An Identity Crises: Images of Dissent at Reed, 1966-1972

Like any institution, Reed College has always been shaped by the individuals who care about it most. Founded out of Progressive Era ideals, Reed’s early years were fueled by a desire to reject the status quo of other institutions. This Reedie way of life, however, was not always interpreted in the same way. In the 1960s Reed was beginning to undergo an ideological schism between the Old Guard, Reed’s established faculty and administrators, and the Young Turks, the younger, often un-tenured faculty. This exhibit and corresponding website uses items from the college archives to give an overview of Reed’s identity crisis and the global issues which pitted the young thinkers against the status quo.

The exhibit runs from December 8th 2017- February 1st, 2018. Curated by Emily Jane Clark, Social Justice Exhibits and Research Intern.

See the online exhibit here (

Great Ideas: The Inventivity of Books

April 4 – June 23, 2017
Flat cases and wall case by the Reference Desk

Surprisingly, the book format has long experienced creative developments. Though outliers to the normal codex format, the items shown in this exhibit confirm that bookmakers are ingenious in their invention. From the physical—like The Invisible Book made out of clear tape–to the shaped, such as Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, and from the food box of Eat and Die to the Viewmaster of Mushrooms in Their Natural Habitats, there will be something to impress and surprise the viewer.

Illustrated Books: Interior Pictures – Exterior Views

December 1, 2016 to February 22, 2017
Flat and wall cases in the library

A selection of illustrated volumes from the library’s special collections is on display ranging from the early Book of Kells through contemporary artists’ books and from hand-colored pochoir to comics. Come see the beauty of book illustrations and enjoy their many forms from the Reed collections.

Realia: Objects from the Archives

August 4 – mid-November 2016.
Flat and Wall Cases

The new exhibit in the library’s flat and wall cases is “Realia: Objects from the Archives”. The Reed College Special Collections contain many objects from the history of the college, its founders, and its activities. These are documented and stored in the library’s many rooms devoted to special collections and archives. They range from the wooden palanquin on which the flaming boar’s head was carried in earlier years to Simeon Reed’s fishing pole. A selection of these items allows us to see a real piece of Reed and to help us imagine the life of the mind in previous decades.

Guerrilla Girls


April 11- May 3, 2016
Flat and Wall Cases

The Guerrilla Girls are a small group of women outraged at the inequality in the art world over how few women are shown, reviewed, selected as playwrights, or accepted but also in the larger world of women’s rights, status, and politics.  The library owns a large collection of their posters from 1985 to the present; these and many others are on display around the campus, with copies mounted all over in guerrilla fashion.

The Book of Kells: Insular Script & Celtic Decoration


March 10 – May 31, 2016
Flat and Wall Cases

The new exhibit focuses on the Book of Kells and its Insular Script, a half-uncial form of handwriting, and Celtic ornamentation. The library’s excellent facsimile of the Book of Kells (1990) is on display along with other research on the manuscript, a note about Celtic decoration, and the connection between Reed and the study of this early hand. The exhibit accompanies the Book of Kells events planned for April 2, 2016, of discussions, demonstrations, and lectures on the Book of Kells and the monastic Irish culture that produced it.

Currency: Design for Currency Systems

Currency Image

November 25, 2015-February 15, 2016.
Library’s flat and wall cases

The current exhibit in the flat cases of the library is “Currency: Design for Currency Systems” by the students of Marc Ganzglass’ Visual Concepts Class, Studio Arts, 2015. Designs for both a paper and metal money system was the assignment for the 19 students. All of these colorful designs are displayed along with a description from each student.

Books and their Covers: Bookbindings in the Reed Collections


August 18, 2015 through November, 2015
Library’s flat and wall cases

The art of bookbindings mirror in miniature the changes in style and design in the world around us. From the 16th century to the present, books in this exhibit have been selected from the Reed collections to show the breadth of these designs, from the vellum covering of a sewn-through-the-fold paper text block to the accordion-folded artist’s book. Displayed are various binding structures, examples of endpaper designs, early bindings, publishers’ stamped cloth bindings, and the creativity of book artists.

Reed in the Global Sixties

May 1 – June 15, 2015
Library flat and wall cases


This exhibit highlights how the political and social phenomena experienced across the U.S. unfolded on campus. The students of History 309, taught by Shane Dillingham this semester, explored youth culture and social movements throughout Latin America during the long ’60s, contextualized into a global perspective. In their investigation of Reed College’s engagement with black politics, women’s liberation, and U.S. foreign policy, they concluded that while Reed is rightly regarded as a very insular, somewhat myopic space, the campus was not immune to the influences of social and ideological forces from around the globe.

Emilio Pucci: Fashion Impressario Reed MA ’37

January 15 – April 15, 2015
Flat Library Cases


The world-renowned fashion designer, Emilio Pucci, had a special relationship with Reed College, having attended Reed in 1936/37. President Dexter Keezer traded tuition, room, and board for Pucci’s time and expertise as a ski instructor, giving Reed the first ski team and, incidentally, giving the world the first of Pucci’s designs with the ski uniforms. On display are items, photos, and documents that connect Pucci to Reed and follow his long association with the college.