Special Collections materials are regularly part of various exhibits that are on display in either Honnold/Mudd Library or elsewhere on the campuses.
POETRY IN CLAREMONT: From Manuscript to Print
April 14, 2017 - May 31, 2017
POETRY IN CLAREMONT: From Manuscript to Print drew on the rich literary holdings in the Claremont Colleges Library Special Collections and in Denison Library at Scripps College. The exhibit focused on the creation and evolution of poetry, bringing together authors’ manuscripts and typescripts, published works, and book artists’ interpretations. Among the manuscripts featured in the exhibit were those of Emily Dickinson, May Sarton, Joaquin Miller, Yone Noguchi, and Dick Barnes. Poetry by Omar Khayyam, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Maurya Simon has inspired artists’ books in the exhibit.
Special Collections presented this exhibit in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Claremont Graduate University's Tufts poetry awards. These are two of the most prestigious poetry prizes given in the U.S. to contemporary poets.
Home Ground: Water, Politics, and Power in Claremont and the Inland Empire
August 29, 2016 - March 31, 2017
Home Ground: Water, Politics, and Power in Claremont and the Inland Empire is an exhibit of materials from the Water Resources Collection and other collections in Special Collections, Claremont Colleges Library. Due to the length of the exhibit, materials will be "refreshed" regularly. Check back often to see what's been added.
Interpretations of Shakespeare, or, What You Will
Interpretations of Shakespeare, or, What You Will was curated by three Pomona College students: Emma Fredgant (2017), an English major; Alana Friedman (2016), an English major; and Pieter Hoekstra (2017), a Religious Studies major. During Summer 2015, they were SURP/CCEPS Fellows in Pomona’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program and the Library’s Claremont Center for Engagement with Primary Sources. They also curated a companion exhibit at Denison Library, Interpretations of Shakespeare: Images of Women.
Materials in the exhibit have been selected from Special Collections at Honnold/Mudd and Denison libraries. Materials range from the early 1600s to present day and come from England, the United States, and France, and reflect the richness of the libraries’ collection, but they barely scratch the surface of available works on Shakespeare and his legacy.
If there is anything the students want to demonstrate through this exhibit, it is that Shakespeare is wide-reaching, Shakespeare is accessible, and Shakespeare is not set in stone. The breadth of Shakespeare inspired the inclusion of such varied materials as a King James Bible, an opera, and what is essentially Shakespeare fanfiction. The elements of accessibility and play are best exemplified in the case on Hamlet, which includes paper dolls, a toy theater, and a choose-your-own-adventure book. The King Lear case is centered on Nahum Tate’s drastic rewrite of the masterpiece that dominated theaters for more than a century.
As you examine this exhibit, consider the following: How does this exhibit work with or challenge your pre-conceived notions about Shakespeare? How do your own intellectual passions shape the way you interpret his work? What does the variety of the materials on display tell us about Shakespeare’s writing? Finally, what do the various interpretations on display say about us as directors, actors, readers, and audiences?
Although explorers and map makers as early as 1548 knew that California was a peninsula, many maps from the 17th and 18th centuries depict California as an island.
This exhibit, predominately featuring maps from the Henry Raup Wagner Collections of Maps and Atlases from Special Collections, includes maps ranging in date from 1548 through 1774, created by map makers throughout Europe, and showing California as an island.
Mapping the Pacific Coast was curated by the Special Collections, Western Americana Librarian, Lisa L. Crane. The maps from this collection are part of a newly launched digital collection in the Claremont Colleges Digital Library, called Maps and Mapping at the Claremont Colleges, which includes these maps and many more.
In the Limelight: California Citrus
In the Limelight: California Citrus showcases Special Collections’ recently acquired Oglesby Citrus Label Collection, which consists of 83 spectacularly-decorated citrus crate labels ranging from 1890 to 1940. The development of paper labels paralleled the explosion of the citrus industry, as each packinghouse needed to distinguish their product from the rest. Artists explored various themes and motifs relevant to California’s history, as well as the greater history of the period. Also displayed are various issues of the California Citrograph, each cover splendidly-decorated with highly-graphic and amusing artwork, as well as various photographs and documents from Special Collections’ Claremontiana Collection and other ephemera. While by no means comprehensive, In the Limeight introduces a variety of fresh alternative mediums to study citrus history in California, and more specifically Claremont, just in time for summer!
