March 2019


The Library supports its mission of connecting people with the world of ideas and information by developing exhibits and by providing exhibit space to external organizations at the Main Library. Learn more about submitting an exhibit proposal for the Atrium exhibit space at the Main Library.

Temporary Exhibits

Cincinnati Public Schools City-Wide Art Exhibition

Lantern slides

This annual exhibition of artwork from kindergarten through 12th-grade students includes drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs will be on display at the Main Library through April 7. Students compete across the school district for the privilege of exhibiting their work. The pieces are then judged by local artists and art teachers, with awards given to the top students.

Scrapbook Image of World War I soldier

Cincinnati’s Historic Architecture: An Overview of 150 years of Architectural Styles

If you’ve ever walked the streets of Cincinnati and wondered what they would have looked like 100, or even 200, years ago then the Main Library’s new exhibit is for you. Cincinnati’s Historic Architecture: An Overview of 150 years of Architectural Styles is on display Jan. 31- April 28 in the Joseph S. Stern Jr., Cincinnati Room at the Main Library. Since Cincinnati’s founding in 1788, buildings have played a major role in the story of the Cincinnati’s growth. From early fortifications, to simple log cabins and block houses made of stone, architecture has been a necessary factor.

While precious few 18th-century structures survive in the area, many 19th- and early 20th-century examples of the city’s past are with us today. Iconic structures such as Music Hall, City Hall and Union Terminal are fine examples of widely known historic buildings in the region. But countless other structures quietly serve as vital reminders of our collective past and help to tell stories to present and future generations. The public is invited to enjoy a sampling of buildings, styles and time periods representing the city’s proud architectural heritage.

Permanent Exhibits

John James Audubon Exhibit

Birds of AmericaBirds of America

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is fortunate to own one of the few intact copies of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. New cases to house the set were unveiled on Nov. 16, 2015 in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room at the Main Library.

The four-volume folio set is part of a permanent exhibit that also features a new computer touch screen allowing visitors to digitally flip through the books and zoom in on the artwork.

Learn more about this priceless treasure in the Library's collection.

Cincinnati Panorama of 1848

Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter’ Cincinnati Panorama of 1848, the oldest wide view photograph of an American city, returns to permanent display after more than half a century out of the public eye.

Image of Cincinnati Panorama of 1848Cincinnati Panorama of 1848

Located in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room, this award-winning masterpiece is revered worldwide as one of the finest examples of daguerreian photography. Displayed in its original mat and mid 19th century frame, it is protected from deterioration with an interior housing of argon gas and filtered lights. Two interactive displays, one adjacent to the original and a second in the Main Library’s Atrium, allow the viewer to experience Cincinnati’s bustling riverfront through high definition images on touch screens. Navigate and zoom in for a glimpse of life along the riverfront in 1848. Points of Interest in the digital displays provide further exploration through portraits, newspapers, advertisements, documents, and maps from the time period.

For additional information about any of the exhibits listed, please call our Programs & Exhibits Office at 513-369-3173.