Past Exhibitions

The exhibitions at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center are a vital part of our role as cultural presenters. The exhibitions enable Boston University students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public, to explore first-hand the Center's remarkable collections.

Drawing on personal papers, news articles, historic pictures, personal effects and other memorabilia to tell their stories, our exhibits provide rare insights into both the public personae and the private lives of the more than 2,000 extraordinary people whose archives are housed here. The Center also presents exhibits on political, social, religious and cultural movements that have played critical roles in contemporary culture, such as the African American experience, 20th century espionage, or the history of comic art. Whatever the exhibit's focus, viewers come away with a deeper understanding of the people and events that continue to shape our lives.

Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal

Dean S. Edmonds, Jr. & the Blaise Pascal Rare Book Collection

This exhibition celebrates the life of Boston University professor, physicist, entrepreneur, and longtime Friends of the Libraries member Dean S. Edmonds, Jr. by displaying a selection of rare books by French philosopher and physicist Blaise Pascal.


1918 influenza epidemic
1918 influenza epidemic

World War I and the Spanish Flu Pandemic

This exhibition highlighted the Howard Gotlieb Center's World War I nursing collections and explored The Great War's role in creating the disastrous Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. This exhibition was presented in collaboration with the Nursing Archives Associates for their annual meeting, featuring the keynote address "Remembering the 100th Anniversary of the Influenza Pandemic: 10,000 Grip Cases in Lynn: Nurses Needed" presented by Dr. Barbara Poremba, EdH, MPH, MS, RNCS, ANP, CNE.


Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

This three-panel exhibition explored the life and career of three-time Academy Award-nominated actor Willem Dafoe. The exhibition featured scanned reprints of material for the Willem Dafoe collection housed at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, including movie posters, correspondence, script pages, theater programs, news articles, interviews, press kits, and promotional photographs.


Robin Williams
Robin Williams

Robin Williams

This major exhibition highlights the life and career of Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams.


Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas: A Life in Film

This major exhibition highlights the life and career of Academy Award-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas. The exhibition is launched in conjunction with Michael Douglas' visit to Boston University to receive the Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bette Davis Foundation.