This exhibit was curated by Grace Rodriguez, CMC '15, Special Collections Student Staff, with support from Special Collections librarians and staff.
Unbound: Contemporary Artist's Books
April 13th - May 18th, 2015
Artists’ books bring together imagery and text in a publication that is in itself, a work of art. This selection of items from Special Collections and Denison Library illustrate the interplay of words and images in a form that pushes the boundaries of what constitutes a book. The very form of these books tells a story, allowing the artist to express a narrative through more than words on a page. Often, these books carry a message intended as critique, a means of consciousness-raising, and an agent for social change. A number of books in this exhibit fit this description. All of the books in this exhibit leave us asking if they are artist’s books, livres d’artiste, artist’s illustrated books, bookart, pop art, or fine press books.
Also part of the exhibit are items printed by members of the Claremont Colleges in the First Floor Press, housed in the Claremont Colleges Library. Established in partnership with Professor Jeff Groves of Harvey Mudd College, the First Floor Press holds four nineteenth-century iron hand presses. Professor Groves regularly offers workshops where students learn typesetting, printing, and binding as a means of exploring the relationship between art and technology. To learn more about the presses, including the 18th century replica built by Professor Groves, visit The First Floor Press.
This exhibit is part of the Claremont Colleges Library's Celebrating the Book Arts initiative and includes RE:BOOK 2015: Student Creations, an exhibit of altered books created by students of the Claremont Colleges.
Points of View: Teaching History of the Book & Printing with Special Collections
January 9th - March 29th, 2015
This exhibition showcases a millennia of books from our special collections that librarians and faculty teach with regularly, from ancient clay tablets to innovative printing, to books that are works of art.
Navigating Culture: Islam and Encounter in the Indian Ocean World
October 22nd - December 19th, 2014
Navigating Culture: Islam and Encounter in the India Ocean World reflects the movement of people, culture, and ideas between Africa and Asia via passage through the Indian Ocean, spanning the 7th to 19th centuries.
This exhibit is the result of a collaborative effort between the Claremont Colleges Library and Pomona College. The exhibit was curated by Pomona students Anisha Bhat (2015) and Anna Kramer (2016), along with Ayat Agah and Gale Burrow, from Special Collections. Dr. Arash Khazeni from the Pomona College History department was instrumental in this collaboration.
Over There Over Here: A Glimpse of the Great War through the Claremont Colleges Archival Collections
September 10th - October 5th, 2014
It was supposed to be "the war to end all wars," the Great War from 1914-1918. To this day, scholars still debate its origins and consequences. Descendants of the fallen and the public alike mourn the senseless slaughter of 10 million young men who perished in the trenches, battlefields, and open seas around the globe. Another 7 million civilians died in this conflagration: 1.5 million in the first modern genocide that occurred under the cover of the war in the Armenian populated regions of the Ottoman Empire. The Claremont Colleges honors the lives lost by bringing to light new discoveries in its collections. "Over There, Over Here" has been researched and curated by students who completed Claremont McKenna College's history course, "The Great War," offered by Professor Wendy Lower. The multi-media display showcases artifacts from the conflict such as postcards written from German soldiers, uniforms, photographs, posters, music, and documentary film footage. These glimpses of the war reveal how ordinary soldiers and nurses experienced the carnage, how propaganda mobilized millions on the home front, and how human rights activists provided relief to widows and orphans in Belgium. The Pomona campus was transformed into a training ground. Five Pomona students died in the war; close to 300 served in the US Armed Forces, along with numerous faculty. Claremont Colleges' trustees William L. Honnold and Seeley W. Mudd participated in the Belgium relief campaign. Using materials from the Honnold/Mudd Library Special Collections and supplemented with objects loaned by faculty at Claremont McKenna College, these forgotten stories will now be told for the first time on this, the centenary of the start of the Great War.
