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Exhibition Policy

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Reviewed: June 5, 2023

The University of Guelph Library Exhibition Program supports the University’s mission to engage with students, faculty, staff and the community in research and pedagogical activities to promote critical inquiry and active learning using primary sources. Library exhibits are scholarly endeavors. They promote interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching and stimulate intellectual curiosity. Items displayed in exhibitions are usually drawn from the University of Guelph Library’s collections, including materials in Archival & Special Collections and can be supplemented, as appropriate, with materials from other sources. Exhibits can be curated by members of the University of Guelph community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as members of other organizations.

Most of the Library exhibits are created as experiential learning projects for classroom assignments or independent study. Exhibits based on materials in Archival & Special Collections in McLaughlin Library, and other campus collections such as the Bachinski/Chu Print Study Collection and C.A.V. Barker Veterinary Collection are encouraged and will receive priority. All exhibitions are open to the public and are free of charge. 

Physical exhibitions are installed in the following areas of McLaughlin Library. They may include a complementary component if appropriate. 

  • Exhibition Gallery (Room 248 – entry through Archival & Special Collections Reading Room)
    • 5 free standing rectangular cases
    • 4 iPads
  • Archival & Special Collections Reading Room (Room 252)
    • 1 tall freestanding case (“Barbie Box”) best suited for objects such as large sculpture and artifacts
    • 1 free standing rectangular case
  • Exhibition Alcove (1st floor near staircase B) 
    • 6 free standing rectangular cases
    • 2 wall cases
    • 2 free standing 2-tiered tall cases best suited for medium sized objects such as sculpture and artifacts
  • Hallway outside of the Robert Whitelaw Room (Rooms 246A and 246B):
    • 2 wall cases each divided into 2 sections

Online exhibitions are curated on Omeka sites supported by the University of Guelph Library. These include: (1) What Canada Ate, (2) Scottish Chapbooks, (3) Scottish Research Collections. Another site, the Digital Exhibits, is used for exhibits that are not related to Scottish or culinary history. Exhibits on this site require approval from the Head of Research & Scholarship team.

All physical and virtual exhibits will adhere to accessibility requirements as required by the Library and the AODA.

All exhibitions are managed by the Special Collections Librarian with assistance from Archival & Special Collections staff in conjunction with the primary curator. The curator works in consultation with the Special Collections Librarian to plan, develop, install, and promote exhibits according to in-house protocols and best practices for curation, preservation, installation, and promotion. Public launches of exhibitions must be discussed with the Head of Archival & Special Collections and the Manager of Library Communications & Marketing at least one academic term in advance and will be approved on a case-by-case basis. 

To propose an exhibit, please contact the Special Collections Librarian at least four months before the start of the development of the exhibition. After meeting with the Special Collections Librarian to discuss the timeline and protocols for the exhibit curation, the applicant will move on to the proposal stage. Proposals are reviewed by the Library Exhibition Committee on a rolling basis throughout the year. 

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: