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Exhibitions and Events



To the Border and Back: Visualizing and Narrating Migration

April 24June 15, 2017

Coombe Suite, 2nd Floor, Canaday Library

Open during regular library hours

Opening reception, Monday, April 24, 5:30pm

The exhibition is part of the 360˚ course cluster, Migrations and Borderlands.

Read about students' experience.


Mirrors and Masks: Reflections and Constructions of the Self

March 23 - June 4, 2017

Class of 1912 Rare Book Room, Canaday Library

This exhibition, organized by 11 student curators in a 360˚ course cluster, considers the role of mirrors, masks, makeup, and masquerade in explorations of the self across the centuries and cultures that are represented in Bryn Mawr College’s Art & Artifacts Collection.

Opening Reception

Masked party, Thursday, March 23, 5-7pm, Rare Book Room

Related Programs

Curator-led tours

      Thursday, March 30th at 4pm, Women and the Mirror         
      Tuesday, April 11th at 1pm, Costume and Performance
      Friday, April 21st at 3pm, Creating the Bryn Mawr Woman
      Sunday, April 23rd at 3pm, Accepted Students Tour
      Tours throughout Alumnae Weekend, May 26th-28th

Artist Lecture Series

        Sigmund Abeles, Friday, March 24, 12noon, Rare Book Room

        Rachel Bliss, Friday, April 14, 3pm, Rare Book Room

        Jessica Todd Harper, Saturday, May 27, 8:45am, Rare Book Room

Visit our course cluster blog! #selfie360bmc

The exhibition was produced by students in the 360˚ course cluster, Mirroring the Self/Exhibiting the Self.


Fenghuang Landscape and Miao Culture

Photographs by Bode Wang

March 13–April 14, 2017

Lobby, Canaday Library

Open during regular library hours

The exhibition is part of the 360˚ course cluster, Eurasia in Flux: Trans-Siberian Perspectives on Russia and China.



On Selecting: Profiles of Alumnae Donors to the African Art & Artifacts Collection

January 25 - June 2, 2017

hours shared with Canaday Library

Eva Jan Romaine Coombe (Class of 1952) Special Collections Suite Gallery

This exhibition, curated by Maria Shellman (Class of 2017), highlights the gifts of three alumnae donors that comprise the majority of the College's African art and artifacts collection. It juxtaposes a selection of these gifts with material from the College Archives to contextualize the objects, while also shedding light on the alumnae who selected, collected, and donated them.


Re-Vision: Archiving Black Experiences at Bryn Mawr

Feb 23, 2017 through Spring 2017 semester

Enid Cook ‘31 Center

“Re-Vision: Archiving Black Experiences at Bryn Mawr” is an exhibit created in order to form a link between Bryn Mawr Special Collections and the Enid Cook ‘31 Center. Created by Alexis Wiltshire (Class of 2017), the exhibit aims to show the audience how Black students and those of the African diaspora at the College have been recorded in Special Collections. With a focus on student voices, this exhibit creates a dialogue between what the College chooses to show about students and what the students want to show about themselves.

Exhibition Opening and Public Reception

Thursday, February 23, 4:00-5:30 pm, Enid Cook ‘31 Center



Friday Finds

Friday Finds - A series of informal chats about historical and cultural objects in Bryn Mawr's Special Collections. Most 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. Check specific events for details.

Mar 24, 12 noon – Artist Sigmund Abeles on Self-Portraiture

Exhibited artist Sigmund Abeles speaks about his self-portraiture practice (Rare Book Room, Canaday)

Mar 31, 3pm – Cassie Paul (Class of 2018) on Songbooks in the College Archives

Museum Studies Fieldwork Seminar Praxis student introduces the rich connections she has found within the Bryn Mawr College songbook collection, especially in how they relate to the College's major student traditions over the years.


Apr 7, 3pm – Maria Shellman (Class of 2017) on Cataloguing and Curating African Art and Donor Archives

Last summer’s Friends of the Library intern describes working with alumna Jane Martin’s gift of African art and her papers, from the moment these things entered collections to their first exhibitions (Coombe Suite Lobby, Canaday 2nd Floor)

Apr 14, 3pm – Artist Rachel Bliss on Self-Portraiture

Exhibited artist Rachel Bliss shares her self-portraiture practice and invites participants to try it too (Rare Book Room, Canaday)

Apr 21, 3pm – Student Curators offer public tour of Mirrors & Masks: Reflections and Constructions of the Self

Curators in the 360 course cluster Mirroring/Exhibiting the Self offer a tour of the exhibition they produced (Rare Book Room, Canaday)

Apr 28, 3pm – Discovering Medieval Manuscripts

Students from the course Discovering Medieval Manuscripts introduce books from our collection and describe the research they have done on them. (Canaday 205)


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

Join the Special Collections Facebook page and keep up to date with events and the occasional unusual item from the collections.

