For Students

Student-Curated Exhibits at Yale Library in the Sterling Memorial Library Exhibition Corridor

Learn how to present your research using the unique narrative form of an exhibit.  The library’s exhibit staff will assist you to choose, describe, sequence, and arrange objects from the library’s diverse collections.

Our primary student-curated exhibit opportunities are:

Senior Exhibit Project - Watch for updated proposal deadline information

Through this opportunity Yale Library provides one rising senior with training in curatorial skills which culminates in the production of a library exhibition based on the student’s senior essay topic using materials from the Yale Library collections.

One Yale College junior is selected to receive mentoring, and exhibit production support over the course of nine months to research, create and curate a professional-quality exhibit in all five exhibition cases opening in spring of their senior year.

This opportunity is perfect for students who have experience researching with primary source materials, are curious about the curatorial process, enjoy working collaboratively, and whose senior essay subject can be strongly represented by physical objects from the Yale Library collections. The selected student curator will have an opportunity to explore presenting their research in a different narrative form--with a strong visual component, a defined physical space, and its own conventions and practices.

If you are considering this opportunity:

  • Review the guide for Yale Library senior exhibit applicants and example production calendar.
  • Review the senior exhibit curator responsibilites.
  • Discuss the opportunity with a librarian or faculty advisor and ask them to review the advisor responsibilites Faculty Advisor and a Librarian Exhibit Advisor. Your selected advisor must agree to work with and advise you throughout the year long project.

Student Research at YUL 

Through this opportunity two students are selected to curate two exhibit cases each, based on a completed paper or research project, using materials from the Yale Libraries. Open to Yale College sophomores and juniors, graduate and professional students, the selected students will learn how to transform their completed paper or research project into a physical exhibit utilizing production tools, templates, technical expertise, and guidance from Yale Library’s exhibit professionals.

The majority of the curatorial work occurs in the spring semester with an exhibition opening the following fall. Exhibit staff coordinate schedules, deadlines, and management of collections materials.  

If you are considering this opportunity:

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the past exhibit Web page.

If you are just getting started ...

Learning how to do research in the collections is the first step toward any exhibit opportunity. Start by getting to  know your personal librarian or subject librarian, as well as archivists and collection specialists. Explore and discover the collections at archives.yale. edu. Get ideas by looking at previous years' exhibits via the SML Exhibits LibGuide. Learn about opportunities to create online exhibits at Yale University Library.

Send questions to kerri.sancomb@yale.edu