Staying Alive: What's New in Special Collections
June 16th - August 29th, 2014
Special Collections keeps it collections alive through donations and purchases of materials which support the academic missions and curricula of The Claremont Colleges (TCC). The materials take on a life of their own as they are preserved for and made accessible to future generations of TCC students, faculty and staff. The experiences of the people who created these items come to life as their book is read, their manuscript researched, or the materials they have collected are analyzed. This exhibit reflects a selection of publications, archival collections, and manuscripts acquired by Special Collections within the last 18-24 months. This sample of what our collections hold reflects but a glimpse of how these materials can bring your research and your passion for learning to life.
Shakespeare at 450: Keeping The Name Alive
April 14 – May 30, 2014
"Shakespeare at 450: Keeping the Name Alive" celebrates the legacy of Shakespeare's work through the actors who have brought his words to life. These actors, along with directors, set designers, costumers and other artisans are part of a rich performance history inspired by Shakespeare's plays.
This exhibit is curated by Amy Borsuk, Scripps College, class of 2014, and marks an inaugural fellowship with the Claremont Center for Engagement with Primary Sources (CCEPS). Amy's exhibit reflects her engagement with these materials as revealing ways in which Shakespeare's words have been taken up to speak to the multiple cultural, social, and geographic contexts in which they have been performed. She invites the viewer to consider ways Shakespearean texts continue to reveal themselves to us as, along with what they may reflect of ourselves. You can read about Amy's experience with putting together the exhibit by following her account on the CCEPS blog, Out of the Box.
Telling Their Own Stories: Women's Manuscripts in Special Collections
January 22-March 28, 2014
Women's letters, diaries, literary and creative writings, and other personal documents are the focus of this exhibition for Women's History Month. "No documents, no history" was the motto adopted by Mary Ritter Beard in the 1930s in her quest to establish the short-lived World Center for Women's Archives, through which she hoped to record and preserve the lives and accomplishments of women in order to achieve a truly balanced and inclusive history.
From notable writers to political activists, to actresses, teachers, and mothers, this exhibition offers glimpses into the lives and activities of several women from the 18th to the 20th centuries whose archives are held by the special collections of Honnold/Mudd and Denison libraries. Among the emerging themes in examining the different women's lives are women's rights and feminism; travel; work and family life; and education and the professions. By studying the letters, diaries, photographs, and other documents that they created, the lives of previous generations of women helps us better understand their lives, and ultimately, ourselves and our own times.
Water, Power, and Technology: The Los Angeles Aqueduct, 1913-2013
September 9th - December 20, 2013
In November 1913, the City of Los Angeles completed construction of the first Los Angeles Aqueduct. In commemoration of the centennial, Special Collections staff culled its vast Water Resources Collection for exhibit materials on this technological marvel and the controversies that surrounded its construction. Come see how the City of Los Angeles grew in the shadow of the desert; how a semi-arid landscape was transformed into lush gardens. See who envisioned such a feat and why they chose Owens Valley as the aqueduct's source - and what happened when they did. The photographs, schematics, and reports detailing the construction reveal the many challenges and debates that have continued since 1913. As the exhibit makes clear, this initial aqueduct project did not slake the city's thirst for water and led to the massive state-wide system in place today. Located in Special Collections gallery space, inside north entrance, exhibit is open during library's normal operating hours. Co-curated by Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis, Environmental Analysis Program, Pomona College and Lisa L. Crane, Western Americana Librarian, Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.
