Browse Exhibits (44 total)

Onitsha Market Literature


Onitsha Market Literature consists of stories, plays, advice and moral discourses published primarily in the 1960s by local presses in the lively market town of Onitsha, an important commercial site in the Igbo-speaking region of southeastern Nigeria. In the fresh and vigorous genre of Onitsha Market Literature, the commoner wrote pulp fiction and didactic handbooks for those who perused the bookstalls of Onitsha Market, one of Africa’s largest trading centers.

Twenty-one pamphlets from Onitsha Market appear here fully digitized and annotated to exemplify styles of expression found in this intriguing form of African popular literature. They are part of a unique collection of more than 100 pamphlets from Onitsha now held at the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas.


Nobel Laureates In Literature Around The Globe

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International Nobel Laureates

Featuring books  from:

  • Africa and the Middle East
  • Bosnia (Yugoslavia), Poland, Russia, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
  • China and Japan
  • Spain, Portugal and Latin America
  • France, Germany, Italy, and India


Lasting Impact: Brown vs. the Board of Education

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"[Education] is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”

Mr. Chief Justice Warren, Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483,
Argued December 9, 1952. Decided May 17, 1954



Celebrating East Asian Studies Scholarship


KU Libraries is honored to showcase the work of East Asian Studies scholars at the University of Kansas. This exhibition was created to illustrate the breadth of East Asian resources, support and scholarship found across the University of Kansas community.

Celebrating East Asian Studies Scholarship: an Interdisciplinary Showcase

February 16 through April 13, 2012


Frosted Windows: 300 Years of St. Petersburg Through Western Eyes

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A window lets in light from both sides. But in damp northern climes, it’s often through a glass darkly, be it during the foggy days and White Nights of mid-summer or on snowy evenings surrounding the Winter Solstice when window-panes are frosted and folks darken the chandelier or blow out the candles and crawl early into feather-beds.

Peter the Great’s Sankt Pieter Burkh, founded 300 years ago this year as his “Window on the West,” tempted Europe and the West, much like The Little Match Girl on the coldest night of the year, to come in spiritual and intellectual hunger and in hopes of feeling the warmth and seeing the light-in-the-East they could make out through the almost opaque Petersburg crystal.

This is an online version of the exhibit catalog for a physical exhibit that was on display in Kenneth Spencer Research Library, April through June of 2003. The exhibit was created by Sally Haines, Associate Librarian.


Quantrill's Raid

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As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, the University of Kansas Libraries present selections from the Kansas Collection's holdings that illuminate this significant chapter in Kansas history.

This is an online version of a physical exhibit that was on display in Kenneth Spencer Research Library, August through October of 2013. The exhibit was created by Sheryl Williams, emeritis curator of the Kansas Collection. For more information or questions, contact


Swahili Literature Through the Centuries

This exhibit highlights representative works of Swahili literature from the collection of the University of Kansas Libraries.  It features examples of various literary genres that comprise the most notable items in the Swahili collection.  These include biographical and autobiographical works, drama, fiction, poetry, and works translated into Swahili.  Also featured are the writings of Shaaban Robert (1909-1962), Tanzania’s most well-known literary figure, and examples of the interconnections between language and politics.


Kanga writings



100 Years of the Jayhawk


One hundred years ago a KU student named Daniel Henry "Hank" Maloy drew what became the first "signature" Jayhawk.  The term Jayhawker has been associated with Kansas since the pre-Civil War era and eventually became the symbol for the University of Kansas.  In 1886, the term Jayhawk was incorporated into our world-famous college yell "Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU," although it was not yet portrayed as a bird.  In a pre-Maloy drawing in the 1908 Jayhawker yearbook, a rather prehistoric looking bird is perched on a goalpost heckled a miserable looking Missouri Tiger.

In recollections of his college years, Maloy remembers that he first had the idea of drawing the Jayhawk as a bird in October of 1912 when he saw a stuffed chickenhawk in the Squires photography studio downtown.  He went home and drew a long-legged Jayhawk with big, heavy shoes so that he “could administer more effective justice” towards athletic opponents.

Not surprisingly, most of the items in this exhibit are from the holdings of the University Archives, but we’ve also discovered that the Kansas Collection, and even Special Collections (through writings of H. L. Mencken, no less) have also contributed to 100 Years of Jayhawk!

Many thanks go to Letha Johnson, Sherry Williams, Whitney Baker, and Roberta Woodrick for their assistance in making this exhibition possible.

Becky Schulte, University Archivist

This is an online version of a physical exhibit that was on display in Kenneth Spencer Research Library from December 2012 through March of 2013. The exhibit was created by Rebecca Schulte, University Archivist.


Robert Gordon Vosper: A Force for Libraries

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Robert Gordon Vosper served as director of KU Libraries from 1951 to 1960, shaping the collections with many of its most important acquisitions and establishing innovative ways to reach out to students. He was especially known for his defense of intellectual freedom, notably mounting an exhibition on banned books during the height of the McCarthy era, doing so with strong support from Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy.
Robert Vosper was named one of the top 100 most important people in 20th century librarianship by American Libraries, a publication of the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA lauded him “as a force for libraries and for the rights of librarians as partners in scholarly enterprise…. [H]is commitment to the library as an intellectual sanctuary was an inspiration to many.”