Previous Exhibitions

First & Second Floor:

Wild/LIFE: Guild of Book Workers Triannual Traveling Exhibition

May 2, 2022 - June 24, 2022


The Cushing Memorial Library and Archives was proud to present this traveling exhibition, featuring approximately 50 works by members of the Guild of Book Workers, a book artists’ organization that promotes interest in and awareness of the tradition of the book and paper arts. Members were invited to interpret the theme of “wildlife” in any way they wished, be it literal or abstract, humorous, or serious.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives and the Lone Star Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers hosted a reception featuring the two Texas-based artists exhibited in the show: Elizabeth T. Mellott and Patrice Miller (Cushing Library, May 6, 2022, 3:30pm to 5 pm).

A companion digital exhibition, which includes additional works not seen in the traveling exhibition, is available at: For more information about the exhibition and the Guild of Book Workers, please visit


Unexpected Treasures on the Texas A&M Campus: Selections from the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives Collections
January 18, 2022-April 26, 2022

The Cushing Memorial Library and Archives welcomed 2022 with a new exhibition, showcasing unique and rare items, including a stage dress worn by legendary performer Lydia Mendoza, Ancient Roman artifacts from the First Century AD, A&M memorabilia (including a 1939 signed football), Afrofuturism comic books, the first edition of The Hobbit, and a diary written during World War II by a Canadian resident who was stranded by the Third Reich’s occupation of the Netherlands, unable to return home to Winnipeg.

Coming Out Together to Share our History: LGBTQIA+ Collections in College Station, Houston, and Beyond
July 12, 2021-December 21, 2021
The Cushing Memorial Library and Archives proudly presented its first large-scale community collaboration (between the Cushing Library and eight partners). This co-curated, collaborative exhibition highlighted LGBTQIA+ history at the local and national level, and showcased stories of everyday life, art, community, and activism. Materials included selections from The Banner Project, a bar top commemorating the community and history of Mary’s… Naturally in Houston, a unique collage-decorated chair, and much more. The University of Houston Special Collections facilitated oral histories with exhibition partners.


For more information, please contact Dr. Francesca Marini (Associate Professor) at 

First Floor, Mayo-Thomas Room:

A selection of books, objects and manuscripts from the Michael Lee Lanning Collection.
November 20, 2015-January 29, 2016.
Michael Lee Lanning ’68 is an author, retired US Army Colonel, and authority on the Vietnam War. He has written a total of 21 books covering military history, sports and health.

First Floor Lobby:

A Time of Resolve: Texas A&M During the Great Depression
August 31, 2018-March 1, 2019
A Time of Resolve took us on a journey of a growing college in a decade of struggle; it contained valuable pieces of Texas A&M’s history in the time of the Great Depression. Items were on display on both the first and second floor of the Library. Exhibition curators: Greg Bailey, University Archivist, with contributions from Justin Curtsinger, Anton duPlessis, and Robin Hutchison. The exhibition and free illustrated catalogue were generously funded through the John H. Hinton Library Endowment.

Cushing Library Collection Highlights
August 15 through September 20, 2017
This exhibition showcased highlights from the Cushing Library’s collections, providing an overview of our “greatest hits.”

Shifting Frontiers: Texas from Spain to Space
October 28, 2016 through June 30, 2017.
This exhibition highlighted the complexity of Texas History, as well as the impact Texas has made on the rest of the United States and the world. The exhibition consisted of unique and rare items in a wide variety of forms, including maps, books, manuscripts, photographs, textiles and audiovisual materials. The exhibition documented the culture and history of Texas from the early days to the present time. Some displays changed a few times over the course of the exhibition. To see all artifacts and pieces of Texan history, guests were recommended to visit at least twice during the span of the exhibition being open.

This exhibition was supported by The Hamill Foundation and other generous donors. Illustrated exhibition catalogues are available to visitors at no cost.

Within the Book and Volume: Early Modern English Literature at Texas A&M.
March 8, 2016 through September 30, 2016.
This full-scale exhibition showcased Rare and Early Modern collections materials, highlighting materials related to the publishing and editorship of Shakespearean drama, as well as that of his contemporaries such as John Donne, Ben Jonson, and many others. Included were a 1632 Second Folio containing the works of William Shakespeare and a 1703 Quarto edition of Hamlet.

The exhibition complemented the national traveling exhibition, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on display at the J. Wayne Stark Galleries, March 8, 2016 through April 3, 2016.

Hand to Hand: Selections from the J. Lawrence Mitchell Collections.
February 12, 2015-January 11, 2016.