Food for Thought: A Taste of Special Collections in Farming, Dining, and War
July 8 - August 30, 2013
This exhibit began with a desire to display materials fitting of the Summer season, hence the theme of food. The wealth of materials found in our collections offered a number of subtopics of which we chose farming, dining, and war. The exhibit represents three centuries and various cultures. The materials it contains include books, propaganda pamphlets posters, cutlery, a teapot, and a wine bottle labeled Pomona College. Along with drawing from our general collection of books, the exhibit showcases materials from a number of collections, including some that can be accessed through the Online Archive of California. These include the American Missionaries and Educators in China Collection, the World War Poster Collection, and the William McPherson Papers. Other represented collections include The Claremont Colleges Archives, the Nordic Collections, and the William Smith Mason Collection of Western Americana. Visitors to the exhibit will find recipes for dishes prepared at the Pitzer Grove House, Hawaiian delicacies and even sparrows brains. Those who recall Victory Gardens and rationing during World Wars I & II may be familiar with the World War posters on display. The exhibit also highlights California agriculture and offers a bit of history on foods such as corn and dates.
Edward Gordon Craig: A Life in Books
March 25 - May 17, 2013
Edward Gordon Craig is best known as a pioneer of modern theater, but he also was a writer, a publisher, and an accomplished graphic designer and artist. This exhibition takes a decidedly book arts perspective by showcasing Craig's graphic and illustrative work including individual woodcuts widely used in his own and in others' publications, his designs for theatrical programs and his landmark theater journals The Mask and The Page. All items on view are from the Geraldine Womack and Norman D. Philbrick Library of Dramatic Arts and Theatre History, Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. The Philbrick Library was a gift to Pomona College in 1986 by Dr. and Mrs. Philbrick, both alumni of Pomona.
A Better Mousetrap: Gordon Craig's Designs for Hamlet
March 25 - April 12, 2013, Clark Humanities Museum, Scripps College
Curated by Thomas Price (with the collaboration of Samuel Gold), this exhibition of original and rarely shown designs and illustrations for Craig's famous Moscow production of Hamlet includes the artist's largest color rendering for the 'Mousetrap Scene' (Act III, scene ii), together with woodcut illustrations and annotated proofs for the Cranach Press editions of Hamlet (in German and English), considered to be two of the finest examples of the book arts in the 20th century. It also includes designs illustrating Craig's radical reform of theatrical practice, introducing an infinitely variable abstract stage space and a novel way of illuminating the settings with overhead colored lights--or as he called it, 'painting with light'. All items on view are from the Geraldine Womack and Norman D. Philbrick Library of Dramatic Arts and Theatre History, Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. The Philbrick Library was a gift to Pomona College in 1986 by Dr. and Mrs. Philbrick, both alumni of Pomona.
Pressing Forward: The Book Club of California at 100
An exhibition celebrating the centennial of the Book Club of California
January 31-March 21, 2013
In 1912 in San Francisco a group of book lovers came together to create The Book Club of California for "the study of letters and the promotion of the arts pertaining to the production of books." At that time San Francisco possessed printers of extraordinary quality, a thriving literary and art community, knowledgeable booksellers, and major book collectors.
The programs set during these early years have continued to this day. Scholarly lectures on the book were sponsored, the first exhibit on rare bookplates was mounted, annual meetings were held, and club offices were established in downtown San Francisco. In 1914 the Club published its first book, Bibliography of the History of California and the West, 1510-1906, by Robert E. Cowan, printed by the firm Taylor, Nash & Taylor in San Francisco. This book established the publishing program of the Club which continues as its best known activity. The newest publication of the Book Club, William Reagh: A Long Walk Downtown: Photographs of Los Angeles & Southern California, 1936-1991 (2012) is featured, along with Cowan's Bibliography, the first Book Club book, in this exhibition.
Club books show a special interest in Pacific Coast history, literature, and fine printing. Also, the Book Club has had a mutually beneficial relationship with regional fine press printers such as the Robert and Edwin Grabhorn of the Grabhorn Press, Andrew Hoyem of Arion Press, and Jack Stauffacher of the Greenwood Press, to name just a few.
In this exhibition are fine press limited editions of exceptional quality that are also considered notable works of scholarship. The Claremont Colleges are the BCC's oldest institutional member. The Special Collections of The Claremont Colleges holds all of the books published by the Book Club of California.
