Fairs and Expositions

The Hagley Library’s collections thoroughly document many national and international fairs from the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition to the present. Guidebooks and reports from these expositions provide in-depth descriptions of French exhibits written by visitors from the United Kingdom, the United States, and France. These sources also include drawings and photographs documenting French contributions to the fairs.

Sources on fairs and expositions in France are a significant part of Hagley’s holdings. The 1855, 1889, 1900, 1925, and 1937 Paris fairs are represented with guidebooks, drawings, photographs, and written descriptions. Materials concerning the French expositions offer unique and detailed perspectives on individual exhibits, buildings, and the many people who made the events possible.


Example Collections and Items:

Centennial Exhibition photograph and ephemera collection -- Collection of photographs, prints, and ephemera related to the Centennial International Exhibition held in Philadelphia from May to November 1876.

John Tallis, Tallis’s History and Description of the Crystal Palace, and the Exhibition of the World’s Industry in 1851 / Illustrated by Beautiful Steel Engravings, from Original Drawings and Daguerreotypes by Beard, Mayall, etc., etc. (1852) -- Tallis’ book provides a history and description of London’s 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition.

Samuel Francis Du Pont Papers, 1812-1865 -- In addition to his numerous naval duties, Samuel Francis Du Pont served as the Superintendent of the 1853 New York Crystal Palace exhibition. Documents detailing this exhibition are among du Pont’s papers.

Charles Legrand, Rapport Général sur l’Exposition Internationale de Bruxelles, 1897: Présenté à M. le Ministre du Commerce, de l’Industrie, des Postes et des Télégraphes (1898) -- Legrand gives a description of the 1897 Exposition Internationale de Bruxelles, held in Brussels, Belgium.

Expositions Internationales, Paris 1937, New York 1939 -- This book briefly overviews the Paris Exposition Internationale (1937) and the New York World’s Fair (1939).