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Exhibition Guidelines


Advance knowledge, inspire life-long learning, and strengthen communities

Selection Criteria

The Exhibitions Committee selects exhibitions that meet the follow criteria:

  • Closely align with NYC/NYS curricula
  • Have broad appeal for diverse, intergenerational audiences including school groups and families
  • Be timely, newsworthy and generate press attention
  • Showcase NYPL’s collections

Submission Guidelines and Procedure

Proposal Timeline

  • Proposals should be submitted at least three years prior to the suggested opening date of the exhibition.

Review Process and Notification

  • The Exhibitions Committee reviews all complete proposals.
  • Notification of NYPL's decision will be made within four months of receipt by email.

Exhibition Publications

  • NYPL does not produce exhibition catalogues or complementary publications for every exhibition.

Supplemental Online Exhibitions

  • Select exhibitions may have an online component developed by NYPL in conjunction with the exhibition but NYPL does not guarantee the creation of a complementary exhibition website for each project.

Exhibition Proposal Submission

Complete exhibition proposals should be submitted via email to:
Exhibition proposals must include the following:

  • Complete contact information as follows:
    • Full name
    • Email address (primary & secondary if possible)
    • Phone number (primary & secondary if possible)
    • Website (if applicable)
  • Resume or CV
  • Exhibition title
  • Suggested opening date
  • Description (two-page maximum)
  • Goal(s) of the exhibition
  • List of 10-15 objects from NYPL collections proposed for the exhibition
  • Include the following information: object title, artist/author, medium, date, NYPL division
  • Sample label text for three of the objects referred to above

Optional proposal material:

  • If applicable, a brief description of a complementary website
  • If applicable, a brief description of suggested multimedia/interactive displays
  • Digital images of the proposed objects