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The Archives of University Library Exhibitions

Exhibitions from 1996 through 2015 are documented on the German version of this page only.


From 29 February to 29 April 2016
Korean Calligraphy and Ink Wash Painting – an Exhibition of Artwork by Minja Lee
University Library entrance hall

The exhibition comprised 40 works by the Artist Misan (i.e., Minja Lee).

Minja Lee grew up in Japan, her parents being Korean. She has been living in Berlin for 50 years, working as a doctor and artist. She has been engaged in ink wash painting for many years. Since the end of her professional activities in 2010, she has worked with various Zen and calligraphy masters to perfect her skills.

Korean calligraphy, known as Seoye, is based on early, third- to sixth-century, Chinese calligraphy and traditional Korean art. As the artist points out, "calligraphy, in China, is not only about decorative lettering; it is also a means for the study and dissemination of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism." She adds that it is in combination with these teachings that calligraphy was spread in Korea and that, despite the development of an independent Korean writing system in the 15th century, Chinese signs have remained dominant.

"Four very important elements in both Korean and east Asian ink wash painting are what are called the sagunsa, or four kings: cherry blossom, orchid (or iris), bamboo, and chrysanthemum; they symbolize spring, beauty and loyalty of the nobility to the king," Minja Lee explains. She also draws attention to the pinetree, standing for fidelity and constancy. Ink and silk paper are used both for calligraphy and for painting.

"In her work, Minja Lee, integrates those traditional motifs and motifs from her Berlin surroundings and treats them with poetic sensitivity in her own style," says Prof. Dr. Young Moon Byun from Korea University at Seoul. According to him, the origin of her artistic world does not lie simply in poetry, but in constantly striving for inner and exterior creative activity.

[University Library Exhibition Catalog. No. 58] [Photos of exhibition opening on 29 February 2016] [Exhibition poster]

From 4 May to 24 June 2016
Europa, was machst Du an Deinen Grenzen?
An Amnesty International Circulating Exhibition
University Library entrance hall

The exhibition explored the fate of refugees on their way to the European Union.

The exhibition was compiled by Ingeborg Heck-Böckler, a member of Amnesty International at Aachen. In 2013 und 2014, Frau Heck-Böckler investigated the situation of refugees in Marokko and on the Mediterranean on site and has created a documentation through texts and photographs.

Impressions collected on the journey she made as a delegate to Sicily in 2014 are presented on the Amnesty International Blog.

The situation for refugees has become even worse in 2015. The war in Syria has caused more people to flee, and most European countries have reacted by closing borders, by installing fences and by implementing various forms of deterrence. Amnesty International calls on the EU heads of state and governments with demands including measures towards protecting the refugees, towards providing safe and legal ways of travel to the EU, and towards admitting refugees as well as accomodating them in all EU countries.

The exhibit is complemented by a link list and books concerning European border policy from the holdings of the University Library and the United Nations and European Union Documentation Center.

From 6 July to 1 September 2016
Paris, a Promenade in Photography and Literary Quotes
Created by Ursula Eckertz-Popp

University Library entrance hall

The photographer Ursula Eckertz-Popp presented photography taken in Paris during several stays.

She was inspired by various German and other 19th- and 20th-century authors, such as Heinrich Heine, Erich Kaestner, Mascha Kaléko, Guy de Maupassant, and Henry Miller. A selection of books by those authors from the Freie Universität Libraries' holdings accompanied the photographs.

Ursula Eckertz-Popp received her training as a professional photographer in Bamberg. Then she came to Berlin to study Photographic Technology. She has showed her work at numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad. At the same time, she worked for many years at the Freie Universität Berlin Chemistry Department and then at the University Library. "Paris, a Promenade in Photography and Literary Quotes" is her fourth exhibition in the University Library entrance hall.