This exhibition featured highlights from the collections of Dr. J. Lawrence Mitchell, and showcased rare books, manuscripts, photographs, objects, artwork and movie lobby cards. Topics included literature by authors writing between the two World Wars and items related to the sport of boxing, from its early days through the Twentieth century. Illustrated exhibition catalogues, generously sponsored by the John H. Hinton Library Endowment and the Priscilla Letterman Meserole Endowment, are available to visitors at no cost.

The Great War: Memories of Service and Sacrifice. A World War I Exhibit Featuring the Aggie Experience.
September 17, 2013-November 19, 2014.

The exhibition featured books, diaries, letters, photographs, posters, and artifacts from the Ragan Military History Collection housed at Cushing Library, as well as materials on loan from private collectors. The exhibition documented the experience of those involved in World War I—American, British, French, and German participants alike. Among the items on display were an American Red Cross diary, a 1915 Christmas truce letter, and an enlarged image of the Gold Star service flag. Part of a national tradition that began with World War I, the service flag contains approximately 2,000 maroon stars honoring those Aggies who served, and 50 gold stars memorializing those Aggies who gave their lives in the war. A commemorative Texas A&M "Gold Book" pamphlet printed in 1919 to pay tribute to these Aggie servicemen was also on display. The exhibition and free illustrated catalogues were generously sponsored by The Hamill Foundation.

Second Floor:

The Eternal Passion: Nicholas A. Basbanes and the Making of A Gentle Madness
August 10, 2020 - November 30, 2020

Nicholas A. Basbanes is an award-winning investigative journalist, columnist and author of 10 books. Basbanes's extensive archives and professional library were acquired by Texas A&M University in 2015.Basbanes's first book, A Gentle Madness, is a genre-defining work about the culture of book collecting. Since 1995, it has captured readers' imaginations with chronicles of the well-known bibliophiles and bibliomanes of history. The exhibition showcased manuscripts, correspondence, artifacts and books to tell the story of the authorship and publication of A Gentle Madness.


A Spirit Can Ne’er Be Told: Traditions of Aggieland
October 10, 2019 - February 28, 2020

The exhibition ran from October 10, 2019 to February 28, 2020 at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. The exhibition featured materials from the University Archives, as well as items on loan. Items on display included the oldest known Aggie Ring, an ax handle that survived being thrown in the ’89 Bonfire, historic Yell Books, and Reveille II’s last every-day collar. The exhibition opening featured a panel discussion with former Yell Leaders Richard Biondi ’60, Bob Segner ’69, Marty Holmes ’87 and Roy May ’15 (3 p.m., Evans Library, Room 204E), followed by a mini Yell Practice on the steps of the Cushing Library. During the opening only, the 1946 Corregidor Muster flag was displayed; a limited number of free brochures, featuring a poster image of the flag, are available through the Cushing Library.


"The Stars Are Ours”: Infinite Diversities in Science Fiction and Fantasy
March 29-September 20, 2019
“The Stars Are Ours”: Infinite Diversities in Science Fiction and Fantasy
exhibition ran from March 29 through September 20, 2019, at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. Items from the Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection provided a window into the diversities of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and culture that have always been a part of science fiction and fantasy. In conjunction with the exhibition, author Tananarive Due spoke on The Rise of Afrofuturism and Black Horror (March 29, 2019, 5:30 p.m., Rudder Forum), and author Rebecca Roanhorse spoke about Diverse Voices in Speculative Short Fiction (September 19, 2019, 5:30 p.m., Rudder Forum). Funding for this exhibition and events was generously provided by the Texas A&M University Libraries’ Diversity Advancement Committee and Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Vice President and Associate Provost fort Diversity, Texas A&M University.

For more information, contact the Collection’s Curator, Jeremy Brett, at

A Time of Resolve: Texas A&M During the Great Depression
August 31, 2018-March 1, 2019
A Time of Resolve took us on a journey of a growing college in a decade of struggle. Items were on display on both the first and second floor of the Library. The exhibition contained valuable pieces of Texas A&M’s history in the time of the Great Depression. It featured the plan for the reorientation of the campus entrance, as well as designs for the ten buildings designed by S.C.P. Vosper, including the Administration Building, Chemistry Building, Petroleum Engineering, Geology and Engineering Experiment Station Building, and the Veterinary Hospital. Also highlighted were the construction of the Corps Dorms and Easterwood Airport. The men who designed these iconic buildings were showcased as well. Sports were thriving for the Aggies in the 1930s and the exhibition featured memorabilia from Texas A&M’s perfect season in 1939, which captured the school’s last national championship in football. The exhibition also showcased the struggles A&M had during the Depression era, such as budget cuts, declining student enrollment, and a limited enrollment of women. Exhibition curators: Greg Bailey, University Archivist, with contributions from Justin Curtsinger, Anton duPlessis, and Robin Hutchison. The exhibition and free illustrated catalogue were generously funded through the John H. Hinton Library Endowment. The opening reception featured a lecture by Professor Emeritus David Woodcock.

