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Exhibitions: Resources for Curators of Library Exhibitions: Home

A guide to assist librarians, faculty, or students who are creating an exhibition in UCSB Library.

Exhibition Areas

The following areas are the current and approved exhibition areas in UCSB Library.

  • Art & Architecture (1st Floor, Mountain Side)
  • Ethnic & Gender Studies Collection (2nd Floor, Ocean Side)
  • Learning Commons--Approved for student work only-- (1st Floor, Mountain Side)
  • Mountain Gallery (1st Floor, Mountain Side)
  • Ocean Gallery (1st Floor, Ocean Side)
  • Pacific View Gallery (8th Floor, Ocean Side)
  • Special Research Collections (3rd Floor, Mountain Side)

Propose an Exhibition

All Library exhibitions must be approved in advance.  Exhibition spaces are usually reserved at least 12 months ahead of time. The first step is to submit an exhibition proposal.

Exhibition Support from UCSB Library Staff

Library staff will support curators in the following ways:

  • assist with logistics and installation
  • project manage to ensure deadlines are met
  • design and print all graphics except object labels
  • proofread all text
  • assist with photography
  • promote and publicize
  • plan related programming

The Big Idea: What is your Exhibit About?

  • An exhibit is a story. What story do you want to tell?
  • Every exhibit needs one big idea, which can be summarized into one sentence, to guide it.
  • Everyone leaving the exhibit should be able to easily explain what it was about.

Indicators of Excellence in Exhibitions

Indicators of Excellence in Exhibitions (from the National Association for Museum Exhibition)

  • An aspect of the exhibition is innovative.
  • The exhibition offers a new perspective or new insight on a topic.
  • The exhibition presents new information.
  • The exhibition synthesizes and presents existing knowledge and/or collection materials in a provocative way.
  • The exhibition includes innovative uses of media, materials, and other design elements.
  • The exhibition is particularly beautiful, exceptionally capable of engendering a personal, emotional response, and/or profoundly memorable in a constructive way.
  • The exhibition evokes responses from viewers that are evidence of a transforming experience. Such experiences are often characterized in these ways: It was haunting. The exhibition was an absolute eye-opener. I'll never see [that] in the same way again. I was filled with excitement. It knocked my socks off It sent shivers down my spine. I finally got it!


Profile Photo
Danelle Moon
UCSB Library
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010

Documents for Curators

Library Exhibition Proposal Form

Library Exhibition Policy

If you will be borrowing items for an exhibition, you will need to have documentation of the agreement on file.  Use either:

UCSB Student Artwork Loan Agreement

UCSB Art Exhibition & Loan Agreement