A New Exhibition Celebrates One Hundred Years Of The Hoover Institution

Thursday, October 10, 2019
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
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Source: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

STANFORD, CA – The Hoover Institution celebrates its centennial year with a new exhibition from the Hoover Library & Archives, Hoover@100: Ideas Defining A Century, opening October 10, 2019. The exhibition features a variety of archival materials and historical artifacts from the last one hundred years that illustrate the work of the Hoover Institution since it was established in 1919. Covering the themes of freedom, peace, and education, the exhibition honors the initial impulse for the Institution’s founding: to create a unique place to study contemporary history in order to promote a peaceful, free society.

Herbert Hoover founded the Hoover Institution initially as a special collection devoted to the acquisition and study of documents from the First World War. In the years to follow, the Institution grew into a leading public policy research center and a world-renowned Library & Archives with some of the most important material on war, revolution, and peace in the modern era. This institutional development along with key historical events of the last century are represented in the objects on display in Hoover@100: Ideas Defining A Century.

“The new exhibition is a celebration of the hard work of all of those who have been part of the Hoover Institution over the last one hundred years,” says deputy director and Robert H. Malott Director of Library & Archives Eric Wakin. “It also represents a look into the next one hundred years of Hoover and how the research of our fellows and the material in our collections will help us understand the world.”

The exhibition is located in the newly renovated galleries in Hoover Tower. The renovation project, which was completed this summer, enhances the historic architecture of the Hoover Tower galleries with modern features, including new display cases, environmental controls, and lighting.

Hoover@100 explores ideas of freedom, peace, and education, which Stanford alumni Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover embodied throughout their lives and which greatly influenced the development of the Hoover Institution. Herbert Hoover believed that a free society was defined by individual liberty, limited government, and private enterprise. The exhibition explores these topics through historical figures, including free-market economists and international freedom fighters, and important events from the last century, such as the rise and fall of communism in Europe. Among the many rich artifacts on display are Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover’s Stanford diplomas, a manuscript draft of Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, a fragment of the Berlin Wall, and ephemera from the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.

The pursuit of peace has been a pillar of the Hoover Institution since its founding. Herbert Hoover’s directive to collect materials on war was driven by the belief that only through the retention and study of these records could the world hope to learn from its past mistakes and avoid future cataclysms. Examples are on display in the new exhibition, with a focus on peacemakers and peace movements. In particular, the exhibition examines the Hoover fellows and collections concerned with nuclear disarmament and the preservation of peace between nations.

Education is at the root of all of the Institution’s activities. In 1959 Herbert Hoover wrote, “The Institution is not, and must not be, a mere library.” Since its inception, the Institution has been a place for people from across the globe to access the most important material on social, political, and economic change in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The exhibition delves into the various ways the Hoover Institution serves as an educational resource for researchers, policy makers, and the public.

Hoover@100: Ideas Defining A Century opens in Hoover Tower on October 10, 2019, and runs through July 31, 2020. The exhibition is free and open every day, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed for major holidays, Stanford home football games, and campus winter closure. Parking on campus is free on weekends. For more information, please call 650-723-3563 or email hooverexhibits [at] stanford.edu.

ABOUT THE HOOVER INSTITUTION LIBRARY & ARCHIVES: Founded by Herbert Hoover in 1919, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives is dedicated to documenting war, revolution, and peace in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With nearly one million volumes and more than six thousand archival collections from 171 countries, Hoover supports a vibrant community of scholars and a broad public interested in the meaning and role of history. For more information on the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, visit www.hoover.org/library-archives.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Samira Bozorgi | Assistant Archivist for Exhibitions | Hoover Institution Library & Archives | sbozorgi [at] stanford.edu | 650-725-3563