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Art Exhibits: Home


 A bookplate, or ex libris as often referred to, is a decorative label pasted inside the cover of a book to indicate ownership. The first bookplates originated in Germany along with the invention of the letterpress in the 15th century. As printed books began to flourish and borrowing became more prevalent in the 16th century, a record of ownership became necessary. Throughout the 17th century, bookplates were predominantly used by superiors in monasteries, philosophers, mathematicians, and physicians and were commonly designed with a coat of arms. The 18th and 19th centuries brought about copper-plated engravings which replaced woodcuts and introduced more decorative and ornamental designs. After World War II, ready-made bookplates became available. The current exhibit on display is a sampling of the bookplate collection from the Robert M. Bird Library’s History of Medicine. All are believed to be post-WWII and were contained within books donated to the collection from those named on the plates. All bookplates were scanned and enlarged for display purposes.

--- Kristi Kohl, Director of Serials Services

Come see this intriguing collection on the third floor, near the Service Desk of the Library.


An art gallery is located on the 3rd Floor of the Bird Library.  The gallery was established for an exhibit that was set to display on the OUHSC campus due to the health related subject matter. 

In the fall of 2012 the first exhibit titled Silent Witnesses was installed.  The pieces on display commissioned the talent of artists using prosthetic legs as subject matter. Nearly 800 innocent people are either killed or maimed each month as a result of more than 100 million mines lying scattered across more than 60 countries throughout the world. The artists hope viewers will identify with the ever-increasing humanitarian and diplomatic efforts to stop the land mine epidemic from spreading.  For more information on this collaboration originally between the United Nations and the Center for International Health and Cooperation, see Previous Exhibits.

At the time the Library had no mechanism for displaying the art work; the Library was able to purchase custom art walls through the generosity of the College of Medicine, headed by Dean DeWayne Andrews.

The art work is changed periodically, 2-4 exhibits are hosted per year.  Exhibits are developed from the collections of faculty, students, staff (or their family members) affiliated with the university or are on loan from the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art on the Norman campus.


Click here for information about previous exhibits.