Virtual exhibitions

Virtual exhibitions can provide an excellent first impression of a subject in legal history. The institutions creating such exhibitions often display really special objects, in particular books, from their collections. Not only museums and archives but also law libraries create virtual exhibitions. The order in which virtual exhibitions are presented here depends to a large extent on the subjects of the exhibitions, not on a preconceived plan. Sometimes an exhibit could figure under more than one heading, and thus it is worthwhile to scroll down. Instead of an exhaustive overview you will find here at least the sheer variety of exhibitions. Where sensible some thematic digital collections have been added. A number of national libraries and law schools create regularly online exhibitions.

Searching online exhibitions

  • Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web, Smithsonian Institution Libraries – a database for searching online exhibitions on historical subjects worldwide; search functions for exhibition title, institution and subject, and in the advanced search mode for country, state and browsing for titles in alphabetical order
  • Clio Online: Exhibitions – this German history portal offers a good starting point for searching online exhibitions concerning law and history

General subjects



  • The European Political Print Collection, Library of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass. – some 200 political prints; the general AAS database for its digital collections contains some 98,000 items
  • Political Cartoons, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, RI – some 500 eighteenth-century items, mainly from England and France, but also for example the South Sea Bubble and the American Revolution

Latin America

Ancient law

Medieval law


Here below a selection for a number of countries:














  • Historical Prints, Frederik Muller, Print Room, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam – nearly 5,000 images from the rich collection brought together by Frederik Muller on the subject of Dutch history
  • Engravings by Franz and Abraham Hogenberg, Princeton University Library – a graphic view of the Dutch Revolt and the Eighty Years War
  • Censorship!, Persmuseum, Amsterdam
  • Huwelijk & Relaties 1500-1800 [Marriage & Relations 1500-1800], Dutch Royal Library, The Hague – a virtual exhibition focusing on women, created in cooperation with the NCRD, the former Dutch center for legal iconography

New Zealand




United Kingdom

United States of America

The following institutions do regularly present new online exhibitions:

Mike Widener presents a number of online exhibitions by five American law libraries in a reading list for the history of legal books.