The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Category: Exhibits

The UMass Amherst Libraries host “Daniel Ellsberg: A Life in Truth,” a physical and digital exhibit drawing from activist and truth teller Daniel Ellsberg’s vast collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts. The Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center acquired the collection in 2019. The exhibit is located in two locations in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library until September 2022. It begins on Floor 25 in theReading Room of the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (open M-F 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) and continues on the Lower Level in the Learning Commons (accessible whenever the Library is open).

The exhibit documents Ellsberg’s 90-year life as an academic, activist, defendant, government contractor, Marine, pianist, Vietnam observer, and whistleblower.  From his middle-class upbringing in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan in the 1930s, to his education at the Cranbrook School, Harvard University, and the Marines; his work as a nuclear analyst at RAND; research for the U.S. Defense Department in Vietnam; and transformation to full-time activist following his release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971; the exhibit illustrates the cinematic sweep of Ellsberg’s life in fine detail. 

Selected digitized versions of material from the exhibit are also available via the Ellsberg Archive Project website, where it will be accessible to the public beyond its physical exhibit space.

The UMass Amherst Libraries host an exhibit, “Botanicals: An Exploration of Wild and Cultivated Plants,” through Thursday, May 12, in the Mass Aggie Seed Library, in the Science and Engineering Library, Lederle Lowrise, Floor 2, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A reception will be held on Friday, April 22, 1-3 p.m. in the Mass Aggie Seed Library. Attendees must comply with UMass Amherst’s Current Guidance for Campus Events.

“Botanicals” is an exhibition of original linoleum block prints by New Hampshire artist, Monica Rico. The collection will feature botanical prints and textiles, each hand-printed from hand-carved blocks.

Monica Rico is a printmaker, organic farmer, local food system advocate, community organizer, and mom of boys. Originally on a science-based career path, it took her many years to get comfortable enough with the idea of making mistakes to allow herself to make art. She made her first block print in a workshop taught by a friend in the fall of 2018 and became consumed with the practice. Today, she has the privilege to homeschool her youngest son and make art as her full time occupation. She works from her home studio in Henniker, New Hampshire.

The Mass Aggie Seed Library is open for seed borrowing and donation for all on a self-service basis during the hours the Science & Engineering Library is open. It houses a collection focusing on organic, open-pollinated, and heirloom vegetable and flower seeds, as well as a collection of books to educate the community about seed saving. Additionally, seed-saving tools are available for loan to encourage and support seed-saving efforts.

The Seed Library is made possible through a generous grant from the UMass Amherst Sustainability, Innovation & Engagement Fund (SIEF).

The UMass Amherst Libraries host an exhibit, “Unseen Labor,” through May 2022, in the Science and Engineering Library in Lederle Lowrise, Floor 2, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A reception will be held on Friday, February 4, 2-4 p.m., in the Science and Engineering Library. Attendees must comply with UMass Amherst’s Current Guidance for Campus Events.

The exhibit is a library community-organizing art project created by UMass Amherst metadata librarian Ann Kardos, and consists of cross stitch and embroidery pieces that share stories about libraries, the theme of unseen labor, the work that metadata librarians do, projects they are proud of, and more. The exhibit represents approximately 35 creators from a wide variety of libraries: academic, public, museum libraries, and archives, and from all over the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Metadata work is not typically seen as creative work, but rather work that is guided by national standards, best practices, policies, and guidelines in order to produce and maintain standard records for library resources that can be shared between institutions and vendors.

Metadata librarians create and maintain millions of library resources for patrons, with whom they may rarely (if ever) interact, and they provide valuable backend support for their public-facing colleagues. The project asked library metadata creators to examine stories and experiences that would center their unseen labor, both physical and emotional. The exhibition catalog can be viewed online at openbooks.library.umass.edu/unseen-labor-exhibit.

Ann Kardos has been a metadata librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2017, where she works as part of a small team of dedicated individuals supporting access to approximately seven million records in the Five College Catalog. Kardos learned how to cross stitch as a child and took it up again during the pandemic for stress relief. In November 2021, she had an original embroidery piece on display at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, as part of the Badass Herstory exhibit curated by artist and activist Shannon Downey, who goes by the name Badass Cross Stitch.