About the Collection: A Treasury of World's Fair Art & Architecture

This digital library was conceived and developed collaboratively by staff in multiple UMD Libraries units, including the Art and Architecture Libraries; Digital Collections and Research, Technical Services Division, and Information Technology Division. The inspiration for the project was the highly successful and frequently visited "World's Fair Overview: 1851-1970," a website and online exhibit that was created in 2000. A Treasury of World's Fair Art & Architecture was created as a second and revised edition of the first digital resource.

About the project

Welcome to A Treasury of World's Fair Art & Architecture. This digital collection represents a sampling of artifacts from the rich and varied World's Fair Collection in Special Collections, Hornbake Library, University of Maryland Libraries (UMD). Although limited in size, this collection is unique for its broad coverage of most international expositions. We invite you to explore the collection by searching for specific images, exploring virtual exhibits, and reading informative essays.

About the collection

In its entirety, the World's Fair Collection is divided into two distinct parts: a) ephemera and b) publications, including books, periodicals, and catalogs. The ephemera and graphic materials consists of photographs, stereographs, prints, illustrations, scrapbooks, sheet music, maps, pamphlets, and memorabilia, as well as many artifacts, such as trade cards, tickets, exhibitor entry forms, postcards, menus, souvenir ribbons and scarves, and a stereograph viewer. Represented fairs range from the 1851 London exhibition through the present, although the collection's holdings are strongest for the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial exhibition, the 1893 Chicago Exposition, the U.S. fairs (as a whole), and Paris fairs (as a group).

The other part of the collection contains approximately 600 publications, many of which are rare. With nearly half of the titles cited as core resources in [include titles of the bibliographies], important subject bibliographies, this collection is notable for its research value. Its holdings are strongest for the fairs held in Paris (as a group), the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851, and the Chicago World Columbian Exposition of 1893. All titles are in the Libraries' catalog.


For questions regarding the content of this site or about world's fairs, please click here


This digital archive was created by the staff of the Art & Architecture Library, the Information Technology Division, with the support of the Digital Collections and Research at the University of Maryland Libraries.

  • Curator and Content Developer
  • Patricia Kosco Cossard
  • Database design and development
  • Paul Hammer and Benjamin Wallberg
  • Website design
  • Sean Daugherty and Gretchen Gueguen
  • Metadata design
  • Jennifer Roper
  • Metadata implementation and control
  • Patricia Kosco Cossard and Jennifer Roper
  • User Interface design
  • Patricia Kosco Cossard, Sean Daugherty, Gretchen Gueguen, and Jennifer Roper
  • Design support
  • Janet Evander and Joan Stahl
  • Project documentation
  • Patricia Kosco Cossard, Daniel Davis, and Gretchen Gueguen
  • Project management
  • Patricia Kosco Cossard, Jean Phillips, and Susan Schreibman

We would also like to thank Dr. Isabelle Gournay, Cindy Larimer, Timothy Hackman, Tang Li, Ololade (Tutu) Owoade, and Gail Rumper for their assistance at critical points during this project.