Browse Exhibits (8 total)

Cultural Imaginings: Images and Illustrations

The full collection consists of some 700 volumes of oriental literature and orientalist scholarship, treating of various aspects of the history, culture, politics, literature and languages of the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, the horn of Africa, the Indian sub-continent and the Islamic lands.  A large part of the collection is comprised of travelogues and other geographical works related to these regions.

Building Strong Minds: NEA's American Education Week

A selection of posters created by the National Education Association and/or their partners the Future Educators Association to promote American Education Week.

These posters were created by the National Education Association and/or their partners the Future Educators Association to promote American Education Week. This online exhibit is intended to mirror a physical exhibit which can be found on the 7th floor of Gelman Library. Special Collections rotates exhibits of many of their rare and unique materials, and most can only be seen in person. We encourage anyone interested to come visit us in person.

Special Collections Research Center
Gelman Library 7th Floor
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052

China's 1911 Revolution : A Centenary Retrospective

2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Chinese revolution in 1911. The revolution overthrew China’s last imperial Qing dynasty and ended over 2000 years of imperial governance in China. It established the Republic of China and marked the beginning of China’s Republican era. This exhibit aims to showcase the library holdings on the 1911 China Revolution and outreach to students who are interested in Chinese history.

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Digital DC: A Community History Project

Over the course of a semester, students from George Washington University's History 2020 course (Washington, DC: History, Culture, Politics) collected historical documentation on Washington's Foggy Bottom neighborhood. They utilized area historical collections and partnered with community organizations to examine and write up the history of specific DC sites, conduct oral history interviews with longtime residents, create videos synthesizing their work, and present their findings at public venues and online in this collection. This resource will continue to grow as subsequent groups of students build upon the work of the first group, exploring new sections of the city and documenting their discoveries.

This exhibit is the work of students in George Washington University's History 2020 course (Washington, DC: History, Culture, Politics). The views and interpretations presented are those of the students alone, and do not reflect the opinion of GW Libraries or any of the institutions providing access to historical material.

After Melville and Whitman: Contemporary Responses to the Civil War

Herman Melville and Walt Whitman both hold a place in the canon of American literature. Their works greatly inspired artists then and now. Their subjects were not always directly about the Civil War, but the upheaval of their subject matter and their writing style have been associated with the national unease which tore apart the nation and turned “brother against brother.” 

This exhibit was originally shown in the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery 2nd floor cases April 9 - July 5, 2013. The exhibit was arranged in conjunction with the GW English Department's conference "Melville and Whitman in Washington: The Civil War Years and After" June 4-7, 2013.

Header: Matt Kish, #494: "A touch, and Starbuck may survive to hug his wife and child again..." (detail), 12/16/2010, acrylic paint and ink on found paper, 10-3/4" x 7-3/4". Courtesy The Melville Society. 

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Our Future Goes to School Today

 This exhibit is a narrative history of American education told through images and anecdotes from the National Education Association collection held in Gelman Library. These represent only a small fraction of the whole collection and anyone wishing to see more should visit Gelman's Special Collection Research Center.

 Anyone wishing to view the material can contact the NEA Archivist at or 202-994-1371.

Begun in War, Built in Peace: the US-Kuwaiti Strategic Partnership


On August 2, 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait. A US-led coalition expelled Iraq. Through the process the US and Kuwait forged a partnership that continues to flourish today. Professor Edward "Skip" Gnehm, US Ambassador to Kuwait from August 1990 through April, 1994; GW Libraries, and the Global Resources Center invite you to explore this exhibit, a remembrance commemorating the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait and the ongoing US-Kuwaiti partnership.

Please visit the Full Exhibit here.

Puerto Rico: Tragedy in the Schools

In 1978, at the request of the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, the NEA sent a task force to Puerto Rico to conduct a first-hand inquiry into the nature of the school system, its condition and its problems, and to make suggestions as to its improvement. The task force explored the island's schools-not only visiting and observing first hand, but getting reactions from several hundred teachers.

In 1979, a report of their work was published. Its intended audience was the public in both Puerto Rico and the USA, as well as American legislators and the President. The end of the book includes three pages of ambitious recommendations. Unfortunately, today Puerto Rico continues to lag behind the USA in many educational benchmarks, suggesting the recommendations went unheeded.

Nevertheless, the images in the report are a powerful testament to what happens when schools are underfunded. A selection of them are included here. To see more, view the original in Special Collections.

Click on each picture to see a larger image.