Exhibitions and public programming are sponsored by the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library.

Past Exhibitions

The Tale of Genji from Princesses to Pop Culture

January 25 - March 5, 2017

Exhibiting Africa: Ways of Seeing, Knowing, and Showing

January 25 - March 5, 2017

Kris Graves: The Testament Project

September 21 - December 18, 2016

Ancient Life on Greek Pottery

March 30 – June 1, 2015

Carolee Schneemann at Bryn Mawr: Video Sculptures, Photographs, Manuscripts, and a Performative Lecture

September 30 – December 12, 2014

A Century of Self-Expression: Modern American Art in the Collection of John and Joanne Payson

February 28 – June 1, 2014

A Curious Group: A Cabinet of Curiosities

In Celebration of Ten Years of the Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art at Bryn Mawr College

April 4June 1, 2014

Disasters and Rebuilding in Japan: Perspectives and Testimonies from the Tri-Co Collection


Beneath the Printed Pattern: Display and Disguise in Ukiyo-e Bijinga

September 25December 20, 2013

Colors of Greece: The Art and Archaeology of Georg von Peschke

March 19–May 27, 2012

Double Take: Selected Views from the Photography Collection at Bryn Mawr College, 1860s-present

September 2011-February 2012, Rare Book Room, Canaday Library

Beyond the Text: Illustrations in Eighteenth-Century French Novels
April - December 2011, Eva Jan Romaine Coombe '52 Special Collections Suite Gallery

mAwRTyrS: Bryn Mawr Women in the Arts
September 2010-April 2011, Eva Jan Romaine Coombe '52 Special Collections Suite Gallery

Colonial Perspectives: Works from the Louise Bulkeley Dillingham Collection

October 2009-February 2010

Darwin’s Ancestors: Tracing the Origins of the “Origin of Species”
October 2009 - February 2010

"The Best Thing in a Girl's Life": Early Women's Colleges in Fiction and Fact
January - May 2009

Intimate Devotion: The Book of Hours in Medieval Religious Practice
January - May 2008

Breaking Ground, Breaking Tradition: Bryn Mawr and the First Generation of Women Archaeologists

September - December 2007

Pointing Fingers: Women Sin, Crime and Guilt

September - December 2006

Luxuriant Nature Smiling Round
January - May 2006

Building Muscles While Building Minds: Athletics and the Early Years of Women's Education
September - December 2005

Mapping New Worlds: The Cartography of European Exploration and Colonization, 1450–1750
January - May 2005

The Invention of Antiquity
September - December 2004

Bryn Mawr Plays: Dramatic Productions at Bryn Mawr College 1889-1920

Jeannette Jehanne Jeanne Joan: Shepherdess Soldier Savior Saint
January - June 2003

Dedicated to the Cause: Bryn Mawr Women and the Right to Vote
September 26 - December 20, 2002

The Very Best Woman's College There Is: M. Carey Thomas and the Making of the Bryn Mawr Campus September 21 - December 20, 2001

The Sargent Portrait: M. Carey Thomas and John Singer Sargent
September 21 - December 20, 2001

Books, Printers, and the Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe: 1450-1600
February 22 - June 1, 2001

It's the Ticket: Nineteenth-Century Bookbinding in the British Isles and the United States
September 23 December, 1998

Leading Bryn Mawr: An Exhibition in Honor of Nancy J. Vickers

The Dr. A. V. Heyl Mineral Collection
Park Science Building and Collier Science Library

Allen Heyl grew up in Allentown, majored in geology at Penn State, then went on to Princeton for graduate work and a Ph.D. He had a long and illustrious career with the US Geological Survey, which required that specialists in mineralogy be able to work in all related branches of geology, including geochemistry and geophysics. Among his numerous publications (over 200) is a valuable work on the chrome mines of southeastern Pennsylvania. This year Dr. Heyl has generously presented the Geology Department with his Pennsylvania Collection of minerals. Many of the sites where the minerals were collected are no longer available or open to the public. Anyone interested in viewing more of the collection may contact Associate Curator, Juliet Reed by e-mail.