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Creating Exhibitions: First Thoughts

Learn from Others' Experiences

Dr Stephen Boyd describes his experience of curating 'Cervantes “Prince of Wits” (1616 – 2016): Life, Work, Legacy.' 

Poster of Cervantes used for promoting the exhibition.

UCC Library is a good partner for exhibitions. We will bring an additional layer of meaning and audience to your exhibition.

UCC Library works collaboratively with every college and academic unit across campus. We may be aware of initiatives that aren't on your radar.

UCC Library also collaborates with many individuals across Ireland and further afield and we may be able to facilitate a connection.

Library Exhibition Space Availability

The exhibition space is available for three or six month periods.

Exhibitions can start in January / April / July / October. 

Included in each booking time is mounting and dismounting. 

As a guide the schedule is booked up to two years in advance. 

Contact Information

For all queries relating to exhibitions please contact
Crónán Ó Doibhlin,
Head of Collections,
UCC Library.

Tel:  (021) 4903185 

Schedule: Creating an Exhibition

Why Exhibit?

These questions may assist you in developing your exhibition rationale: 

  • Does the exhibition tie into current research and / or funding?
  • Does the exhibition complete previous research?
  • Will the theme of the exhibition be a retrospective or centered on a particular period? Will the theme of the exhibition be presented around a particular theme or topic? Will it be focused on an individual or a group?
  • What will be the impact of the exhibition?
  • What do you want to convey to an audience?

We suggest creating a title for the exhibition and writing a brief statement of purpose. Make the title memorable, not too long and revealing. The statement should reflect your intent in presenting your exhibition.

Managing Expectations

The library will provide you, the exhibition organiser, with a contract. This will cover:

  • what the library will do to assist with the exhibition
  • what you'll need to do to create the exhibition
  • where both parties will overlap
  • schedule of activity.

Please note that many people outside UCC Library will be involved in the process including:

  • conservators
  • photographers
  • design team
  • team to mount exhibition.

These people all work on other projects within UCC and outside of UCC.

Guides to Designing & Curating An Exhibition

Check Recommended Reading for more information!

Front cover to 'Exhibiting the Written Word' booklet.

UCC Library FAQs! Ask Us!

Check our FAQs for more information on exhibitions!

Blogging About the Exhibition

A blog post about the exhibition will be posted on The River-side which communicates about research collections, projects and events in Special Collections & Archives, Research and Digital Services, UCC Library. For examples of previous posts see here.