Cambridge University Library and the Department of History of Art are pleased to announce the third annual competition for a student in History of Art to curate an exhibition in the University Library. The competition is open to all undergraduates and graduates, working on any topic, and the exhibition can include visually engaging objects held in any department of the University Library. It is hoped that this annual exhibition will highlight little-known aspects of the collections while showcasing current research.
The exhibition will run for about 4 weeks, and be held in the Entrance Hall of the University Library, a venue that comprises two display cases (each 136.5L x 58W x 27H cm, with light bars in each corner approximately 7 cm in from the edges). They typically hold between 3 and 6 objects each, depending on size. Each exhibit is accompanied by a caption of 50-100 words, and in addition an introductory paragraph of 100-150 words, summarising the exhibition, is placed in each case.
There is no application form. Instead, applicants must submit text for the introductory panel and captions as they would appear in the exhibition, including the identification (as per the Newton catalogue entry or the relevant catalogue for non-print material), shelfmark and page or folio number (if relevant) of each exhibit. Up to four additional items can be suggested; the final selection of exhibits will depend on practicalities of layout and conservation concerns. For examples of the format of the introductory panels and captions, please see the current exhibition and past exhibitions on the University Library’s exhibition programme, https://exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk.
The exhibits can be of any material or age as long as they are suitable for exhibition. Due to conservation concerns, items that are sensitive to light (e.g. photographs) and humidity (e.g. parchment and vellum) cannot be exhibited. Reproductions can be displayed only if they are not placeholders for the original objects: for instance, exhibitions of material on vellum consisting of new photographs of that material would not be eligible, but a historiographical exploration of facsimiles of such material would be eligible. For further information, please see the attached Guidelines.