Unturned Leaves

Early Women in Botanical Illustration

Prior to the 20th century, one of the few paths to scientific relevance for women was the pursuit of botany; a number of women achieved success and recognition through illustrating scientific works on plant life with accuracy, skill, and beauty. This exhibit celebrates the art and achievements of several woman illustrators of the 19th and early 20th centuries whose works are held by Albert R. Mann Library.

Challenging the Deep

The Voyage and Revelations of HMS Challenger

Saturday, 21 December, 1872 H.M.S. Challenger departed Portsmouth, England to begin the great scientific voyage of her age. Over the next three and a half years Challenger and her crew would travel over 68,000 nautical miles, circumnavigate the globe, collect enough data to fill 50 volumes of reports that took 20 years to compile, and begin the modern science of oceanography. At a cost of over £200,000 – £10 million, in modern currency – the expedition was not only the most audacious undertaking of Victorian exploration but also the first voyage of “big science”.

A Buzz about Bees: Four Hundred Years of Bees and Beekeeping

This exhibit features books from the Phillips Beekeeping Collection, a testament to the hard work and vision of one man, the dedication of hundreds of beekeepers and the labor of millions of bees. In 1925, Everett Franklin Phillips, the recently hired professor of apiculture at Cornell, began to act on his desire to create a great central collection of beekeeping literature, an "accessible storehouse of our knowledge of bees and beekeeping."

Caught Between the Pages: Treasures from the Franclemont Collection

A peek at select treasures from the collection of Cornell entomologist John G. Franclemont introduces the early history of a fascinating life science.


FASHION AND FEATHERS explores the complex and nebulous space between inspiration and exploitation. Throughout the exhibition, we have endeavored to identify as many birds as possible, hypothesizing about abstracted representations of birds and identifying actual feathers. We invite you to “go birding” in this exhibition. Look closely at each item, identify birds, and in doing so, reflect upon the beauty and tragedy of fashion and feathers.

Do It Yourself, Do It Together

Earth Thinking 1970 to Tomorrow

Whole Earth Catalog presented a do-it-yourself approach to environmentalism against a backdrop of widespread pollution in the United States. At the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, that message of cooperation and education about environmental issues resonates stronger than ever.

The Trees of Cornell

Cornell's trees are at the core of the beauty of the university's campus, but of course they are also so much more. In honor of our woody flora, this exhibit pairs data on the ecological and economic value of specific campus trees with lovely illustrations from the Library’s rare and distinctive collections in the historical life sciences.


A Passion for Spiders

Spiders are diverse, fascinating and surprisingly useful to humans. This virtual version of a Mann Gallery exhibit created in collaboration with Dr. Linda S. Rayor (Entomology) challenges your preconceived notions, and encourages you to find some love for this much maligned species.

Selections from the Barazangi Map Collection

Understanding the Middle East through Geologic Movement

This exhibit features maps donated by Professor Muawia Barazangi, emeritus professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The maps and images explore how plate tectonics created, and shaped the geography of the Middle East, and how that geologic history resulted in the region’s status as both an oil & gas rich region, and an epicenter of natural disasters.

Notes from Cornell Typewriters

From May to September 2018, Library users were invited to record their thoughts on vintage typewriters set up in Olin and Uris libraries. Inspired by Notes from a Public Typewriter, the typewriters allowed Cornellians to connect with each other and the past. This exhibit spotlights the machines and some of the messages left by people who were experiencing manual typing for the first time, and others who were reconnecting with a bygone technology and with it, long-forgotten memories.

Cultivating Silence

NIkolai Vavilov and the Suppression of Science in the Modern Era

NIkolai Ivanovich Vavilov was one of the most brilliant geneticists of the 20th century - yet his life ended in a Soviet prison, jailed for his ideas.