The mission of the Duke University Libraries Exhibit Program is to reflect the activities, scholarship, ideas, and culture of Duke University and display it for the community to share and explore. The exhibition program includes five galleries with ten major installations per year and multiple smaller spaces for spontaneous needs. Learn more about our gallery spaces.
The department includes two full time employees with occasional interns and students. The exhibition librarian supports faculty and students with instruction sessions and curation mentoring. The program works with curators from throughout the Duke University Libraries, faculty and students from a variety of departments on campus and others outside of the university on occasion. The department also manages multiple events related to exhibitions.
Meg Brown, Head, Exhibition Services and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Exhibits Librarian, Duke University Libraries
Meg Brown has been working in libraries for over 20 years including the Newberry Library, Yale University, the Library of Congress and she has been here at Duke University since 2005. She holds an MLIS with a certification in the conservation of library and archival materials from the University of Texas at Austin, but in 2008 changed her career path to become Duke library’s first exhibition librarian. She has won the Duke University Libraries Florence Blakely Award and the Duke University Presidential Meritorious Award. Meg supports a wide variety of disciplines and populations on campus through the libraries’ exhibition program, some highlights include literature of the Bloomsbury group, the Anthropocene, SNCC, Macromolecular Visualization, Anatomy, the Duke Lemur Center, Insects, Jewish Haggadah, and 500 Years of Women’s Work that exhibited here at Duke and travelled to the Grolier Club in New York in 2019. Meg has also worked with a wide variety of student and faculty to uncover and exhibit Duke history including Student Action with Farmworkers, the Grateful Dead, Duke Gardens, Terry Sanford, the Allen Building Takeover, Segregation, Queer History at Duke, and most recently Latinx.
Yoon Kim, Senior Library Exhibition Technician
Yoon Kim has worked at Duke University Library since 2017. Yoon manages the Student Wall and the Campus Club Wall, prepares all materials for exhibition, and tracks items during the exhibit process. Yoon has a MLS with Rare Books and Manuscripts Specialization from the University of Indiana, Bloomington and an undergraduate degree from the California College of the Arts with a BFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts . Yoon tracks all of the materials entering and exiting the exhibition department and handles many aspects in respect to travelling exhibitions and loaned materials. Yoon is masterful at creating cradles and mounts and can make even the most plain object look spectacular!
The exhibition program works hard to represent a wide array of subjects, viewpoints, religions, sexual orientations and races. In order to help our curators we have created Exhibition Language Guidelines (PDF).
This document (PDF), developed in close collaboration with our exhibits colleagues at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State, is intended to provide guidance for writing with sensitivity and topical specificity about gender identity and sexual orientation; disability; social class and socioeconomic status; race, ethnicity, and nationality; age; and religion and spirituality. This document also connects writers with some definitive, current resources for each of these topical areas.
For people who like larger font to assist in reading the text in the exhibitions, when possible, we are adding a large print guide in the gallery space and some of them can also be found online, including the tobacco exhibit (more coming soon.)
Encouraging diversity in design
Libraries are full of words, and our exhibit curators care about fonts. While educating ourselves about systemic racism, we researched the creators of our "go to" fonts and learned about the lack of diversity in the world of design. One small effort we are making is to use more diverse font designers in our public spaces — learn more about this initiative.