Founders Memorial Library Exhibits

August 2019

Main Exhibit: Raya Garbousova

Raya Garbousova (1909-1997) was a world-renowned cellist who was on faculty here at NIU from 1979 until 1991.  She was instrumental in building the music program and brought in very talented students.  She traveled the world performing as a soloist and by doing so broke boundaries and stereo-types by playing a “man’s instrument”, paving the way for other women.  Her sheet music collection is featured in this exhibit and can normally be found in University Libraries’ Special Collections. Other items are from the Music Library, and University Archives.  A small part of the exhibit can also be found in the Music Library in the Music Building along with a large collage donated by her family that permanently resides there.

On September 25th the University Libraries will be hosting an event in celebration of Madame Garbousova’s 110th birthday.  It will be held in the Founders Memorial Library Gallery where the exhibit is being displayed, beginning at 5pm.  Professor of Cello and member of the Avalon String Quartet, Cheng-Hou Lee will be giving a performance, and Professor of Music History Dr. Elinor Olin will be speaking. This event is open to everyone.

Contact person: Sarah Holmes,, (815) 753-8392.

International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019) - Second Floor

The United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO have proclaimed 2019 to be the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.”  This is also the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, since Dmitri Mendeleev discovered Periodic Law in 1869.

Contact person: Meredith Ayers,, (815) 753-1872.

Regional History Center – Fourth Floor

Reading Room cases: “NIU Student Festivals: Traditions of Fun”

Campus has come together for friendly competition, light-hearted entertainment, carnivals, and social dances since its founding in 1899. These events are ways for NIU students to build community and unwind. Today Homecoming remains the one major campus event, but in the past May Fete and Winter Carnival were just as important.

These festivities serve as reminders that college is about more than academics, and offer the chance for campus-wide fun.

Entry Way Exhibit case: “NIU's Memory Art Walk”

From our Art building’s studio spaces to visiting artist, there have been a broad range of artwork that has been created and displayed throughout campus. The mini display holds event postcards featuring artwork for exhibitions held at campus, memorabilia and student artwork.

Contact person: Margret Abbott,, (815) 753-1779.

Rare Books and Special Collections - Fourth Floor

“Stonewall and Beyond”

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Rare Books and Special Collections is exhibiting items from the Gender Studies collection related to the Stonewall Uprising, the LGBTQIA+ struggle, and books that won or were considered for the Stonewall Book Awards.

Contact person: Angie Schroeder,, (815) 753-8091.

Southeast Asia Collection - Fourth Floor

“Discover Myanmar”

In conjunction with the symposium on Burmese reverse glass painting, the visit of the Ambassador of Myanmar to the US, Aung Lynn, and as part of International Education Week, the Southeast Asia collection has put together an exhibit about Myanmar.  It features books, and artifacts that focus on the history, politics, culture and art of Myanmar.  Included in this are some old and rare books from the rare books annex.  The exhibit also highlights NIU’s involvement with Myanmar through the Center for Burma Studies as well as workshops in two university libraries in Myanmar taught by Hao Phan.

Contact person: Joanna Kulma,, (815) 753-1819.

Contact Us

Dean Fred Barnhart

Phone: (815) 753-1094

Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
217 Normal Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828

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