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University Libraries

University Libraries

University Libraries

Exhibits Policy and Proposal Form

The charge of the University Libraries Exhibits Committee (EC) is to coordinate and lead the installation of engaging exhibits and artworks that contribute toward an interesting and appealing environment in the library, educate and inform visitors, and call attention to related material in library collections. Members of the EC are appointed by the Dean of the Library.

Exhibits must support the mission of the University and the Library. EC shall be the sole judge of an exhibit's or artworks' acceptability for display in the Library. It is the responsibility of the EC to take into account a process for managing selection, potential controversy, and application of professional best practices when developing policies on exhibits and artworks in the Library. In addition to physical artworks and exhibits, the EC will develop web- and technology-based exhibits and displays, and will use appropriate technology, publications, the Library website, and other methods to promote those materials to visitors both within the building and through the website.

Exhibits and Artworks Policy Guidelines

This policy establishes guidelines for exhibits and artworks in the University of Denver Libraries. It governs the use of the Library spaces for all exhibits, including the creation and management of exhibits featuring Library collections. The University Libraries Exhibits and Artworks Policy is also aligned with the University of Denver Art Collection Operations Guidelines. Engaging and meaningful exhibits and displays of artwork assist the Library in fulfilling its central educational mission and contribute to the cultural life of the Library and the University.

The purpose of providing exhibits and artworks is to:

  • Bring attention to and highlight University Libraries collections in all media and formats by creating exhibits using our own collections and/or enhancing visiting exhibits with resources from our collections when appropriate.
  • Publicize library resources, services, and facilities.
  • Promote inclusive excellence, enrich community knowledge, and showcase intellectual and creative works of faculty and students.
  • Draw attention to university events, and events of local or national significance.
  • Strengthen partnerships among the library, university, and wider community when appropriate.
Exhibit Proposal Form

The Library welcomes proposals for future exhibits. Please read the information below and the complete the Exhibitions Proposal Form to submit your proposal.

  • Any person, group, department, or organization affiliated with the University of Denver is eligible to contribute an exhibit.
  • Exhibits and artworks should feature broad and diverse viewpoints and demonstrate cultural and scientific importance if possible.
  • External traveling exhibits and artworks, for example those from the American Library Association, which support the library's mission, are welcomed when feasible.
  • Exhibits and artworks may be associated with an event but cannot be commercial or promotional in nature.
  • The Library supports academic freedom but reserves the right to accept or refuse exhibits or artworks. The Exhibits Committee selects and/or approves the topics, materials, and dates for internal and external exhibits.
  • The lending of University Libraries exhibits or exhibition materials to non-University of Denver organizations or institutions is not intended as an endorsement or an indication of sponsorship by the University of Denver nor University Libraries.
Exhibit Spaces: Locations, Descriptions and Restrictions

Specific walls, cabinets, and technologies in the Anderson Academic Commons have been designated for the exhibit use and managed by the Exhibits Committee. The Exhibit Spaces & Resources document indicates possible exhibit spaces for exhibitors. Each exhibitor must confirm if the space is available for use with the Exhibits Committee. See the Scheduling section for more information on applying for an exhibit.


  • Other areas of the Library are usually unavailable for exhibits, so as not to disturb students, faculty, and staff.
  • Exhibits must not interfere with the reasonable flow of traffic inside the library and must be in compliance with the Fire Code.

External Exhibitors

  • External exhibits originate from individuals or organizations not associated with University Libraries.
  • Potential exhibitors must complete an Exhibition Application and Checklist. These forms request information on the exhibit's content, objects, scheduling, installation, security, insurance, and promotion.
  • Completed forms must be received at least three (3) months prior to the proposed exhibit display time. Exhibit approval may take up to a month following the submission of the forms.

Internal Exhibitors

  • Internal exhibits originate from the University Libraries' own faculty and staff.
  • A member of the Exhibits Committee must complete an Exhibition Application and Checklist for each internal exhibit detailing concept, objects, scheduling, installation, security, insurance and promotional needs. 
  • Completed forms must be submitted to the Exhibits Committee at least three (3) months prior to proposed exhibit display time. Exhibit approval may take up to a month following the submission of the forms.
  • It is necessary that exhibit installation be done so as to minimize disruption of normal library services. It is preferred to install exhibits and artworks during breaks between quarters or outside of normal hours of operation.
  • Exhibits and artworks must be effective, professional-looking displays with well-thought-out themes, relevant materials, and aesthetic appeal.
  • Internal exhibits take precedence over external exhibits.
  • Upon acceptance of an exhibit or artwork, the Exhibits Committee (EC) will provide guidelines on a case by case basis regarding installation, materials, budget, timelines, security, and any other necessary considerations.
  • Some external exhibits may require a painting and repair fee for modification to the exhibit space. The EC will negotiate the terms of this fee at the initiation of the agreement.
  • The EC reserves the right to edit or modify exhibit content and installation practices.
  • The EC should be notified immediately if an exhibition must be canceled.
Security and Insurance
  • The Library will provide reasonable security measures for exhibits.
  • The Library accepts no responsibility for damage to, or loss of, exhibit pieces and materials at any time while in the Library or while being transported to or from the Library.
  • Unique or rare collection materials:
    • Unique or rare materials on display in a University Libraries exhibit will only be displayed in locked and alarmed cases.
    • Exhibition of University Libraries materials must be approved by the Curator of the collection.
    • Materials will be loaned out for the exhibit in accordance with Special Collections and Archives' policies and procedures.
    • Keys and the security code for locked and alarmed cases will only be made available to the Dean's office and, as necessary, EAC members.
    • Unique or rare University Libraries collection materials that are to be displayed outside of University Libraries must also be displayed in alarmed and locked cases, unless otherwise approved by the curator(s).
  • Circulating materials featured in exhibits:
    • Materials on display from current circulation collections must be checked out under the EAC University Libraries account in order to track their use and location.
  • Loaned materials from other individuals or institutions for an internal or external exhibit:
    • Exhibits that contain unique or rare materials from other individuals or institutions must include a signed Loan Agreement from the loaning institution or institutions indicating that both University Libraries and the loaning institution have agreed to all necessary terms at least one month prior to the exhibit.
    • The University of Denver and University Libraries do not provide insurance for exhibits or artworks on display. The exhibitor is responsible for insuring an exhibit or artwork if necessary.
  • The Exhibits Committee will work with the exhibitor to determine any conservation concerns for exhibited materials at least three (3) months prior to exhibit. Where appropriate, facsimiles of unique or rare materials will be used in exhibits.
  • The Exhibits Committee will monitor and record temperature and humidity in the University Libraries and exhibit areas on a monthly basis.
Marketing and Publicity
  • Marketing and publicity are primarily the responsibility of the exhibitor, however, University Libraries reserves the right to share information about the exhibit on its website, print material, and other relevant sites.
  • Exhibitors must submit a brief promotional description of the exhibit with the Exhibition Application so that University Libraries may use that information in marketing and promotion of the exhibit.
  • Typical channels of promotion within DU by University Libraries staff include University Libraries website, DU marketing and communications, e-newsletters including University Libraries and DU alumni relations, University Libraries and DU Facebook and other social media.