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Past Exhibits

2014 Exhibits

Taxonomy, Ecology and Conservation: The Life and Tides of Joel Walker Hedgpeth
April 9 - June 27, 2014

The exhibit featured books and documents from the archive of Dr. Joel Walker Hedgpeth (1911-2006).

Dr. Hedgpeth was a key figure in marine biology and oceanography, first along the inter-tidal coast of California and Oregon, the gulf coast of Texas, and then across the world. He was a skilled illustrator and editor, and authored many publications. With a distinctive voice, he lectured widely and influenced many students of marine and estuarine biology. 

Hedgpeth's primary field was taxonomy, and he specialized in Pycnogonida, a group of marine arthropods known as "sea spiders." However, his life and work included many friendships and relationships with key people in biology and other fields, including John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts, Aldo Leopold, C. S. Lewis and Joseph Campbell. He was a supporter of women in science including Olga Hartman, Libbie Henrietta Hyman and S. M. Manton.
Exhibit courtesy of the Estate of Joel W. Hedgpeth
Curated by Randall W. Smith and Gretta Siegel

Hellboy: the First 20 Years

March 19 - April 18, 2014

Dark Horse Comics has proclaimed March 22, 2014 as Hellboy Day, in recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction #1. We celebrated Hellboy's anniversary, and the Dark Horse Comics Collection at Portland State Library, with a display featuring Hellboy and other Dark Horse figures, as well as early Hellboy comics.

The Dark Horse Collection includes copies of all materials produced by Dark Horse. The browsing collection, along the curves near the windows on the Library's third, fourth, and fifth floors, includes one copy of every Dark Horse comic book, graphic novel, collected edition, and book. 

Beyond Convention: Women of the Portland Japanese American Citizens League

October 28, 2013 - March 21, 2014

Drawing on our collection of historic records from the Portland JACL, this exhibit highlights the pivotal roles that women have played in the organization since its inception in the 1930s. Japanese American Citizens League, Portland Chapter Records, 1930-2008, the Library's new collection, comprises the records of the Portland chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League from 1941 to 1994, with some materials as early as 1930 and as late as 2008. It encompasses the period leading up to the forced exclusion and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the re-establishment of the local community following the closure of the internment camps in 1945. See our Online Finding Aid, and learn more on the Portland JACL Website. Many thanks to Marti Clemmons, Carolee Harrison, and the Oregon Cultural Trust for supporting this collection and exhibit.


2013 Exhibits

Transitions of PSU Library

June 12 - September 30, 2013

The Portland State Library had already been relocated twice when it was divided in 1968. It had outgrown its original Smith Memorial Center location, but the new Millar Library split services into two buildings: public access in Library West on the Park Blocks and technical services in Library East in Smith. After forty-five years on both sides of the park, a building expansion that changed the library's size, shape, and look, and numerous remodels to both buildings, PSU Library is again housed under one roof in 2013. This photographic exhibit showed the phases and historic highlights of the library's physical transitions between 1946 and the present day.

Historic Travels to the Middle East

January 13 - March 23, 2012

Highlighting PSU Library Special Collections' Middle East Studies collection, this exhibit drew on a range of 17th- and 18th-century Western studies of the Middle East from fundamental academic works to popular memoirs and featured rare examples of cartography, scientific and landscape illustration, and early printing in Arabic. Materials in this collection have been acquired with generous support from the PSU Middle East Studies Center, the Gordon Hunter Fund, Gary and Patricia Leiser, and the Tarbell Family Foundation.


2012 Exhibits

Image of exhibit poster "Say We Are Here": Culture, Community and Activism Across Four Generations of Black Oregonians

September 26, 2012 - January 31, 2013

PSU Library's Special Collections presented an exhibit featuring original materials from the Verdell A. Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford Family Collection. Verdell A. Burdine Rutherford (1913-2001) and Otto G. Rutherford (1911-2000) were leading members of the African American community in Portland for much of the twentieth century. The photographs, documents, publications and ephemera in the exhibit represent the depth and breadth of the Rutherford family's community service while also providing a rich overview of the institutions and events central to Black Oregonians over the past one hundred years.

Selection and interpretation by Marti Clemmons, Meg Langford, Jeanne Roedel, Tasha Triplett, and Prof. Patricia A. Schechter, PSU Department of History.

