On Thursday, August 24, the Library kicked off activities commemorating UVA’s bicentennial with its exhibition “The University of Virginia in 100 Objects: a Bicentennial exhibition celebrating the history of the University” in the main gallery of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library. The exhibition that will run through June 22, 2018 has been designed as a companion to the book “Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in One Hundred Objects,” by Encyclopedia Virginia editor Brendan Wolfe.
Items in the exhibition range from the historical (Jefferson’s telescope and walking stick) to the ephemeral (a UVA Barbie doll) to the powerful (an enlargement of a photo of Sally Cottrell Cole, a rare image of one of the enslaved workers at UVA). According to a featured article in UVA Today, most of the 100 objects—some on loan from private collections—are located in the gallery, while “others are scattered across Grounds at 16 satellite locations.”
Special Collections Curator Molly Schwartzburg says, “This is the most ambitious exhibition we have ever done” and “raises important questions about the selective process of writing history—what is brought to the forefront and what is left out. One hundred items cannot even begin to cover the history of this university, but it’s a compelling start.”
Read more about the Library’s exhibition in the article “UVA in 100 Objects” (UVA Today, 8/25/2017).