Currently on Display

Previous Major Exhibitions

  • Selections from the Karen A. Smyers Inari Fox Collection (permanent display in the Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room)
  • John D. Roy Chinese Inkstone Collection (semi-permanent display in the Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room)
  • Selections from Starr Library's collection of metal artifacts (semi-permanent display in the Kress Seminar Room) 
  • A body in Fukushima: photographs by William Johnston and Eiko Otake  March 11 - June 30, 2016; a guest exhibition in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which caused the  Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
  • Tsunoda Ryūsaku: His Life as a Bridge Between Japan and America
    June 2008 - August 27, 2008; Rare Book and Manuscript Library;  This exhibition celebrated the career of Ryūsaku Tsunoda, founder of Japanese Studies and the Japanese Collection at Columbia University, and included material from Waseda University Library and the C.V. Starr East Asian Library.
  • Jewels in Her Crown, Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections
    October 8, 2004 - January 28, 2005; Rare Book and Manuscript Library;  An exhibition held in honor of Columbia's 250th anniversary celebration, including Treasures from all Columbia's Special Collections, including the C.V. Starr East Asian Library.
  • Godzilla Conquers the Globe: Japanese Movie Monsters in International Film Art
    February - December 2004; C.V. Starr East Asian Library;  Organized in cooperation with the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, and curated by Gregory M. Pflugfelder with the assistance of Yoshiko Fredisdorf, Ria Koopmans-de Bruijn, and Derek Lam. The exhibition was organized in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the original Godzilla, and included material from the private collection of Professor Gregory Pflugfelder and from the C.V. Starr Library collections.
  • Chushingura On Stage and In Print: An Exhibition of Books, Manuscript and Ukiyoe                                                                              March 24-April 18, 2003; Rare Book and Manuscript Library and C.V. Starr East Asian Library;  This exhibition was organized to mark a new cooperative agreement between the university libraries of Waseda and Columbia Universities. The exhibition material came from the Waseda University Library, the Waseda Theatre Museum, and the C. V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia.


Selective Other Previous Exhibitions

The Starr Library has display cases in three locations -- the main reading room, the rare book and special collections reading room, and the Kress seminar room -- where we present small exhibitions of various kinds, new acquisitions, donations, treasures from our special collections, displays in conjunction with special events, and more.  Below is a selective list of exhibits that have been on display over the years.


  • Xu Bing books   (Spring 2013)  A display of books of and about the work of the Chinese artist Xu Bing, shown in conjunction with the unveiling on April 30, 2013, of his donated work Reflections While Reading.
  • Miss Miwa Kai (1913-2011): Celebrating Her Life  (April 2012)  A display of photographs and other memorabilia of Miwa Kai, on the occassion of an event held in commemoration of Miwa Kai, who, for many decades had been the Japanese Librarian in our library.
  • Ted Conant Photographs  (March 2012)  A selection of photographs from  the large archival collection donated by Theodore Conant, cinematographer, who spend time in Korea during and after the Korean war.
  • East Asian Calendars  (Winter 2011/12)  On display was a combination of actual calendars and books about calendars and the East Asian calendrical systems.
  • The Tharchin Collection  (Fall 2011)  A display in celebration of the establishment of the Tharchin Collection, dedicated to the memory of Gegen Dorje Tharchin (1890-1976), the founder of the Tibet Mirror Press in Kalimpong, India.


Guidelines for Lending Materials for Exhibitions

It is the policy of Columbia University Libraries to lend material from its collections to exhibitions in museums, galleries, and other venues that demonstrate a commitment to an educational and scholarly mission.  For more information on lending, please see Guidelines for Lending Materials for Exhibitions.