-related bibliographies, and consultation on exhibit technique.

Guidelines For Safe And Proper Display

The method of displaying any Oberlin College Library materials must be approved by the Preservation Librarian.

Materials must be displayed in an archivally correct manner, i.e., they must suffer no damage nor be altered in any way by being placed on exhibit.

Any material touching the pages of a book or manuscript must be acid free.

Books, Scores, and Manuscripts

Manuscripts should be mounted on or matted in acid free board or paper. Self-adhesive tape, thumb tacks and pins should not be used directly on the material. They can be used to hold the mat or mounting board on display.

Books and scores when open should be supported in a cradle. They should be held open with strips of polyester film. (The use of paper clips, rubber bands, or heavy objects to hold books open is prohibited because it damages the book.) If standing, they should be fully supported and held upright between bookends. When displayed at an angle they should be adequately by non-abrasive and non-acidic materials.

Other Library Materials

Sound recordings: Only album covers or other containers, loose liner notes and other printed material associated with a sound recording may be exhibited. The disc, tape or cassette itself must never be part of an exhibit, and must be adequately protected while cover materials are on display.

Other materials: Musical instruments and other artifacts should be prepared for display in consultation with the Exhibits Coordinator liaison and other specialists as appropriate.

Materials not belonging to the library must be displayed according to the guidelines and wishes of the owner.

Exhibit Labels

Display lettering and explanatory information should be neat and accurate.

Ownership of items on display should be clearly identified.

The organization or group sponsoring the exhibit must be visibly and prominently shown on the disclaimer form provided by the Library.

Exhibit Equipment In Mudd

  • 2 lighted, lockable display cases, 31" x 41", on legs, Plexiglas front, pegboard back*
  • 12 hanging panels, 41" x 51", wood framed, cork surfaces*
  • 6 wooden cases 30" x 60" with Plexiglas covers 8" high* †
  • 3 easels*
  • 3 folding panels, wood framed, fabric surfaces on both sides, consisting of five hinged sections, each section 2' x 6'*
  • 1 oak case, double slanted glass-topped, 2' x 3-1/2'*
  • 2 oak cases, single slanted glass-topped, 7' x 3'*
  • 1 wooden frame solid-surface floor stand, 21" x 26"*
  • 12 Formica tables 3' X 8'
  • 2 plastic tables 3' X 3'

Exhibit Areas and Available Equipment in Mudd

  • A level, wood-paneled wall between late study areas (south wall of 050), 15' (folding panels)
  • Main level, southeast alcove (lighted display case); main entrance area (lighted display case); exit gate wall (mounted photos, etc. hung from groove); main gallery and lobby (hanging panels, double slant-topped case, clear-topped cases, easels)
  • 2nd level, two walls opposite main staircase doors, each 15' wide with 75" high groove for S-hooks (mounted exhibits hung with hooks and wires); open area east side of listening area (metal cubes, folding panels)
  • 3rd level, two walls opposite main staircase doors, 18', and 20' wide, 75" high groove for S-hooks (mounted exhibits hung with hooks and wires; metal frame cubes)
  • 4th level, in Goodrich Room† (clear-topped cases)

*Availability contingent on space and on use by Library
†Approval of Special Collections Librarian required

Exhibit Areas In The Science Library

  • In the reference area, 3 bulletin boards, each about 2' x 2-1/2'
  • On the back of the card catalog, a corkboard, about 5' x 3'
  • These facilities are generally used by library staff only, but may be available for science-related displays, contingent on the approval of the Science Librarian.

Exhibit Areas In The Art Library

On top of the 3-drawer vertical file, 1 horizontal display case, about 3' x 4-1/2 x 8"

Available for art-related exhibits having to do with current campus activities or collections, contingent on the approval of the Art Librarian.

Exhibit Areas In The Conservatory Library

In the Circulation/Catalog area, two display cases:

  1. 44" high X 58" wide X 21.5" deep
  2. 44" high X 57" wide X 10" deep

Each case has two glass shelves and brackets.

Available for music-related displays which conform to stated purposes, policies, and procedures for Oberlin College Library exhibits, and contingent on the approval of the Conservatory Librarian for Public Services.

Use of any other Conservatory display areas must be negotiated through the Conservatory Dean's Office.
Last updated:
April 09, 2014