Image of a bird The Art of Ornithology : A Century of Bird Illustration

June 25 - September 7, 2012

The PSU Library presented a collection of avian art, including the iconic work of John James Audubon, colorful tableaus of rarely-sighted tropical birds, and the first publication of high-speed photographs of hummingbirds in flight. The artists are naturalists, explorers, soldiers, scholars, and hobbyists, all sharing an enthusiasm for birds and a passion for portraying them in lifelike detail.

This collection was generously donated by David B. Dengler, PSU Alumnus 1977.

The Gift of the Word: An Exhibition of Recent Acquisitions to PSU Library Special Collections

April 2 to June 20, 2012

This exhibit celebrated the legacy of Gordon Hunter. His love of books and his passion for history inspired him to make a gift to the Library's Special Collections through the Oregon Commuity Foundation that each year helps the Library acquire new rare and significant books and manuscripts to support the teaching and research at Portland State University. This exhibit, researched, curated and designed by PSU students and faculty, represented the active engagement and learning at the heart of Portland State.

Gift of the Word Exhibition Catalog (pdf)

"The Envious Tooth of Time": Early Printed Works from the PSU Library Special Collections

January 13 - March 23, 2012

In early modern Europe, Time was seen as a destructive figure, relentlessly gnawing away at the works of man. The remnants of the ancient past that manage to survive were often described as having escaped his "envious tooth." This exhibition highlighted original printed works from the Portland State University Library Special Collections, ranging from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, including the collection's latest Gordon Hunter Fund acquisition, a rare 1613 edition of Cesare Ripa's celebrated iconographic handbook, Iconologia.

This exhibit was curated by Jesse Locker, Assistant Professor of Renaissance & Baroque Art, Department of Art, Portland State University.


2011 Exhibits

collage of images Of Place and Memory: The Yizkor Book as a Window into a World Destroyed

September 16 - December 22, 2011

The exhibit “Of Place and Memory: The Yizkor Book as a Window into a World Destroyed” at the Portland State University Library told the stories of Eastern European Jews and their communities destroyed in the Holocaust. It was the result of a first-time collaboration between the University Library and the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies.

Yizkor books were assembled by survivors from all over Eastern Europe to document their lives, those of their lost family members and friends and their obliterated shtetls (towns). The University Library’s Special Collections is the steward of 136 Yizkor books—the largest collection of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Its Yizkor holdings include a volume dating back to 1929, published in Pinsk, well prior to World War II, as well as unique copies not yet included in the recent digitization project undertaken by the New York Public Library’s Dorot Jewish Division. “Of Place and Memory” was curated by Natan M. Meir, the Lorry I. Lokey Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies, with assistance from Special Collections.

Political Cartoon "Dikes Are Safe at Present": The Destruction of Vanport and the 1948 Columbia River Flood

June 27 through September 2, 2011

Take a journey along the Columbia from The Dalles to Puget Island. It is late spring 1948 and it has been unusually wet this year, even for Oregon, but now it’s warming up and today looks like it’s going to be especially nice. Certainly several other communities along the river have flooded, but the Housing Authority has just assured Vanport city that they are on top of the situation. The dikes are safe. The situation is under control, so relax and enjoy Memorial Day weekend.

With the recent (re)discovery of over 100 Columbia River flood photos from around western Oregon, Portland State Library’s University Archives presented a new exhibit on the flood, the city it destroyed, and the university that grew out of it. The exhibit highlighted several rarely seen photographs, documents, and ephemera.

Image of book cover

A "Grand Tour":  Baedeker's Europe and the Mediterranean, ca. 1889-1927
April 7 through June 5, 2011

Portland State University Library Special Collections presented a “grand tour” of Baedeker travel guides, spanning Europe, Britain, and the Mediterranean region before and after World War I.

Karl Baedeker’s comprehensive yet portable travel guidebooks, first published in 1839, answered the practical needs of a new kind of traveler emerging in the 19th century:  the tourist.  Baedeker’s international series kept pace with urban development, technological breakthroughs in transportation, the rising industry of tourism, and political upheavals, particularly the First World War.

In addition, Baedeker’s meticulously detailed maps and copious descriptions make each guidebook a microcosmic masterpiece of data collection and printing, inspiring collectors’ interest and the curiosity of armchair travelers more than a century later.


