Events and Exhibits


Coming soon: a listing of winter and spring Friends events.  However, there are new exhibits you can visit at various locations. Each exhibit is hosting companion lectures, gallery talks and demonstrations. Please go directly to the exhibit website for more detail.

Current Exhibits:


Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible

1407_StJohnsBible_hero December 19 – March 15

Pleasant T. Rowland Galleries
750 University Avenue, Madison, WI

The Saint John’s Bible is the first handwritten and illustrated Bible that interprets and illustrates scripture from a contemporary perspective. Using goose quill pens and other pre-printing press techniques and tools, scribes and artists labored for 15 years to create this visually stunning Bible.


Scripture Transfigured: Visualizing the Christian Bible from the Sixth to the Fifteenth Century

BibleMoralisee_small December 19 – March 15

160 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
800 University Avenue, Madison, WI

 This exhibition presents ten facsimiles of medieval  European manuscripts from the Kohler Art Library. It was curated by five Art History graduate students working with Professor Thomas Dale. The display of facsimiles corresponds with the exhibition at the Chazen Museum of Art: Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible.


Chapter and Verse: Bibles from the Holdings of Special Collections

Psalms_PeterPauper_smJanuary 12, 2015 – April 3, 2015

976 Memorial Library
728 State Street, Madison, WI

“Chapter and Verse” explores the close association of the Bible and related texts with print culture (and, more broadly, book culture).


Remembering a Lost Bird: Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future

Dr. Curt Meine and the Madison premier of From Billions to None, an award-winning documentary by David Mrazek

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
5:30–7:30 p.m.

thomas a bennett pigeons

Passenger Pigeons by Thomas A. Bennett

Memorial Library, 728 State Street
Public parking in Campus/State Street ramp, 415 N. Lake Street

Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon, once the most abundant bird in North America with a new documentary and discussion led by Dr. Curt Meine, conservation biologist, historian and writer.

Special Collections will exhibit a passenger pigeon specimen, as well as rare book images of extinct animals. Refreshments will follow.

5:30– 6:30 p.m. 126 Memorial Library, film and discussion
6:30–7:30 p.m. 976 Memorial Library, extinction display and reception

This event is also co-sponsored by the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Department of Special Collections, and the UW Zoological Museum.

Mark your calendar for November 1-2, 2014 For more information about campus activities commemorating the passenger pigeon, check out the Passenger Pigeon Symposium on the first weekend in November.

World War I Lecture and Gallery Talk
1914-1918: The War Within the War

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
4:30–5:30 p.m. Lecture
Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium, 816 State St.

Photo of lectuer

Prof. Adam Hochschild

6:00–7:00 p.m. Gallery talk and reception
976 Memorial Library, 728 State St.
Public parking in Campus/State Street ramp, 415 N. Lake Street

To mark the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, noted author and historian Adam Hochschild will describe attempts by courageous individuals to oppose the Great War. Following the lecture, guest exhibit co-curators Skye Doney and Eric O’Connor will point to highlights in 1914: Then Came Armageddon, an exhibit of materials from Special Collections and other campus libraries, including postcards and artifacts donated by historian and collector Dr. Andrew Stangel.

The lecture is cosponsored by the George L. Mosse Program in History and the UW–Madison Libraries; support for the exhibit from the George L. Mosse Program; reception sponsored by the Friends of the UW–Madison Libraries.

Grants Information Center Celebrates 30 Years

UW Grants Librarian

UW Grants Librarian Ellen Jacks

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
5:30–7:30 p.m.
460 Memorial Library, 728 State Street

Public parking in Campus/State Street ramp, 415 N. Lake Street

Join the celebration. Grants Information Center (GIC) Librarian Ellen Jacks, previous GIC librarians and nonprofit expert Boris Frank will talk about the Center, their roles, and partnerships. Light refreshments to follow.

Sponsored by the Grants Information Center and the Memorial Library Reference Department.

Inside Out / Outside In: African Print Cloth

Image of child wearing a commemorative fabric

Nelson Mandala Commemorative Cloth

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

6:00–8:00 p.m.
Central Library (Madison Public Library), 201 W. Mifflin St.

The Friends of the Library invite you to join UW–Madison Librarian Emilie Ngo-Nguidjol Songolo, and Professor Mary Hark, UW–Madison Design Studies, for a lively conversation about African fabrics informed by their personal experiences and research projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fabric display and reception included. You are welcome to wear an African textile garment to this event.

Cosponsored by the Madison Public Library; UW-Madison Libraries, UW-Design Studies and Department of African Studies.

News and Photos from Past Events

For more information about the Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries, contact:
Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries
330H Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-2505
or by email :