From 7 September to 4 November 2016
Lives from a Global Conflict: Cultural Entanglements during the First World War
University Library entrance hall

The exhibition of English-language posters, which was shown in the University Library entrance hall from 7 September through 4 November, resulted from the three-year research project CECG. Researchers form London, Utrecht, Poznań and Berlin were involved. The three project members from Berlin were Heike Liebau, Larissa Schmid and Jan Brauburger, who worked at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). At the time of the exhibition,Larissa Schmid and Jan Brauburger were Freie Universität Berlin students, preparing their degrees.

The project Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents during the First World War (CEGC) focussed on processes and practices in cultural contacts and exchange relationships during World War I.

A case in point is the involvement of more than a million African and Asian soldiers from French and British colonies on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918. For most of them, this war deployment was the first contact with Europe and with Europeans. At the same time, politically neutral countries, among which the Netherlands and Switzerland, became embattled scenes of political and cultural propaganda, in which Indian nationalists as well as European intellectuals engaged.

The exhibition presented the roads of life of 16 people, some famous, some less famous, from Europe, Asia, and Africa, who experienced World War I in various locations. These men and women were soldiers, nurses, prisoners of war, but also diplomats, poets or artists. War brought them to different regions of the world; they experienced violence and pain, but they also got to know new languages and people. Those experiences changed their lives and their view of the world.

In addition, the University Library presented related books from the Freie Universität Libraries' holdings.

From here, the exhibition was scheduled to be moved to the glass-covered courtyard at the Zentrum Moderner Orient and then to the Atrium at Humboldt-Universität.


From 10 November 2016 to 7 January 2017
Aristoteles (384 to 322 BCE): At the Occasion of his 2,400th Birthday
Exhibition of Editions, Translations and Commentaries From Freie Universität Berlin Libraries' Holdings

University Library entrance hall

There is hardly any other philosopher whose influence is comparable to that of Aristotle. And hardly any other philosopher has been read and interpreted in so many different ways. The history of Aristotle is therefore the history of the many Aristotelisms developed from his writings.

("Kaum ein anderer Philosoph hat so weit und so tief gewirkt wie Aristoteles. Und kaum ein anderer Philosoph wurde so unterschiedlich gelesen und interpretiert. Die Geschichte des Aristoteles ist daher die Geschichte der vielen Aristotelismen, die aus seinen Schriften entwickelt wurden.")

From the introductory text to the lecture series 2400 Jahre Aristoteles und Aristotelismen. Freie Universität Berlin, summer term 2016 and winter term 2016/17 (cf. events in the Aristoteles year)

Berlin has a long tradition of Aristoteles research. The first complete critical Aristoteles edition based on manuscript readings was published in Berlin by Reimer; it was edited for the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences by Immanuel Bekker (1785–1871) starting in 1831.

To this day, Aristoteles' writings are quoted according to Bekker: Page, column and line of Bekker's edition are given in the margins of most editions and translations.

Hermann Diels (1848–1922) was the editor of the Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca (1882–1909), also for the Prussian Academy. Classicist Werner Jaeger (1888–1961) taught at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin from 1921 to 1936; his book Aristoteles. Grundlegung einer Geschichte seiner Entwicklung was also first published in Berlin in 1923.

The foundation, in 1965, of the Aristoteles Archive at Freie Universität Berlin by Paul Moraux built on that tradition; the Archive is devoted to the study of the transmission of the Corpus Aristotelicum. Since 3 June 2014, the Aristoteles Archive has been part of the Aristotelismus-Zentrum Berlin, also located at Freie Universität Berlin; its activites cover the whole period from Antiquity to the Early Modern Period and its methods include editorial philology as well as history of transmission, of materials, of knowledge and of philosophy. 

The edition of Commentaries on Aristoteles now includes the Byzantine tradition and is carried out in cooperation with the Aristoteles Archive within the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities long-term project Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca et Byzantina.

10 January to 17 February 2017
University Library entrance hall

The exhibition „Körperschaft“ consists of eleven photographs by Elisabeth Kroegel.

They deal with the subject "Landscape" and "Nude." The photographer is interested mainly in the human body and explores ways of integrating it into nature, so that the two elements become one in her photographs.

