Past Exhibits

2022-23 Academic Year

Henri Lazarof: A Life in Music

Exhibit of materials documenting the life and work of world-renowned composer, conductor, musician, and teacher Henri Lazarof (1932-2013), as represented in the Henri Lazarof Archives housed here at Brandeis. Visit the accompanying digital exhibit for even more about this talented alumnus.

Location: Brandeis Library, Goldfarb 2, University Archives & Special Collections

2016-17 Academic Year

Introducing...Lenny Bruce!

October 2016 – July 2017

An exhibit of the Lenny Bruce Collection of photographs; writings and transcripts; correspondence; news clippings and articles; audio recordings; and trial materials related to the comedian and satirist's performances and life, as well as some materials relating to his family members.

View The Lenny Bruce Audio Files online Exhibit

2014-15 Academic Year

March 2015 – December 2015

"Patriotism and Propaganda: Poster Art in WWI America" explored the many ways in which poster art was used in wartime to encourage Americans' support and participation.

View the Collection

2013-14 Academic Year

April 2014 – December 2014

Covering the first decade of Brandeis and its nascent music program, "The Beginnings of Music at Brandeis" looks at the five famed musicians who made it all possible: Erwin Bodky, Irving Fine, Harold Shapero, Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Berger. On display were materials from the University Archives, including correspondence, concert programs, music scores by some of the early faculty, photographs, Justice articles and more! A touchscreen kiosk allowed visitors to listen to pieces created by early Brandeis music professors.

View the Online Exhibit

2012-13 Academic Year

Castles and Controversy: The Story of Middlesex University

Summer 2012 – Spring 2013

Middlesex University, a medical and veterinary school from which Brandeis inherited its charter and campus, was the subject of this exhibit. Middlesex admitted women and men of all nationalities, but was never accredited by the medical authorities, forcing its closure in 1946. "Castles and Controversy" featured a history of Middlesex, information on the various schools, documents relating to the accreditation controversy, medical artifacts from the 1940s and photographs of campus, labs and classrooms, and students.

Book for the Million: The Dime Novel Collection at Brandeis University

Spring 2013 – Fall 2013

The Dime Novel collection at Brandeis documented the publication of sensational popular literature in the United States from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. "Books for the Million" focuses on the five major publishing giants of dime novels — Beadle & Adams, George Munro, Norman Munro, Frank Tousey, and Street & Smith — and the contributions they made towards the development and growth of dime novels, from the introduction of recurring characters and elaborate subtitles to changes in the dime novel format, genre and audience.

2011-12 Academic Year

Fifty Years: Catch-22: Highlights From the Joseph Heller Collection

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012

Material from the Joseph Heller collection at Brandeis University was on display in the Archives and Special Collections Department to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Heller’s seminal novel "Catch-22." "Highlights From the Joseph Heller Collection" included pages of the original autograph manuscript — showing extensive editing — as well as other drafts, planning materials for the novel, photographs, correspondence from other celebrated authors and more.

2009-10 Academic Year

From Waltham Wilds to Urban University: The Story of Brandeis Through Maps and Aerials

Summer 2009 – Fall 2009

Documenting changes to Brandeis' physical campus is a key element in understanding the school's history. Whether it is an overhead view of the Ullman Amphitheater, Spingold under construction or the clearing of the apple orchard for the Gerstenzang science complex, the striking aerial images in "From Waltham Wilds to Urban University" chart major transformations to the Brandeis University campus during its 60-year existence.

Simon Rawidowicz: Thinker, Scholar, Hebraist

Spring 2010 – Fall 2010

Simon Rawidowicz (1896-1957), noted Jewish scholar, philosopher, Hebraist and ideologue who founded the graduate program in Near Eastern and Judaic studies at Brandeis, corresponded during his lifetime with such notables as David Ben-Gurion, Martin Buber, Simon Dubnow, Sigmund Freud, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik and Chaim Weizmann. Materials for this exhibit were drawn from the personal collection of Rawidowicz's son, Benjamin Ravid ’57, professor emeritus of Near Eastern and Judaic studies.

2008-09 Academic Year

'Leaves of Grass,' the First Hundred Years: Whitmania, 1855-1955

Sept. 2008

An exhibition featuring Brandeis's rare collection of early editions of "Leaves of Grass," the major work in verse of America's "Good Gray Poet," Walt Whitman.

View online exhibit
Sixty Years and Counting: A Celebration in Honor of the Brandeis National Committee and the Brandeis Libraries

October 2008 – January 2009

"Sixty Years and Counting" celebrated the 60th anniversary of two interlocking institutions at Brandeis: the Brandeis National Committee — still the largest friends-of-a-library group in the country — and the Brandeis Libraries. Both were founded in 1948, the same year that Brandeis was established.

Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War: A Commemorative Exhibition

February 2009 – June 2009

This exhibition featured a wide array of photographs, documents, artifacts and ephemera documenting Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, including letters written by Lincoln and a sash worn by a horse in Lincoln's funeral parade. The collection was on loan from Brian D. Caplan ’82.

2007-08 Academic Year

Brandeis in Lights: Legends of Stage, Screen and Song


"Brandeis in Lights" highlighted notable aspects of the university's early music and theater programs and showcases the personal collections of important figures in theater, film and musical composition.

2006-07 Academic Year

Summer 2006 – Winter 2006

This exhibit thematically explores how the satirical press of France and Britain represented the Crimean War, which involved the world superpowers of Russia, Turkey, France and Great Britain and is considered to be the first media war. Stop by and learn about this fascinating chapter in world history through the lens of humorous outrage at the bungled diplomacy, explosive personalities and incompetent administration that characterized this war.

View online exhibit
Louis D. Brandeis: Celebrating a Life

Spring 2007 – Winter 2008

"Celebrating a Life," part of the Justice Brandeis Jubilee, went beyond the stately portrait of Brandeis as lawyer and Supreme Court justice to focus on his personal and family life, and on the profound admiration he garnered throughout his career and after.

2005-06 Academic Year

Fall 2005 – Spring 2006

This exhibit examines two early master planning projects that greatly influenced the physical character and development of Brandeis University. It highlights the work of two prominent architects (Saarinen and Abramovitz) and addresses their impact at Brandeis and beyond. The exhibit also explores the campus' physical transformation over time and the origins of its distinctive architectural "style."

View Online Exhibit