Developing public humanities programs that draw on and add to the Sheridan Libraries’ rare books, oral history, manuscripts, and archives special collections.

Public humanities is the work of bridging knowledge produced in the academy and knowledge produced by larger publics, work that can take the form of participatory action research, historical reenactment, oral history projects, community-based learning, exhibitions, performance, and other collaborative cultural productions. These collaborative projects enable us to understand the past, make meaning in the present, and consider the conditions required for socially just futures.

Curator Paul Espinosa shows a Special Collections item to researchers.

Speaker Series

Each year the Tabb Center hosts lectures by prominent scholars. Tabb Center talks highlight research and public-facing scholarship that draw on special collections and archival materials.

The Peabody Ballroom Experience

A collaboration between the Sheridan Libraries and Baltimore’s ballroom community, a performance-based arts culture comprising gay, lesbian, and transgender people of color.

Visit the Peabody Ballroom Experience website

Baltimore’s Black Arts District: A Creative Archive

“Baltimore’s Black Arts District: A Creative Archive” was a series of Spring 2020 special collections workshops with young adults in Baltimore City, organized in collaboration with the Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program. The project culminated with the creation of “Walking Down the Avenue,” an arts and humanities zine about Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore’s historic black arts district.

City People

City People: Black Baltimore in the Photographs of John Clark Mayden, an exhibition presenting over fifty of the artist’s black-and-white street portraits taken since 1970.

View the exhibition page on the Sheridan Libraries website

Queer Times: A Virtual Exploration of Queer Media

An interactive online event showcasing the Sheridan Library’s LGBTQ collections and Baltimore’s queer history.

Read about Queer Times in the JHU News-Letter

“See Also” Submersive Theater Events

“See Also” was a site-specific, immersive experience that was created by Submersive Productions and run as a part of the In the Stacks series held at the George Peabody Library in February of 2020. Following threads (both figurative and literal) around the Peabody Library in a choose-your-own-adventure style, participants encountered visual art, soundscapes, and performers portraying character composites based on historical women and non-binary individuals from the collections of the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries and University Museums.

Watch excerpts from the performance

American Selfie

A student exhibition based on the Sheridan Libraries’ African American Real Photo Postcards Collection.

Read about American Selfie on HUB