Current Displays

Concourse Display Case

African American History Month

African American History Month is celebrated in February each year. This year's theme is "The Crisis in Black Education." Barriers to quality education for African Americans have existed since the days of slavery when it was unlawful for slaves to learn to read and write. Yet African-American history also includes centuries-old efforts of resistance to the denial of equal education. We join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society…

The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

(Excerpt from an essay by Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University, for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History)

This display also features African American children’s literature as an important aspect of education. As the current Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden said, “Children need to see themselves reflected in books.”

For more information, visit the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s website and the African American History Month website.

First Floor Interior Displays

Libraries Respond

Following one of the most contentious elections in memory, the American Library Association (ALA) has launched Libraries Respond, a website where librarians can share their ongoing work in meeting the information needs of their communities and supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has created Libraries Respond as a space for the library community to share information, find resources, and connect as they provide foundational information to citizens.

Do you want to learn more about immigration, the protests at Standing Rock, political activism in the aftermath of the 2016 elections, Black Lives Matter, and other current events? Libraries are here to help.

Join the conversation on social media under the hashtag #librariesrespond.

Blind Date with a Book

Hey, book lovers! Get into the spirit of Valentine's Day by visiting the Kathryn A. Martin Library and checking out a book from a display called "Blind Date with a Book."

The open case contains wrapped books with a "personals ad" type of description on the cover. Find your dream book. When you bring it to the Circulation desk, you can unwrap it to see if you've met your match!

book pages bent in the shape of a heart

A Presidential Campaign, 1984

An exhibit featuring the Michael S. Berman Political Collection is in the table-case in the Kathryn A. Martin Library lobby.

In 1984 former Vice President Walter Mondale (Minnesota) was the Democratic candidate in the Presidential election. His running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, was the first female vice presidential candidate to represent a major American political party.

The Michael S. Berman Political Collection includes materials gathered during UMD alumnus Mike Berman’s work as campaign coordinator for Mondale’s presidential campaign. The display features administrative documents from the campaign, including a copy of the Republican Party’s “opposition research” on Walter Mondale. These documents reveal the complexity, depth of detail, and logistical planning involved in mounting a major campaign on a national scale.

The Berman Political Collection is held by Kathryn A. Martin Library’s Archives and Special Collections unit.

Fourth Floor Display

All Shakespeare!

UMD hosted the 1623 First Folio volume of almost all of Shakespeare's plays (36 in total, including 18 never published before) in the Tweed Museum of Art in October. Meanwhile, we put together an ALL SHAKESPEARE display on the Kathryn A. Martin Library's fourth floor.

The Library teamed with the English Department and the Tweed to successfully compete for the opportunity to showcase the FIRST FOLIO volume on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Museum. The First Folio will be at UMD through October 26, 2016.

Martin Library's Archives and Special Collections drew upon selected items to create its All Shakespeare display, documenting the fact that Shakespeare has had a consistent local presence from the 1880s forward.

Display themes include Shakespeare and the Bible, Shakespeare and Duluth, as well as Shakespeare and UMD.

Playbills and programs from early Duluth productions show that residents in 1884 attended a Macbeth performance in the Grand Opera House. The Duluth Playhouse and Blackthorn Theater mounted productions into the 1970s. UMD's theater department student productions included Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night in the 1930s, and just last year the department produced All's Well That Ends Well.

The display also includes an 1888 Annual Report showing that Duluth public school libraries held volumes of Shakespeare. 

Four volumes from the Ramseyer Bible collection are opened to source passages of familiar phrases William Shakespeare modified and used in Richard II, Julius Ceasar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and A Winter's Tale.


Request a Display Case

Kathryn A. Martin Library | 416 Library Drive | Duluth MN 55812-3001
Phone: 218-726-8102
©2017 University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified: February 2, 2017
Library Site Coordinator: Kathryn A. Martin Library

University of Minnesota Campuses
Crookston | Duluth | Morris
Rochester | Twin Cities