Elisabeth Kroegel, born in 1995, studies Design at Freie Universität Bozen.
More information: http://cargocollective.com/elisabethk

The exhibition is complemented by books related to the nude / to bodies in landscapes from the Freie Universität Berlin libraries' holdings.

21 February to 13 April 2017
New Universitätsbibliothek Acquisitions
The University Library presented a selection of newly acquired books.

18. bis 28. April 2017
Ever Closer Union – the Legacy of the Treaties of Rome for Today's Europe

The traveling exhibition (see: https://rometreaties.eu/) presents the history of European integration from the signing of theTreaties of Rome up to today's challenges. It was devised by the European University Institute EUI and the Historical Archives of the European Union at the occasion of the Sexagennial of the completion of theTreaties of Rome; it continues to travel to various European cities and institutions.

5 May through 29 June 2017
Concinnitas – the Beauty of Mathematical Formulas

What Is „Beautiful“ Mathematics? In creating the „Concinnitas“ portfolio, Bob Feldman and the Parasol Press, in collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery, transposed a series of hand-written mathematical formulas into ten aquatint prints. The portfolio provides insight into different concepts of beauty: Ten of the most outstanding mathematicians and physicists of our time have given their personal answers to the request to present the „most beautiful mathematical expression.“ The Fields Medal and Nobel prize laureates' perceptions touch on various aspects; they range from simplicity to elegance and to universality (compare: http://www.concinnitasproject.org/). According to Cicero's Orator, the rhetorical category of concinnitas is about the harmonious and rhythmical joining of words and thoughts. Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), in his architectural treatise De re aedificatoria, uses the term to refer to harmony in number, correlation, and arrangement of the parts of a building. In cooperation with the Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, the Freie Universität Berlin University Library presents the ten prints of formulas showing concinnitas in the entrance hall. They are complemented by books related to „mathematis and aesthetics“ from the Freie Universität libraries – among which a 1574 edition of De re aedificatoria from the Freie Universität Berlin Art History Institute's library.

[Poster of the exhibition]

United Nations – History, Presence, Future

Travelling exhibition organized by the United Nations Association of Germany (Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Vereinten Nationen e. V., DGVN) in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt)

1 through 20 September 2017

This is a retrospective exhibition that gives an overview of structures and players in the United Nations' 70-year history and of the organizational set-up today. IOt also goes into current and future challenges facing the organization, which intends to maintain peace, to foster stability and sustainability and to protect Human Rights. Illustrated text boards and other exhibits mark out the United Nations' cosmos.

The exhibition was developed by the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN) in cooperation with the Foreign Office at the United Nations' Septuagenary. At Freie Universität it is being shown by the Freie Universität United Nations and European Union Documentation Center in cooperation with the DGVN.

Open Access at Freie Universität Berlin

Exhibition 25 September through 27 October 2017

As signatory of the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities,” Freie Universität Berlin supports free access to sources of human knowledge and cultural heritage. The University Library and the Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) offer a number of Open Access services. It manages the institutional repository of Freie Universität, a platform where university members have an opportunity to electronically publish their scholarly works, theses and dissertations and make them freely accessible worldwide via the Internet. The poster exhibition gives information about Open Access activities of both institutions. Please note: The texts are presented in German only. You can visit the FU Open Access page for more information.

New Aquisitions

Exhibition showing new books of the University Library 01. November through 08. December 2017


Heinrich Böll to his 100. Birthday

Exhibition showing books of the FU Libraries 18. December 2017 through 31. January 2018 extended to 28. February

Heinrich Böll, one of the most important German authors of the twentieth century, would have turned 100 on December 21, 2017. His novels, short stories and essays have been widely printed, reprinted and translated, broadcast on the radio and were school readings for several generations of students.
Böll's critical literary confrontation with the post-war political West Germany as well as his great commitment to freedom and human rights earned him a worldwide reputation. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature of 1972. In the showcase in the entrance hall of the university library a selection of books from the stock of the FU libraries to Böll's biography, individual editions, editions of works, as well as drawn novel schemes is exhibited.

