Exhibits

From Sausage to Hot Dog: the Evolution of an Icon – new web exhibit

A web exhibit of the 2013 Crerar exhibit From Sausage to Hot Dog: the Evolution of an Icon is now available.  The original exhibit was shown in the atrium of Crerar Library from October 29 — December 31, 2013.

Description: The hot dog is an American creation, and Chicago even has its own style. But where did this popular food come from and how did it develop? This exhibit looks to the hot dog’s origins in sausage-making practices brought by European immigrants to the Midwest. We consider techniques used in neighborhood butcher shops and the rise of industrial meat production. Homemade recipes and artisanal makers past and present are also examined.

Science and Conscience: Chicago’s Met Lab and the Manhattan Project

Reunion of atomic scientists on the 4th Anniversary (1946) of the first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction, December 2, 1942, pictured in front of Bernard A. Eckhart Hall at the University of Chicago. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf3-00232, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition Dates: February 19 – April 13, 2018
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

On December 2, 1942, scientists at the University of Chicago produced the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction beneath the West Stand of Stagg Field, the University’s athletic stadium. This experiment, crucial to the control of nuclear fission, drove a rapid nationwide expansion of the Manhattan Project, the secret federal research and engineering program charged with producing a nuclear bomb.

Chicago’s role in the Manhattan Project did not end with the successful operation the first nuclear reactor.  Buildings across the University of Chicago campus were converted for use by the code-named Metallurgical Laboratory.  The Met Lab conducted extended research on the structure of uranium, developed the process for separating plutonium from uranium, and investigated nuclear radiation’s biological effects and safety issues.  At the end of World War II, the Metallurgical Laboratory was transformed into the first United States federal laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory.

Chicago’s Met Lab also took the lead in organizing scientists’ political response to the devastation caused by atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Concerned about the future development and use of nuclear weapons, Met Lab veterans created the Atomic Scientists of Chicago and began publishing the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  They joined scientists from other Manhattan Project sites across the country and pressed successfully in 1946 for the passage of the Atomic Energy Act (McMahon Act) and creation of the civilian Atomic Energy Commission.

The Met Lab scientists achieved great technical success in their contribution to the creation of a powerful new military weapon.  Yet the sobering consequences of their work moved them to enter the political arena and make the first critical arguments to control nuclear weapons and turn nuclear energy toward peaceful ends.

Based on archives and manuscripts in the Special Collections Research Center, Science and Conscience presents unique historical documents and artifacts, many not previously exhibited.  Items on display are drawn from records of scientists’ organizations and the papers of those who worked on the Manhattan Project and at Chicago’s Met Lab, including Enrico Fermi, James Franck, Herbert L. Anderson, Samuel K. Allison, Samuel Schwartz, Francis W. Test, Lawrence Lanzl, John H. Balderston, Jr., Albert Wattenberg, Eugene Rabinowitch,  Paul Henshaw, William B. Higinbotham, and Donald MacRae, among others.

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., and, when University of Chicago classes are in session, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download by members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.

For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Well Equipped: Library Technology from Days Past

library worker with photoduplication equipment

From the Photographic Archive (URL: http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/), Identifier: apf1-02019.

September 18, 2017 – June 7, 2018
Location: Crerar Library First Floor

Over the years Crerar Library has used the newest equipment and technologies to make books, journals and other information accessible to patrons.  These tools have evolved through the years.  A library card system has been replaced with online catalog with significant collections available electronically.   Early techniques for photocopying and microfilming materials have been eclipsed by digital scanning services.  Displayed are objects and photos of some of these earlier technologies used by the Library.

A Web version of this  exhibit is also available: https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/collex/exhibits/well-equipped-library-technology-days-past/

They Saw Stars: Art and Astronomy – new web exhibit

SelenographiaAn archived web exhibit of the 2005 Crerar exhibit They Saw Stars: Art and Astronomy is now available.  The physical exhibit was shown in the atrium of Crerar Library from June 2 — November 1, 2005.

