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Events and Engagement

Events & Exhibits

Upcoming Exhibit | Denizens of the Deep: Sea Creatures Real and Imagined

Octopus drawing

Monday, April 3, 2023 – Friday, September 1, 2023
Special Collections, Room B087, Allen Library South Basement during open hours

Put a shell to your ear and explore your connection to the ocean!

The sea inspires awe and imagination and has served as the impetus for innumerable artistic, scientific and cultural endeavors. In Denizens of the Deep: Sea Creatures Real and Imagined, librarians and curators from across the UW Libraries bring together items highlighting the breadth of material and content available about the sea, ocean and sea creatures.

In the exhibit you will find sections featuring the real and imagined sea creatures from the life and culture of the Makah Tribe’s Neah Bay, scientific and artistic drawings of local sea specimens, groundbreaking research from Friday Harbor Labs, and popular-to-obscure fictional sea monsters. We hope the exhibit inspires you to create your own sea lore.

Dive in and enjoy the treasures of UW Special Collections!

Exhibit | Celebrating Black Women:
Daisy Tibbs Dawson, Peace Activist and Educator

Daisy Tibbs Dawson

Monday, February 15, 2023 – March 31, 2023
Allen Library North during open hours

Daisy Lee Tibbs Dawson was a peace activist and educator and the only African American to be memorialized in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. She graduated from UW in 1948 and became a member of the first “Houses for Hiroshima” work team in Japan after WWII. In honor of her life, Special Collections curated an exhibit about her legacy as activist, teacher, director of Seattle’s Head Start Program and church leader.

Dawson’s photos, artifacts and other materials are on display in the UW Libraries mezzanine exhibit in the Allen North Library.

This exhibit is free and public. A digital exhibit is also available online.

View digital collection

Exhibit | Invisible Cities

Invisible CitiesTuesday, September 6, 2022 – Saturday, March 18, 2023
Allen Library South Basement, Special Collections Lobby during open hours

“The city is redundant: it repeats itself so that something will stick in the mind. Memory is redundant: it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.” Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

The University of Washington Libraries Special Collections invites you to view our exhibit Invisible Cities: The Prints of Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Art of the Built Environment. In the exhibit, you will see a selection of the library’s extensive collection of Piranesi prints accompanied by archival drawings and current student and faculty work in the College of Built Environments. We will be exploring themes of cultural memory and art in the depictions of inhabited spaces and invisible environments in the practice of recording, learning, and remembering. Come and see this history unfold.

Exhibit | History of Costume Exhibit

History of Costume DesignMonday, September 26, 2022 – Friday, August 18, 2023
Allen Library North during open hours

This free exhibit, which will be updated each quarter, features a selection of costumes and print materials from UW Libraries Special Collections’ extensive costume, clothing and textile collection, highlighting the contributions of Costume Historian Blanche Payne. Payne’s textbook, A History of Costume, describes the evolution of fashion from 3000 BC to 1900. Manuscripts relating to the Eastern European costume, including her travel journal through the Balkan countries and notes for her book, are available to researchers through the University Archives.

Clothing and textiles reflect the materials and technologies available in different civilizations at different times and, as such, can reveal social customs and culture. From classical to contemporary designs, the collection in this exhibit demonstrates the creativity, skill and social customs that impacted clothing and textiles over the course of history.

See a sample from the digital collection