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Online Exhibitions

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Since 1996, the Library has created websites inspired by some of the physical exhibitions presented at its research centers, as well as a number of web-only presentations based on its collections.

  • Dry Drunk: The Culture of Tobacco in 17th- and 18th-century Europe

    Tobacco has long been a subject of fascination and concern, for a variety of reasons. The New York Public Library possesses significant collections relating to the history of tobacco, containing materials that cross many different cultures and areas of research; these collections serve scholars from many fields, including literature, history, art history, the history of the book, and the sciences. Drawing upon these rich resources, Dry Drunk provides historical context for the uses and abuses of tobacco, showing, among other things, that it has been the focus of endless, if ever-shifting, controversy since the moment of its introduction into Europe from the New World.

  • Faith and Legacy: The Hellenic World from the Collections of The New York Public Library

    In conjunction with the Hellenic Festival in New York, The New York Public Library is presenting a highly selective exhibition of approximately 25 important manuscripts and printed books in Greek and other languages as enduring reflections of contributions from Greece to the world in religion, literature, philosophy, history, science, and art, shaping civilization over an enormous span of centuries.

  • From Revolution to Republic in Prints and Drawings

    A celebration of the profound and diverse holdings of early American prints and drawings in The New York Public Library, this two-part exhibition draws primarily from the Phelps Stokes, Emmet, Eno and C. W. McAlpin collections, all part of the Print Collection of The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, and from the Spencer Collection.

  • Harlem 1900-1940

    This exhibition presents various elements of the history of the urban experience in Harlem's early days as the Cultural Capital of African Americans. This history education portfolio provides a timeline and lesson plans.

  • Heading West: Mapping the Territory

    According to an old adage, a place is not discovered until it is mapped. This online exhibition traces the evolution from an imagined to a defined and mapped American West. Through impressions of the West in maps from 1540 to 1900, the website presents an overview of the mapping process, which continues today.

  • Heavens Above: Art and Actuality

    Heavens Above: Art and Actuality is an online exhibit that compares the 19th-century chromolithographs of astronomical observations made by artist/astronomer Etienne Trouvelot with comparable images photographed by NASA as part of its space program.

  • i on infrastructure

    "I on Infrastructure," brings a new twist to civil engineering by exploring the intellectual, cultural, and social contexts that shape the world's infrastructure. Marrying art and technology concepts, this show juxtaposes pop art with images of bridges, plumbing fixtures, and traffic signs to examine how the eye and the mind perceive engineering design.

  • In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience

    In Motion presents a new interpretation of African-American history: it focuses on the self-motivated activities of peoples of African descent to remake themselves and their worlds. With 16,000 pages of text, 8,300 illustrations, numerous maps, and lesson plans, this exhibition documents 400 years of migration to, within, and out of the United States.

  • James Gillray

    The golden age of English caricature, from the late 1770s to the second decade of the 19th century, encompasses the life of its leading exponent, James Gillray (1756-1815), who contributed in no small measure to the brilliance and audacity of the political, personal, and social satires of this period.

  • Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery

    Though victimized, exploited, and oppressed, Africans in the Americas have been active, creative agents of their own history, culture, and political future. Their story is about living, surviving, and winning in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardship. Lest We Forget documents and interprets the obstacle-ridden but life-affirming experiences of the Africans who were enslaved in the Western Hemisphere.

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