Exhibit Description: For centuries humankind has gazed into the heavens with awe and wonder. For some, the night sky has tugged at their imagination and piqued their curiosity, resulting in art inspired by the beauty of the stars and the study of astronomy. This John Crerar Library exhibit highlights works of art and literature influenced by astronomy, either through scientific study, a fascination with the night sky, or as an inspiration for the literary imagination. Both contemporary and historical works are included.

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine

Illustration of an alchemy workshopJanuary 23 – March 4, 2017
Location: Crerar Library First Floor

The magic in J. K. Rowling’s series of Harry Potter novels is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy.  This traveling exhibit, Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine explores the intersection of these worlds, featuring highlights from the collections of the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.

 

Shared Past, Shared Future: The Marine Biological Laboratory and the University of Chicago – new web exhibit

Shared Past, Shared Future – web exhibit

whitman and MBL investigatorsThe recent affiliation between UChicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is the latest chapter in the long, intertwined history of the two institutions. Charles Otis Whitman, the first director of the MBL, also established biology at the University. Frank Lillie, Zoology chair, became the second director and remained president of the MBL corporation until 1942. Today, as the institutions draw closer, we highlight and celebrate our shared history.

Discovering the Beauty and Charm of the Wilderness: Chicago Connections to the National Park Service

bear and professorExhibition location: The John Crerar Library Atrium
Exhibition dates: October 31 – December 31, 2016

Associated web exhibit

The National Park Service was established by Woodrow Wilson in August 1916. Offering a rich variety of natural resources for discovery, park landforms, flora, and fauna have been the subjects of many University of Chicago scientific studies.  The parks have also served as inspiration for art, photography, and literature. To mark the 100-year anniversary, we delve into the Library’s archives and rare collections to look at Chicago connections to the parks.

Discovering the Beauty and Charm of the Wilderness: Chicago Connections to the National Park Service – new web exhibit

bear and professor

Bear in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park fed by George Damon Fuller.  The Photographic Archive. Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library. Identifer: apf8-04534

Discovering the Beauty and Charm of the Wilderness -web exhibit

The National Park Service offers a rich variety of landforms, flora, and fauna that have been the subject of many University of Chicago scientific studies.  The parks have also served as inspiration for art, photography and literature. To mark the National Park Service’s 100-year anniversary, we delve into the Library’s archives and rare collections to uncover Chicago connections to the parks.

 

 

Shared Past, Shared Future: The Marine Biological Laboratory and the University of Chicago

Exhibit Location: The John Crerar Library, Atriumwhitman and MBL investigators

Exhibit Dates: April 19 – October 31, 2016

The recent affiliation between UChicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is the latest chapter in the long, intertwined history of the two institutions. Charles Otis Whitman, the first director of the MBL, also established biology at the University. Frank Lillie, Zoology chair, became the second director and remained president of the MBL corporation until 1942. Today, as the institutions draw closer, we highlight and celebrate our shared history.
Crerar exhibits website.

Under Your Feet, Chicago’s Water, Freight, Subway and Storm Tunnels – new web exhibit

cover of bookAn archived web exhibit of the 2006 Crerar exhibit Under Your Feet, Chicago’s Water, Freight, Subway and Storm Tunnels is now available.  The physical exhibit was shown in the atrium of Crerar Library from February 14, 2006 to March 31, 2006.

Exhibit Description: Below the surface of downtown Chicago is a fascinating and complex underground maze of tunnels. Chicago has been able to use these tunnels to solve various infrastructure problems, thanks to an easily excavated layer of blue clay underlying the city.Dug at different depths and stretching for miles, they were designed to move water, freight and people throughout the city. Under Your Feet explores the system—from the first water tunnels completed in 1867, to the now defunct freight tunnels of the early 1900’s, to the subway system we use today, to the Deep Tunnel project and storm tunnels of the future.