New Aquisitions

Exhibition showing new books of the University Library 01. March through April 2018

Karl Marx: At the Occasion of his 200th Birthday

Exhibition showing books of the FU Libraries 04. May through 21. June 2018 

The philosopher, journalist, political author, refugee, revolutionary, and intellectual front-runner of socialism, Karl Marx, would have turned 200 on 5 May 2018.

In collaboration with Friedrich Engels, he published "The Communist Manifesto" in 1848; after many years of exile in London, he published the first volume of "Capital" (Das Kapital), followed by numerous other writings up to his death in 1883. Marx is considered the intellectual father of communism. "Capital," in particular, has been an influential text in macroeconomics up to this day.

The exhibition includes early writings in printed editions from Freie Universität library holdings: the Communist Manifesto in many pre-1900 editions, the first edition of "Capital," the so-called blue volumes (Marx-Engels-Werke) published in Moskau and East Berlin, and the two editions of the still unfinished complete edition of  the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe: MEGA1 and MEGA²).

Many of the items are part of Max Stein's collection, the largest private collection related to the history of socialism, which was acquired by the University Library in 1951 and which saw much circulation in the 1960s and 1970s.

Early and current Marx biographies are on show as well as some titles selected from the immense amount of relevant research literature.

Reclams Universal-Bibliothek Over Time

25 June through 24 August 2018

The University Library devotes an exhibition to the most famous and oldest book series in Germany – the one with the catchy yellow covers. The series, which continues to be expanded and which has been familiar to many generations of pupils from German lessons, has existed for more than 150 years. The exhibition traces the history of Reclams Universal-Bibliothek from its beginnings in the 19th century to the present day. It documents the change in the external appearance of the Reclam booklets and also provides insight into their literary diversity and into German publishing and cultural history.  The exhibition also features lesser-known variants of Reclams Universal-Bibliothek and its sub-series, as well as catalogs, advertising materials, hardcover editions, and a few curiosities: The Reclam portable "field library", so-called camouflage materials (anti-war texts hidden in Reclam bindings), or "vending machine books," and a weekend library in a tropic-proof tin case. Goethe's Faust. Eine Tragödie. Erster Theil was number 1 of Reclams Universal-Bibliothek, started by the Leipzig publishing house Philipp Reclam jun. in 1867. Titles followed by the thousands; the exact number is unknown. By the year 2017, some 600 millions of the inexpensive booklets had been sold, filling bags, satchels, and book shelves with the classics of German literature. Since 1970, the booklets have been produced with yellow paper covers, but since then the cover colors orange, green, red, blue, and magenta have been added to indicate different types of content. The exhibition has been compiled by the Reclam collector, chairman of the Reclam Club / Literary Museum, and lecturer Dr. Hans-Jochen Marquardt (Halle / Saale).

[Poster of the Exhibition]

Book Objects

Exhibition from 28 August 2018 to 28 September 2018

Compiled by trainees of the FU-Libraries. [Poster of the Exhibition]

"The Antiauthoritarians – a Photographic Documentation of Sixty-Eighters in Berlin" compiled by Colin Robins

Exhibition from 8 November 2018 to 11 January 2019

This exhibition constitutes a photographic documentation of people who, either directly or indirectly, took part in the movements of 1968 in Berlin.

The exhibition shows people who either studied in Berlin or were sympathetic to the goals of the student revolts, including former members of the Socialist German Student Union (SDS), activists who had a penchant for Maoism, anarchism, or radical political ideas, members of Kommune 1, and dissidents from the GDR, Greece, and Iran.

The photographic documentation was produced in collaboration with the German Historical Institute London and Freie Universität. After presentations in London, Cambridge, and Helsinki, it is now on show at Freie Universität Berlin in the University Library entrance hall.

Colin Robins is a documentary photographer; he teaches photography at Plymouth University as associate lecturer. The photographic portraits will be complemented with documents from the Freie Universität Berlin University Archives and with copies of publications by the portrayed persons from the holdings of the Freie Universität libraries.

The opening of the exhibition is on Thursday, 8 November 2018, at 18:00. Everybody is cordially invited to attend.

[Poster of the Exhibition]