Highlights from the Gates Collection of African American History and Culture
January 12 through March 14, 2011

Over the course of three decades, Jeanette and Osly Gates assembled a collection of original letters, newspapers, periodicals and ephemera documenting African American history and culture.  In 1969, they donated their collection to the Portland State University Library to coincide with the establishment of the Black Studies Academic Program.  This Special Collections exhibit highlighted some of the rarest and significant items from the Gates Collection, representing pivotal moments in a two hundred year struggle for civil rights that redefined our nation.


2010 Exhibits

Photo from 1970 strike

The Making of the Documentary Film, The Seventh Day
September 27 through December 10, 2010

A September Project & ALA Banned Books Week 2010 Exhibit
Sponsored by the Portland State Bookstore

In May 1970, student film makers from Portland State University's Center for the Moving Image (CMI) grabbed their cameras and waded into the chaos of the campus "strike," a student protest in the park blocks that culminated with violent police action. The Seventh Day, a dynamic and adept documentary, was selected by the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2009 for preservation treatment. This Special Collections exhibit highlighted production notes and other materials from the making of the film as well as historical documents from the CMI, Portland State's film making and film studies program that launched the careers of numerous film and video artists and film studies scholars.

Image of John Adams

American Imprints from the Lifetime of John Adams (1735-1826)
June 22 through August 17, 2010

In Partnership with the Multnomah County Central Library exhibit “John Adams Unbound”
Sponsored by the Portland State Bookstore

This Special Collections exhibit featured monographs published and circulated in the United States during the lifetime of President John Adams including historical examples of original bindings and printings. The documents highlight the political and social issues that informed and influenced Adams' career and family life.

Photo of lesbian couple with a child

Love Makes a Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and their Families
May 22 through June 6, 2010

Sponsored by the Portland State Queer Resource Center & the Portland State Bookstore

Intended for audiences of all ages, Love Makes a Family was a traveling exhibit designed to challenge stereotypes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Through first-person accounts and positive images, this exhibit sought to challenge and change damaging myths and stereotypes about LGBT people and their families. The exhibit included photographs by Gigi Kaeser and interviews by Peggy Gillespie and was created by the Family Diversity Projects, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA.

Image of book cover

Metropolis of the Arts: 20th Century Art Journals from Paris
March 29 through June 6, 2010

Sponsored by the Portland State Bookstore

This exhibit featured original copies of seminal French art journal Cahiers d'art and its related newsletter 14 Rue du Dragon as well as limited reprints of the Surrealist-focused journal Minotaure.  Internationally recognized for their early promotion of some of the most important artists of the 20th century, these journals are also notable for the inclusive breadth of their interests, including architecture, literature, drama, and modern, classical and indigenous arts.

Graphic of black panther

The Black Panther (1970 - 1977)
January 12 through February 26, 2010

The Black Panther Party was an African-American revolutionary organization established to promote Black Power. It was active in the United States from the mid-1960s into the 1970s. This Special Collections exhibit featured The Black Panther, a political newspaper published by the Black Panther Party.


2009 Exhibits

History of Middle East Studies in the West
Friday, September 19 - Friday, December 10, 2009

This exhibit celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Middle East Studies Center. Curators, Gary Leiser, PSU '69, and Professor Emeritus Jon Mandaville, selected significant books and resources from the University Library’s Special Collections. They also presented a lecture on the topic as part of PSU Weekend.

Beyond War Senior Capstone Exhibit
August 5 - September 4, 2009

Portland State University students collaborated with the Beyond War community to display books, movies, and posters that exemplify what Beyond War stands for and to serve as a good introduction to the community. Beyond War is a movement and organization of people from around the world who are committed to ending the use of warfare in this century.

Portland State University: An Archival Review, 1946 to the Present
April 23 - June 5, 2009

In Celebration of the Inauguration of PSU President Wim Wiewel

Portland State University Archives, from the days of the Vanport Extension Center to the present, displayed the extraordinary history of "The College That Would Not Die" in words, photographs, and memorabilia.

Living the Legacy: The Avel Gordly Papers
January 12 - April 22, 2009

As part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at Portland State University, this Special Collections exhibit displayed key pieces from the Honorable Senator Avel Gordly's archives.

Ikonen Einer Grenzanlage (Icons of a Border) Installation: Photographic Search for Traces in Today's Berlin
March 3 - April 14, 2009

Sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Die Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik, The German American School of Portland, and the Goethe Institute San Francisco

This exhibit featured the touring photo exhibition designed and implemented by students of the University of Paderborn, Germany.


More Information

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