Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library membership provides our Friends with the opportunity to contribute to the life of the Library and the College.

The Library benefits from annual membership dues and endowment income that:

  • Employs undergraduate and graduate interns in Special Collections
  • Purchases new materials to build our collections
  • Conserves sensitive bindings and fragile books
  • Improves services to students and faculty using the Bryn Mawr Library today


Calendar of Events


Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings

January 22 – March 6, 2015
Hours: Noon – 4:30 pm daily

Class of 1912 Rare Book Room, Canaday Library

Bryn Mawr College

The creative vitality of the continually evolving uprisings commonly referred to as the Arab Spring is captured in this immersive multimedia exhibition on loan from the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  Freedom of speech merges with artistic expression to capture the anger, elation, frustration and hope of these revolutions through call-and-response chants, graffiti, video, blog postings, cartoons, music, photography, posters and even puppetry. Please see the companion website at

Along with the exhibition, Bryn Mawr is welcoming Ganzeer, one of the artists whose work figured prominently in the uprisings against the Mubarak and military governments in Egypt. Ganzeer will be meeting with classes and informal groups during the last week of January, and will give a public talk Monday evening, January 26. The College has just acquired Ganzeer’s new set of silkscreen prints, “Of Course,” that recognize demonstrators who were brutalized by the military. The prints will be featured in the exhibition.

Public Programs

Exhibition Opening and Lecture by Exhibition Curator Christiane Gruber

Thursday, January 22
7:30 pm

Carpenter Library 21, Bryn Mawr College

An Evening with Ganzeer, Egyptian Artist and Activist

Monday, January 26
7:30 pm

Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College

Ganzeer in Conversation: Art, Revolution, and the Arab Spring in Egypt
Tuesday, January 27,
5:00 pm
Goodhart Music Room, Bryn Mawr College
Conversation with Ganzeer, led by Jennifer Pruitt, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The Square,” screening of the 2014 Academy Award-nominated documentary, followed by discussion

Thursday, February 26

7:00 pm (admission charged - see BMFI website)

Bryn Mawr Film Institute

824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA

The exhibitions and programs, other than “The Square,” are free and open to the public. For information, please contact us at 610-526-6576

Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings is a collaboration between the Arab American National Museum and guest curators, Christiane Gruber and Nama Khalil of the University of Michigan. This exhibition is made possible in part by The Kresge Foundation. The Bryn Mawr exhibition and programs are made possible by support from the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library, and particularly exhibition sponsor Teresa Wallace ’79. Additional support was provided by the The Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Mellon Creative Residencies Program, and the events are co-sponsored by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.

These events are part of the  “Dissent, Violence, Justice” series sponsored by the Provost’s Office at Bryn Mawr.  

Read more about Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings....

Backtalk: Exposures, Erasures, and Elisions of the Bryn Mawr College African Art Collections

Second Floor Gallery and First Floor Lobby, Canaday Library

February - May, 2015

In honor of Black History Month and looking ahead to the completion of the new Black Cultural Center on campus, Bryn Mawr College’s Special Collections and Africana Studies programs have collaborated on Backtalk, an exhibition of selected objects and selective information from the College’s African Art Collection. Showcasing 35 artworks keyed to various aspects of family, political and spiritual life, Backtalk invites viewers to engage questions of what the collection includes, leaves out, clarifies, and obscures, as well as how this collection came to be and how it functions within and beyond the College. As an exhibition, Backtalk strives to facilitate meaningful discussions about the complexity of exhibition and ownership of African cultural items.

Opening reception
On Thursday, February 5, 6:00 to 7:00 pm, the community is warmly invited to a Backtalk opening reception in the Canaday Library Coombe Suite immediately before the Naomi Tutu Black History Month Keynote lecture.

Creative Workshop
Saturday, February 21, 11:30am to 1:30pm, Canaday Library 2nd Floor Coombe Suite
Participants will respond via writing, visual media, and/or performance to pieces/aspects of the Backtalk exhibition in a workshop led by Alice Lesnick, Term Professor of Education, Director, Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program, and Coordinator, Africana Studies. Location: Coombe Suite.

Panel Discussion

Wednesday, February 25, 6:00-8:00pm, Canaday Library 2nd Floor Coombe Suite
Kalala Ngalamulume, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History; Linda-Susan Beard, Associate Professor of English, BMC; Alicia Walker, Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture; and moderator Whitney Lopez '15 will discuss evolving methods for talking back, with attention to the tensions and synergies between scholarly and political discourse.

Social Media
Viewers are invited to engage virtually via a Backtalk webspace at Serendip Studio once the exhibition opens.


Friday Finds

A series of informal chats about historical and cultural objects in Bryn Mawr's Special Collections. All of the events begin at 3:00 in the Special Collections Seminar Room, on the second floor of Canaday Library, and last about an hour.

Feb. 6 Friday Finds – "The Collector's View: Japanese Art Objects in the Bryn Mawr Collection". Anna Moblard Meier, graduate student

Feb 27 Friday Finds – "Marking Time: Renaissance Books of Hours in Manuscript and Print." Maeve Doyle, graduate student

March 27 Friday Finds – Poissy Processional. Nava Streiter, graduate student

April 24 Friday Finds – "Black at Bryn Mawr," Emma Kioko, 2015 and Grace Pusey, 2015

For additional information, contact the Special Collections Department:, 610-526-6576.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Ancient Life on Greek Pottery

April – June, 2015

Canaday Library Class of 1912 Rare Book Room Gallery

Curated by Robert Sutton, professor emeritus of Classical Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, the exhibition reveals a complicated portrait of the people and the cultures associated with the objects on view. From personal items to ritual objects, from pristine examples to enigmatic fragments, and from intimate depictions to mythic expressions, Sutton’s selections will illustrate the breadth and scope of the College’s collection of Greek pottery and offer insights into an ancient world that can seem remote and yet familiar.


Bryn Mawr College Lanterns
Floor 3, main staircase landing
Open regular library hours

Join the Friends of the Library Facebook page and keep up to date with events and the occasional unusual item from the collections.

To learn more about the exhibitions...

For additional information: 610-526-6576