For more about The Book Club of California, www.bccbooks.org.
September 1–December 22, 2012
Come "tour" Yosemite through books, drawings, photographs, ephemera and other, mostly 19th century, primary source materials.
Discover how visitors traveled to Yosemite. See where they stayed and what they did and saw.
See how they reflected upon their experiences after leaving this wondrous place!
Download Touring Yosemite handout (292 KB PDF file).
Download Touring Yosemite exhibit checklist (200 KB PDF file).
John James Audubon: American Ornithologist, Artist, and Naturalist
June 1-August 26, 2011
The Audubon bird and quadruped prints on view are selections from the White Collection of Audubon and Natural History Prints, a gift to Claremont McKenna College of Edward D. White and his son, Samuel Johnston Waring White.
Stargazing and Sky Watching Through the Ages
March 21-May 14, 2011, Clark Humanities Museum, Scripps College
People throughout history have looked to the sky for many reasons: to chart the heavens, to navigate the seas, to establish their place in the universe, even to predict the future. To read and interpret the heavens and divine our place within the universe fascinates us today more than ever.
On view in this exhibition are rare items from Special Collections at Honnold/Mudd and Denison libraries, from Brackett Observatory at Pomona College, and from the Williamson Gallery, Scripps College. Historical books, maps and charts, illustrations, astronomical instruments and artifacts, from the 15th through the early 20th centuries, exemplify the wonder of new discoveries and the excitement of generations past. Significant figures in the history of European astronomy such as Ptolemy, Galileo, and Copernicus will be featured as well as examples of Latin American calendars and instruments used for teaching astronomy to college students.
Exhibition organized by Carrie Marsh, Honnold Library Special Collections and Professor Bryan Penprase, Frank P. Brackett Professor of Astronomy and Chair Department of Physics and Astronomy, Pomona College, with the kind assistance of Dr. Noel M. Swerdlow of Cal Tech
Dark Materials: Knowledge in the Seventeenth Century
December 1-February 25, 2011
John Milton (1608-1674) was not only among the most influential of British poets, he was the most directly involved of any British poet in the centers of political power and in the great historical events of the 17th century in Britain. He was also arguably the most learned of the great British poets, even in a learned and bookish century.
This exhibition, drawn from the collections of Special Collections, Honnold Library, and Denison Library of Scripps College, focuses on our holdings of Milton's most famous work, his epic, Paradise Lost, first issued in 1667, and on books and pamphlets written by his contemporaries who were espousing ideas of religion, nature, science, politics, and philosophy during this turbulent century.
The exhibit was mounted to coincide with the Milton Marathon of 2010. Many thanks to professors Jacque Wernimont of Scripps College and Colleen Rosenfeld of Pomona College.
Printing and Patronage: Books in Renaissance Italy, 1450-1550
September 1-October 16, 2009, Clark Humanities Building, Scripps College
Towards the end of the fifteenth century, Italian writer Bettino da Trezzo noted the positive effects Gutenberg's new invention of the printing press could have upon readers. Thanks to the new method of making books, he wrote, "All those who have intelligence, and their minds inclined to study, can make themselves well educated and learned."
The question of what to study however was ultimately decided by the scores of newly noted ancient Greek and Roman manuscripts flowing onto the Italian peninsula from Constantinople, after its fall to Turkish forces in 1453. Energized by the humanist philosophies found in these manuscripts, intellectuals of the period hurried to translate, study, print, and disseminate these works.
They believed the philosophies and innovations of ancient Greece and Rome laid out models for an intelligent and ethical lifestyle, for which it was worth striving. With these newly-fashioned personal and cultural goals in mind, prominent families such as the de' Medici's , the d'Este's, and the Sforza's invited scholars to their courts in order to educate their children and create works of literature, music, art, and architecture, using classic forms as their ideal. One influential Florentine, Lorenzo de' Medici, provided patronage to the scholar-poet Angelo Poliziano, in the form of employment as tutor to his children, as well as on-going commissions to translate ancient texts. Poliziano was just one of many Italian enthusiasts of humanist philosophy invited into the Medici social circle, which later formed the so-called Platonic Academy in Florence - a kind of informal "think tank" of scholars, philosophers, artists, and writers. Many of these same wealthy Italian citizens also bestowed their patronage on printers who, in turn, produced thousands of enduring works of humanistic thought, the focus of this exhibition.
