Swem Library strives to provide exhibits that engage, educate, inform and entertain visitors while at times promoting library and college resources, activities and programs. From student art to Filipino American Heritage Month, Swem Library has hosted a wide range of exhibits and is inviting the submission of exhibit proposals that take advantage of the spaces located throughout our building. Although preference is given to exhibit proposals from William & Mary students, faculty, and staff, groups and individuals outside the university may exhibit in Swem Library.
Display spaces include the Botetourt Gallery, the Swem Library lobby, as well as display panels located in the Vaughan Read & Relax area. Additionally, a small number of moveable flat cases can be made available.
To apply for an exhibit space, please submit an exhibit proposal no later than forty-five days before the prospective installation date. Exhibit proposals can be submitted via email or in person. The proposal needs to include desired start and end dates, a brief description of the content to be displayed, preferred space within Swem, and your contact information. Proposals will be reviewed by the exhibits committee, and you will be notified with the determination of the committee. If approved, we will email you with your assigned exhibit space and dates. Exhibit space is subject to availability; earlier submissions have a better chance of being accommodated in our exhibit schedule.
Two weeks prior to the scheduled exhibit installation date, a detailed exhibit plan, including label text, representative images of materials to be displayed, floor plan, and poster design, must be submitted to the exhibits committee chair. A response with feedback will be emailed to the primary exhibit contact within five business days of submission.
Set-up and take-down must take place during regular business hours (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and will be scheduled by a member of the exhibits committee or library designee. Prior to exhibit installation, an exhibit waiver must be submitted to the exhibits committee chair.
For further information, please contact Jennie Davy, Exhibits and Artifacts Curator, firstname.lastname@example.org, (757) 221-3062.
Criteria for Selection
Community exhibits in Swem Library will be selected according to the policies set forth in these guidelines. Although preference is given to exhibit proposals from William & Mary students, faculty, and staff, groups and individuals outside the university may exhibit in Swem Library.
Swem Library reserves the right to approve or refuse any exhibit requests, to have final approval for the layout and placement of the exhibit, and to make all decisions regarding length of exhibit and content of publicity.
No admission charges or requests for donations will be permitted in the library’s galleries. The library will allow exhibitors to include their name and contact information should a viewer wish to inquire about a purchase. The library will not engage in selling or negotiating for the sale of artwork on behalf of an artist.
Swem Lobby (1st Floor)
- The exhibit space includes 24.5 ft. of wall space that accommodates two-dimensional framed or mounted visual art or graphic panels.
- All exhibited items must use the installed hanging system, which uses a wall-mounted track with semi-transparent cords. Items to be displayed should have hanging wire or similar hardware, as no items (including labels) may be adhered or mounted directly on the wall.
Margaret Baxter Vaughan Read & Relax Area (1st Floor)
- Subject to availability, the Read & Relax Area includes up to four lockable hinged table base exhibit cases, which accommodate small three-dimensional objects, and three upright doubled-sided display panels, which accommodate two-dimensional items.
- The two-sided upright display panels have a durable fabric surface that accepts Velcro or pins. Usable surface of each panel measures 65 inches (height) x 46.75 inches (width).
- The interior dimensions of the hinged table base exhibit cases measure 9.5 inches (height) x 29 inches (width) x 58 inches (length).
Botetourt Gallery (Ground Floor)
- The exhibit space includes 126 ft. of total wall space that accommodates two-dimensional framed or mounted visual art or graphic panels.
- All exhibited items must use the installed hanging system.
- 52.5 ft. of limestone wall space uses a picture rail mounted 7.5 ft. above floor with pre-drilled holes for hooks every 1 ft.
- 73.5 ft. of wall space uses slotted wall channels installed every 1 ft. between sections of wood paneling.
- Hooks will be provided to work with each hanging system, but items should have hanging wire or similar hardware, as no items (including labels) may be adhered to or mounted directly onto the wall.
- The exhibit space includes 86 ft. of total wall space that accommodates two-dimensional framed or mounted visual art or graphic panels.
- All exhibited items must use the installed hanging system. 86 ft. of wall space uses a picture rail mounted 5 ft. above floor with pre-drilled holes for hooks every 1 ft. Items to be displayed should have hanging wire or similar hardware, as no items (including labels) may be adhered to or mounted directly onto the wall.
Security and Safety
Swem Library is a highly-trafficked, well-lit public building with full-time library staff members in the building until midnight. Security guards circulate throughout the building Sun. - Thurs., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. However, the library will not assume responsibility for the security or safety of exhibits. Furthermore, the library will not be responsible for damage or theft of exhibit materials during transport, installation or dismantling.
Exhibitors must sign a waiver releasing Swem Library and the College of William & Mary from any liability associated with loss or damage. If insurance is desired, it will be the responsibility of the exhibitors to obtain coverage.
The library will not install approved exhibits; exhibitors are responsible for installing their own displays under the supervision of an exhibits committee member. Exhibits, with the exception of lockable flat cases, must be free-standing, and properly installed. We may be able to provide the use of one of our stable ladders, based on availability at the time of installation.
The exhibitor will provide an introduction to be used on the library website, i.e. https://swem.wm.edu/exhibits along with the names of all participants and any sponsoring organizations. Swem will publicize the exhibit as we do other library exhibits, including our digital monitors and the exhibits page on our website. Swem Library reserves the right to proof-read submitted texts before posting them.
Swem does not typically sponsor exhibit-related events, such as receptions. If special accommodations are needed, please contact the External Relations Office at 757-221-7872.
Academic and intellectual freedom is an essential component of the education and research mission of the university community. As a community, William & Mary believes that cultural pluralism and intellectual freedom introduce new experiences, stimulate original ideas, and enrich critical thinking. The university cannot accomplish its mission of teaching, learning, discovery, and service without such diversity.
In accordance with William & Mary’s liberal arts tradition, the staff and administration of Swem Library support the principles of intellectual freedom, including the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries related to library exhibits:
- Freedom of information and of creative expression should be reflected in library exhibits and in all relevant policy documents.
- Library meeting rooms, research carrels, exhibit spaces, and other facilities should be available to the academic community regardless of research being pursued or subject being discussed. Any restrictions made necessary because of limited availability of space should be based on need, as reflected in library policy, rather than on content of research or discussion.
- A procedure for ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of library resources, exhibits, or services.
- All exhibit content developed by community exhibitors is the opinion of the exhibitor and is not endorsed by Swem Library or the College of William & Mary.
If you wish to express a concern about a library exhibit:
- Submit your concerns in writing to Tami Back, Associate Director of Strategic Communications and Outreach (email@example.com, Earl Gregg Swem Library, P.O. Box 8794, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8794).
- The exhibitor will be provided an opportunity to respond.
- The Associate Director of Strategic Communications and Outreach, in consultation with library staff and university administration, will reply with a written response to all exhibit concerns received in writing.