A Global History of Expositions
Explore two centuries of innovation, entertainment and international relations through the rich history of worldâ€™s fairs.
From the Eiffel Tower and the Space Needle to the invention of television, chewing gum and hot dogs, worldâ€™s fairs have shaped our world. This resource digitises primary source material from hundreds of fairs â€“ a vital collection for students of globalisation, imperialism, anthropology, mass communication, design and more.
This digital resource offers a unique insight into the phenomenon of international expositions. Over 200 worldâ€™s fairs and exhibitions, spanning 1829-2015, are represented through a range of primary sources. From planning committees to public reception and the legacy that remains, the impact of these global events can be examined in a comprehensive context.
Worldâ€™s Fairs is a vital resource for students, teachers and researchers of a huge range of subjects including imperialism, race relations, gender studies, science and technology, consumer culture, architecture, design and more.
- Documents from more than 200 fairs including the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851 and the Milan Expo 2015
- Case studies of nine of the most significant fairs offer in-depth analysis of their impact and legacy, including the 1851 Great Exhibition, London, 1893 Chicago Worldâ€™s Columbian Exposition and 1939/40 New York Worldâ€™s Fair.
- A wealth of visual material including souvenir objects, photographs, posters and plans.
- Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
- BibliothĂ¨que nationale de France
- Hagley Museum and Library
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Library and Archives Canada
- Missouri Historical Society
- New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division
- Special Collections Research Center, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno
- Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis
- The National Archives, UK
- The Newberry Library, Chicago
- University of Illinois at Chicago Library, Special Collections
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- Fair Committee records, minutes
- and correspondence
- Official catalogues and guide books
- Exhibit pamphlets
- Photographs and slides
- Maps and plans
- Souvenir artefacts
- Audio interviews with attendees
- Tracey Jean Boisseau, Purdue University
- Cristina Carbone, University of Louisville
- Sarah Coletta, Montana State University
- Peter Hoffenberg, University of Hawaii
- Donald G. Larson, Founder of the Donald G. Larson Collection on International Expositions and Fairs
- Robert W. Rydell, Montana State University
- Michelle Warren, Dartmouth College
- Anthropology and ethnology
- Design and architecture
- Mass communication
- Imperial history
- Globalisation and transnationalism
- Travel and tourism
- Innovation and design
- Science and technology
- Essays from consultant academics provide pathways into the collections
- Interactive site plans
- Oral histories
- 3D artefacts
- In-depth guide to key exhibits