On view through October 16, 2009, at The Clark Humanities Museum at Scripps College, are fifteenth and sixteenth century illuminated manuscripts and printed books from Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library and from Denison Library's Rare Book Room. Early editions by Poliziano are highlighted along with other works by such intellectuals as Marsilio Ficino, Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, Cristoforo Landino, Leonardo Bruni, and others. The earliest printed works of Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Savonarola, Machiavelli, Guicciardini, and Ariosto are also featured. Selections of landmark Italian Early Modern printers in the Libraries include works by Aldus Manutius, Nicolaus Laurentii, and Sweynheym and Pannartz, to name just a few.
100 Years of Claremont – as seen through photos of Special Collections of The Libraries of The Claremont Colleges
November 1–December 31, 2007, The Claremont Public Library, 208 N. Harvard Avenue, Claremont
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Claremont in October 2007, photos and other images were culled from Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library of The Claremont Colleges to provide this visual retrospective of the history of Claremont.
For more information about the Claremont Public Library, visit
The Word and the Image”: The Artist/Author Collaboration of Andrew Hoyem, PC ’57 and Dick Barnes, PC ’54
April 16–June 8, 2007
This exhibition celebrates the artful collaboration of two Pomona College alumni, poet and scholar Dick Barnes and artist/printer Andrew Hoyem. From the 1960s to the late 1980s, they teamed to produce several important, finely printed books at the Arion Press. Materials on view are drawn from the Richard G. Barnes Papers and the Arion Press Collection in the Pomona College Archives in Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.
San Francisco’s Great Disaster”: 100th Anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake
August 29–December 15, 2006
On April 18, 1906, shortly after 5:00 a.m., a great earthquake struck San Francisco and the surrounding area to the northwest and southeast. Many buildings were wrecked; thousands of people were killed, more than two hundred thousand left homeless; electric power lines and gas mains were broken. Fires burned wildly for four days, out of control because of severed water mains. These shocking events caught the city of San Francisco unaware and unprepared and had lasting ramifications for families, businesses, politics, and earthquake science.
This exhibit honors the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and its representation in official reports written in the immediate aftermath, photographs of the damaged city, newspaper and magazine accounts, and other materials that depict events at the time of the quake. All items on view are from the Special Collections of Honnold/Mudd Library.
The Blaisdell Institute for Advanced Study in World Cultures and Religions 1956–1984: An exhibition in honor of Frances Bernard Drake
August 29–October 27, 2006
In 1956, James A. Blaisdell, president emeritus of Pomona College and visionary founder of The Claremont Colleges, established the Blaisdell Institute for Advanced Study in World Cultures and Religions. Its aim was, in part, to “promote understanding and enlightened relationships among peoples of different cultures”. During its tenure in Claremont, the Institute sponsored significant seminars and conferences that brought renowned religious leaders and scholars to The Colleges, published an academic journal, hosted many international research fellows, offered a community education program and language courses, to name just a few of its programs. The Blaisdell Institute merged into the Department of Religion, now the School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, in the early 1980s.
Frances Bernard Drake was a vital part of The Blaisdell Institute, first as administrative assistant then as Vice-Chair of the Board of The Institute. Her spirit and drive on behalf of intercultural understanding that The Institute promoted is one of her many contributions that enrich The Claremont Colleges.
The Art of Japanese Handmade Paper
August–October, Denison Library
Fine papers for calligraphy, printmaking, and many other purposes have been made by hand in Japan using the same traditional methods for nearly 1400 years. This exhibition draws on the extensive collection of papermaking literature at Denison. It complements exhibitions on Japanese printmaking at Williamson Gallery and Clark Humanities Museum at Scripps College.