Graduate Student Exhibit Contest

Proposals due January 14, 2022 (5pm)

The Library Exhibitions Committee is sponsoring a contest open to all graduate students who work in any of the university libraries. The contest opens October 1, 2021; proposals are due January 14, 2022, by 5:00 p.m. The winner will be notified by February 1, 2022. To enter the contest, please submit a proposal for an exhibit that promotes a library resource or highlights a special subject or collection within the library. One winner will be selected by the Exhibitions Committee to build and display an exhibit in the Marshall Gallery* of the main library in April 2022. The winner will receive a prize of $200 and will have an allowance of $100 for printing costs. The student is expected to follow preservation concepts.  For more information and submission support, contact the exhibitions committee excom@library.illinois.edu.

*The Marshall Gallery is located in the first floor foyer by the east entrance of the Main Library.

Your proposal must include:

  1.  A title for the display
  2.  A one paragraph description of the exhibit explaining its significance, for example, how it highlights a lesser known aspect of a collection, showcases a wide ranging collection, or promotes a specific library resource
  3.  Preliminary list of materials that would be included in the exhibition
    • Sketch of case layout (optional)
    • Example labels – formatted as they would be used in the cases (optional)
  4. Permission from the owning library’s collection manager or the unit head to use library materials in the exhibit. Your proposal must include a signed permission form for the materials you plan to use.

It is recommended that submitters consult Information for Exhibitors when preparing their proposals.

Please submit your proposal via the Contest Submission Form

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Content (historical, scientific, cultural)
  • Clarity of concept
  • Design
  • Other (research, originality, timeliness)

Past Winning Entries

Sample winning proposals are available upon request from the Library Exhibitions Committee.

The award and supply funding are made possible by the very generous support of the late Dr. C. Barber Mueller, class of 1938. Dr. Mueller’s contributions also allow the committee to offer funding for exhibit-related supply purchases.

Contact Us
Questions? Contact the Library Exhibits Committee at excom@library.illinois.edu. To schedule an exhibit, fill out this form.