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Exhibition Items

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested" Francis Bacon, 'Of Studies' from Essays 1625

The Library holds regular exhibitions, usually organised around a particular theme or collection. Depending on the chosen theme, the exhibition cases might contain anything from irreplaceable works of world importance to newspapers or printed ephemera. They demonstrate the breadth of the Library's holdings and often yield surprises.

Exhibitions are full of fascinating stories - items are carefully selected and captioned and are set within larger contexts and narratives. However curators are frequently required to make very tough choices. They can only open the books or manuscripts at one place. There are constraints in the number of items that can be shown. Some material might not be possible to display at all because of its fragile condition.

Alongside the Digital Library, Cambridge University Library is developing a series of virtual exhibitions to extend the reach of its exhibition programme and offer a fuller experience of some of the items displayed. Some virtual exhibitions will correspond closely to physical exhibitions or events; others will be entirely online.

Where we have full digital facsimiles of exhibited items, these will be included within the Digital Library and linked with the virtual exhibitions websites. This collection brings together exhibited items in one place, enabling you to see them alongside other resources within the Digital Library, or to link though to an associated exhibition and explore the item within that context.

Much of the content in this collection has been made possible by a generous gift from the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation.
Under the leadership of Dr Leonard Polonsky and as part of its International Digitisation Project, The Polonsky Foundation has provided major funding towards the development of the digital library's infrastructure.