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Behind tall glass doors on the second floor of the library, the BYU-Idaho’s Special Collections await the next history buff.

This semester, the collection of unique items features the Chicago World Fair in 1893, showing off period dresses, photos and pamphlets.

“The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 was the first world’s fair held in Chicago. Carving out some 600 acres of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Jackson Park, the exposition was a major milestone,” according to the Chicago Architecture Center.

Most of the exhibit is a personal collection of Andrea Radke-Moss, a professor in the History Department.

“She brought it over and we helped her put it together for display,” said Adam Luke, the Special Collections archivist.

The World Fair exhibit this semester has a special focus on women’s history, displaying multiple items specifically related to women in that time period.

“There was a lot of things going on specifically for women at this fair,” Luke said.

Two posters show the World’s Congress of Women, as well as the Women’s Building. A woman architect designed the Women’s Building for displaying women related items.

There is also a lot of state history in this exhibit, with items such as the Idaho souvenir pamphlet and time period books from states in the West.

One of the interactive items in the exhibit is a stereoscope, an early version of looking at 3-D images. Visitors can delicately handle the stereoscopes and look at images such as Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The World Fair Collection has been shown since the beginning of the semester, with the exhibits tending to change semester by semester. With this collection, it is likely that it will stay up through next semester as well.

The Special Collections collect all of their items from donations or loans.

In the past, this exhibit has featured an exhibit of Martin Luther because it was the 500-year anniversary of his 95 theses.

In the future, the Special Collections plan to celebrate the 19th Amendment with a new exhibit.


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