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Course & Subject Guides

Archives & Special Collections Exhibits

Guide on Past and Current Archives & Special Collections Exhibits @ the University of Pittsburgh Library System - Oakland (2020-present)

Banned books from the University of Pittsburgh Library System’s Collections

Date of Exhibit: Fall 2022-Spring 2023 

Curator: Megan Massanelli (Archives & Special Collections Engagement and Outreach Librarian) 

Location: Archives & Special Collections exhibit gallery, 3rd floor Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh 3960 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260 

Description: Did you know that September 18-24, 2022 is Banned Books Week in the United States? It brings awareness to current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. While many historians point to the ban of pro-abolitionist literature during the Civil War as the first major attempts to ban books nationally, the practice continues into the twenty-first century. In 2021 alone, the American Library Association tracked 1,597 challenges or bans to individual books.  Reasons provided for challenges include sexual situations or dialog, use of derogatory terms, religious affiliations, political bias, violence, presence of witchcraft, inclusion of issues related to race, and more.  

This small display features books from Archives & Special Collections at the University of Pittsburgh Library System which have been banned or challenged at one point over the past nearly 100 years.   

Interested in why these and other books have and continue to be challenged and what it means? Visit the American Libraries Association’s Banned & Challenged Books website: 

Photographs of the Exhibit