Visitors are welcome to visit Kenneth Spencer Research Library's North Gallery, the signature feature of the building. The space includes glass-enclosed book stacks with selections from our collections, a new permanent exhibit, and windows that offer sweeping views of the KU campus. From August to May, artwork created by KU students is also on display in the North Gallery as part of the LibArt program, sponsored by KU Libraries.
Like similar institutions, Spencer has closed book stacks, which are secure, climate-controlled, employee-only storage areas for collection materials. The book stacks in the North Gallery display a sample of the library's impressive distinctive collections. They were inspired by a similar feature in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which opened in 1963, as preliminary planning for Spencer Research Library, which opened in 1968, was underway.
Thanks in part to a gift from former KU Librarian Ann Hyde and the generosity of friends of KU Libraries, renovations of the North Gallery were completed in 2017. A new permanent exhibit was installed at the same time; it shares information about some of the collections and items on display and includes interactive, self-guided multimedia tools.
The North Gallery and all other exhibit spaces in the Library are open to visitors whenever the building is open; visit the library hours page for more information.