Since 1996, the Library has created websites inspired by some of the physical exhibitions presented at its research centers, as well as a number of web-only presentations based on its collections.

Archived Exhibition Resources, A to Z

  • "In thy map securely saile": Maps, Atlases, Charts, and Globes from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection

    Focusing on the New World as it was viewed by the British in the 17th and 18th centuries, this online exhibition examines the ways in which maps and charts were used to provide information on natural resources and settlements in the New World and to reflect the expansion of the British empire across the globe.

  • 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation

    The year 1969 marked a major turning point in the politics of sexuality in America. Same-sex relationships were discreetly tolerated in 19th-century America in the form of romantic friendships, but the 20th century brought increasing legal and medical regulation of homosexuality, which was considered a dangerous illness. This change in attitude was accompanied by pockets of resistance, spaces that gays and lesbians carved out for their erotic self-expression.

  • 500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection

    500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection pays tribute both to the rich history of Italian dance and to the remarkable Cia Fornaroli Collection, a jewel of the Library's Jerome Robbins Dance Division.

  • A War in Perspective, 1898-1998: Public Appeals, Memory, and the Spanish-American Conflict

    This comparative survey of public appeals, popular participation, and national memories provides a re-examination of the Spanish-American War and its consequences beyond traditional military, political, and diplomatic perspectives.

  • Abecedarium NYC

    An abecedarium is a book designed to teach the ABC’s; using this as a model, this interactive website is a semiotic exploration of NYC in the form of 26 one minute videos, and mounted on The New York Public Library’s web site. Abecedarium: NYC encourages participants to reflect on the history, politics, and culture, both above and below ground, — of New York City through the exploration of a series of 26 unfamiliar, yet intriguing, words and their definitions.

  • African Americans and American Politics: An Exhibition From The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

    Before Barack Obama, there was Crispus Attucks, Frederick Douglass, the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Mary McLeod Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and a host of other heroes and heroines of the African-American struggle for freedom and human dignity, fighting to make America and American Democracy real for all of its citizens. Like Attucks, people of African descent were there at the founding of the nation. And since Attucks, millions have fought, bled, and died to help define, defend, and protect the ideals of freedom, justice, and equality embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. African Americans and American Politics is a brief survey of that quest over the last 200+ years.

  • African Burial Ground

    More than a decade ago in New York City, archaeologists excavated one of the most significant finds in American history: the largest known intact colonial African cemetery in America, the African Burial Ground. This exhibition explores some of the burial sites and artifacts found during the excavations. Slide shows and videos document the Rites of Ancestral Return, which took place in October 2003.

  • Africana Age: African & African Diasporan Transformations in the 20th Century

    By the end of the 19th century, Africans and peoples of African descent—except the Ethiopians, the Haitians and the Liberians—were living under some form of European colonial domination. The history of Africa and its Diaspora was dismissed as insignificant at best, inexistent at worse. Black cultures were ridiculed, stereotyped, and scorned. But over the course of the last 100 years black peoples the world over launched epic struggles for freedom, civil rights, and independence. Africana Age retraces this turbulent history of challenges, tragedies, and triumphs.

  • Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era

    Before Victoria, drawn from the Pforzheimer, Berg, and Print Collections of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, brings together literary and cultural history. This exhibition explores the transformation of British society through the lives of a number of remarkable women, some well-known today and some almost completely forgotten.

  • Best of Times: The Theatre of Charles Dickens

    Dickens's passion for the theater began in his childhood; his influence upon the theater continues today. Best of Times: The Theatre of Charles Dickens is illustrated with rare 19th-century broadsides, prints, posters, photographs, programs, and the original, annotated promptbooks used by Dickens during his vastly popular public readings. The exhibition highlights Dickens as performer, as playwright, and as the author upon whose works countless adaptations for the theater have been based.