Virtual and Real

Originally exhibited February 3 – May 17, 2014
The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries


Since the founding of Bridwell Library in 1951, staff members have promoted the use of special collections and archives by curating exhibitions and hosting public events. During the 1990s the Library also began providing internet access to selected exhibitions, collection inventories, and images of important volumes and artifacts. In 2010 Bridwell Library published its first set of digital images as part of the SMU Digital Collections online database. Today the Library offers numerous digital collections containing more than 4,000 high-quality images, audio files, and videos.

Providing remote access to rare and unique print, manuscript, photographic, audio, and video materials helps Bridwell Library fulfill its educational mission. Each month thousands of patrons view these virtual representations of real objects. The purpose of this exhibition is to bring the virtual and the real together in the same place at the same time so that both can be studied and enjoyed.

“Virtual and Real” presents fifty-six items representing twelve digital collections. All twelve featured collections relate to the history of the United Methodist Church or Perkins School of Theology. Throughout the exhibition visitors are encouraged to scan the Quick Response (QR) codes and explore the linked images and metadata while viewing the artifacts. To view installation photographs, follow this link.


Bridwell Library Special Collections