The Angel in the Marble: Selections from the Berger-Cloonan Collection of Decorated Papers
March 1-August 17, 2018
An exhibition curated from the Berger-Cloonan Collection of Decorated Papers. The Collection contains more than 20,000 items representing five centuries of paper production and decoration from across the globe and is one of the strongest collections of its kind. Among its many strengths are 18th century Dutch gilt papers, thousands of unique marbled and paste papers, Japanese Chiyogami and Katazome, historic watermarks, and scores of papermakers’ sample books. The collection had its origins as a teaching collection built to support the work of Dr. Sidney E. Berger and Dr. Michèle V. Cloonan, and, with this in mind, Texas A&M University was selected as its permanent home. The collection contributes to the University Libraries’ efforts in teaching book history and book arts. Exhibition curator: Kevin O’Sullivan, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Coordinator of the Book History Workshop. At the opening of The Angel in the Marble (March 1, 2018) award-winning paper artist and printer Tom Leech presented a talk on the art of paper decoration. In conjunction with the exhibition opening, a free demonstration of several historical paper decoration techniques was held.


Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places Collection
February 9, 2017-February 10, 2018
Come explore realms and cities, lands and planets that never existed save in the imagination! Fantastical lands await you at the Worlds Imagined: Maps of Imaginary Places Collection exhibition. Plan your next adventure to your favorite literary, film, or game locale using maps from the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives and Maps & GIS collections. View a rare antique map of North America featuring California as a mythical island, and more contemporary maps of wondrous places like Oz, Narnia, Middle-earth, Skyrim, and the United Federation of Planets.

The exhibition was supported by the generosity of Barbara and Daniel Clinton, Jr. ’52. Additional support provided by the Texas A&M Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research. Illustrated exhibition catalogues are no longer available in print form, but a free PDF version can be accessed at:

You can view videos of the exhibition here:
Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places Collection- Quick Tour (3:19)

Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places Collection- Full Tour (25:33)

Printing Cervantes: A Legacy of Words and Images
September 13, 2016-December 16, 2016.
In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his death, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives is pleased to honor Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra through an exhibition showcasing highlights from the Eduardo Urbina Cervantes Project Collection of Don Quixote editions and related works (one of the largest collections of its kind). Curators: Dr. Fernando Moreno, University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain); Anton duPlessis and Kevin O’Sullivan, Cushing Library.

The collection is supported by the generosity of Lynn A. Holleran and Charles H. Bowman ’59.

A free booklet in PDF format is available here.

Lives. Liberation. Love. The Don Kelly Research Collection of Gay Literature and Culture.
April 1, 2015-May 13, 2016.

The exhibition showcased the Kelly collection, one of the largest and most complete of its kind, acquired in late 2014 with the support of the Texas A&M University Libraries, the University and the community. Materials on display included first editions signed by famous authors (from the 1800s to the present), rare magazines and other publications, film posters, pulp novels, and more. The exhibition was accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, free to patrons, which is still available through the Cushing Library.

Cushing Library and the College of Liberal Arts are sponsoring the Don Kelly Research Fellowship. For more information, please click here

The King: Celebrating the Sara H. Lindsey Collection of Elvis Memorabilia.
October 3, 2014-February 13, 2015.

Long-time friend and donor to the Libraries, Sara H. Lindsey, made the Elvis Presley exhibition possible with her generous donation of personal Elvis memorabilia. Mrs. Lindsey, a life-long Elvis fan who started her collection in earnest by collecting Elvis buttons and various souvenirs, has seen her collection grow over the years by receiving Elvis-themed memorabilia as gifts from her Friends and Family. Items displayed included a handkerchief that was owned by Elvis and the Volcano Ring (on loan from a private collector) that Elvis wore at his famous 1973 Aloha from Hawaii international satellite broadcast concert.

Songs to the Battle: Literature of the Great War.
March 21 2014-March 14, 2015.

A complement to the Great War exhibition, this exhibition explored the literature produced during and directly following World War I and its influence on the cultural world. The exhibition prominently featured the war poets, such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Edward Thomas. Among its many highlights were the manuscripts of the "Ode of Remembrance" from Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen and "Not Dead" by Robert Graves.