October 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.

Temporary Exhibits

Cinema Cincinnati


To celebrate the city’s rich historic ties to Hollywood, the exhibit Cinema Cincinnati opens Oct. 12 at the Main Library. The exhibit is on display in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room and runs through Jan. 26, 2020. It celebrates not just local theaters but local businesses with ties to Hollywood such as Billboard Magazine, Wurlitzer, Hennegan Company and Kenner Toys. The exhibit also examines Cincinnatians who worked in the movie industry such as iconic stars Theda Bara, Doris Day and Tyrone Power, as well as character actors, screenwriters, directors, cinematographers and production designers. Current local organizations devoted to the cinematic arts also are featured.


Image from Unbound exhibit

In partnership with the Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana and the Hamilton County Office of Reentry, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is presenting the month-long exhibit Unbound, featuring the creative writings and visual art of people who have experienced incarceration and are in various stages of returning to our communities. Unbound seeks to personalize the experiences of returning citizens, discuss the obstacles they face, and share the assistance they receive from various local organizations. The creative works are on display Sept. 28–Oct. 31 in the Atrium of the Main Library.

Felicity Tao, chair of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association discusses how bringing the 'Chinese Railroad Workers Photography Exhibits' to Cincinnati is part of her journey to claim American citizenship on our blog.

Real Art for Young Artists: The Art of Rosemary Wells

Noisy Nora Watercolor

Acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator Rosemary Wells wants to give children the chance to experience original art. Through her Real Art for Young Artists initiative, Wells is allowing the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to exhibit the original watercolor art from her classic book Noisy Nora with a long-term loan. The exhibit Real Art for Young Artists: The Art of Rosemary Wells is on display in the Children’s Library at the Downtown Main Library

Permanent Exhibits

The Library’s four double-elephant portfolio volumes of Birds of America is temporarily on loan to the Cincinnati Museum Center through early 2020 as part of their “In the Audubon Tradition” exhibit.

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 513-369-6900.