Landmarks: Maps as Literary Illustration

Jan 16 – April 14, 2018, Edison and Newman Room

Landmarks: Maps as Literary IllustrationsMaps enjoy a long tradition as a mode of literary illustration, orienting readers to worlds real and imagined. Presented in conjunction with the bicentenary of the Harvard Map Collection, this exhibition brings together over sixty landmark literary maps, from the 200-mile-wide island in Thomas More’s Utopia to the supercontinent called the Stillness in N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. Visitors will traverse literary geographies from William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County to Nuruddin Farah’s besieged Somalia; or perhaps escape the world’s bothers in Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. At this intersection of literature and cartography, get your bearings and let these maps guide your way.

Rethinking Enlightenment: Forgotten Women Writers of Eighteenth Century France


January 5 – April 28, 2018, Amy Lowell Room

Rethinking EnlightenmentThe French Enlightenment is famous for its intellectual innovations, but it is remembered largely as a male endeavor. However, recent scholars have shown that French women were active in all genres, from novels to physics. Despite systemic sexism, these writers produced literary and academic works that were neglected in their own times as in ours.

“Rethinking Enlightenment” showcases Houghton Library’s remarkable holdings of texts by eighteenth-century French women. Beyond describing how these writers critiqued their society, the exhibition demonstrates their active participation in the philosophical and artistic development of modern France. For scholars of the Enlightenment to anyone interested in women’s history, it is a timely reminder of the forgotten figures in intellectual history.

Caleb Shelburne, Class of 2018, guest curated this exhibition while working as a research assistant for Christie McDonald, Smith Research Professor of French Language and Literature and Research Professor of Comparative Literature, whose 150-page essay on 18th century French women writers will be published in the forthcoming two-volume Femme, Littérature. Une histoire culturelle (Paris: Gallimard, 2019). This important new scholarly work will chart the contribution of women to French literature from the Middle Ages through the 21st century.

From the Fellows: Undergraduate Exploration at Houghton Library

January 23 – April 28, 2018, Chaucer Case

From the Fellows exhibitionThis exhibition features the work of Houghton Library’s 2017 cohort of undergraduate fellows. Currently entering its fourth year, the Houghton Undergraduate Fellowship Program offers Harvard College students ten weeks of funded research at the library between June and August. The fellowships are laboratories of academic and personal exploration and have opened up dynamic areas of research and creative work through the course of three years and fifteen fellows. Working equally with Houghton’s world famous collections and the almost entirely unknown, the ancient and the contemporary, the enduring and the ephemeral; as researchers, practitioners, and experimenters, the fellows are mentored by library staff as they discover new areas of interest or to delve into ongoing projects.

As the program has grown, it has diversified to include a range of experiences. Houghton Library/SHARP fellows are part of the Harvard University Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program and pursue projects that have resulted in creative essays, exhibitions, plays, music and more; Book Arts fellows draw heavily on the Printing and Graphic Arts collection at Houghton—and work with pressmaster Ted Ollier at the Bow and Arrow Press in Adams House—to realize artistic print-based projects; and 75th Anniversary Fellows have developed meta-projects that relate specifically to Houghton’s collections.

The six 2017 fellows: Devon Guinn ‘17, Leon Pan ‘18, Mario Menendez ‘18, Allison Law ‘20, Jensen Davis ‘20, and Tawanda Mulalu ‘20—span fields as wide apart as biology and literature and, further, bring together their divergent interests in physics and poetry, or open access and letterpress. As the most academically diverse cohort of Houghton undergraduate fellows yet, they are the proof that the library has something of interest for everyone.

For more, on the Houghton Undergraduate Fellowship Program, go to:

On the Rise: Theodore Roosevelt, the Spanish-American War, and American Imperialism

May 23, 2017 – June 1, 2018, Theodore Roosevelt Gallery

Theodore RooseveltThrough political cartoons from Houghton Library’s Theodore Roosevelt Collection, this exhibition examines the Spanish-American War and its role as the start of the United States as a world power. The exhibition was curated by Houghton Library 75th Anniversary Undergraduate Fellow and history concentrator Arthur Schott-Lopes ’19. It is free and open to the public.

The Theodore Roosevelt Gallery is located next door to Houghton in Lamont Library, Lower Level (enter through the West Door). For a wheelchair-accessible entrance, please use Lamont Library’s main door and take the elevator to level B.

© 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College