Visit Hornbake Library and explore three exhibit cases inside the Maryland Room which showcase the publishing career of Japanese publisher Takejiro Hasegawa.
Hasegawa used national exhibitions and world’s fairs to promote his publications. He began his career during the Meiji period beginning in 1868 when Japan rapidly industrialized & adopted Western ideas & practices. He ran a thriving business importing products from the West including books. By 1884, he decided to become a publisher, focusing on educational books written by Westerners living in Japan.
Hasegawa published a series of Japanese folktales in English, French, German and other European languages and in the Western manner reading from left to right with attractive illustrations. Initially he published these folktales to help Japanese learn Western languages and was later motivated to sell books in Western markets. Hasegawa used national exhibitions and world’s fairs to promote his publications. Included in the exhibition are images from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago where Japan spent lavishly to showcase itself with a Japanese temple, tea garden, and exhibits. One of every six Americans visited the Chicago exposition to see the 65,000 exhibits spread across 633 acres of fairgrounds.
Several of Hasegawa’s publications are on view in the exhibit cases and you can read the full text of the fairy tale Momotaro displayed on the adjacent iPad. The world’s fair publications are from the University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives collections and Hasegawa’s fairy tale books are on loan from John Schalow, former UMD Libraries Special Collections cataloguer who curated this exhibit.
The World’s Fair Ephemeral and Graphic Material Collection has recently been expanded to include items from more recent fairs, so the collection includes items from 1851 to 2010. Our holdings are strongest for
the 1851 Great Exhibition held in London
Dismantling by Thos. W. Ward Ltd., Sheffield & London. Great Exhibition (1851 : London, England). Paxton, Joseph, Sir, 1803-1865. Photographs: black and white,
the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition held in Philadelphia
Printing for the Centennial. Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.). Times Printing House (Philadelphia, Pa.). Trade cards: color; 6.9 x 14.2 cm.
the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago
Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.). R. Magee & Son (Philadelphia, Pa.). Reproductions, Cards; 10.2 x 14.1 cm.
The 1852 London exposition set the precedent for the many international exhibitions or world’s fairs that have continued to be held to the present time. The character and focus of world expositions has evolved to keep up with the changing times, but they have always allowed people to experience ways of life outside their normal way of living.
Admission ticket, Abraham Lincon, World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893.
The fairs introduced the world to new scientific advancements and new inventions such as the Ferris wheel, telephone, zipper, Cracker Jacks, x-ray, fax machines and television. The world’s fairs also gave us some of the world’s most notable landmarks and buildings such as the Crystal Palace, the Eiffel Tower and the Space Needle.
Crystal Palace, New York Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations (1853-1854). Carstensen, Georg, 1812-1857. Periodical Illustrations: monochrome.
Before the internet, World’s Fairs gave people the chance to explore the world outside their everyday experience. People from all over the world flocked to the fairs to see the monumental architecture and exotic landscapes and to experience different cultures, international foods and new inventions. For a brief amount of time, cities would transform their everyday setting into places of magic and entertainment.
Festival Hall, Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 : Saint Louis, Mo.). Photomechanical prints: black and white; 23.5 x 18.5 cm.
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, held in 1851 in London’s Hyde Park, is known as the first international exposition. The Great Exhibition was organized by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, to celebrate modern industrial technology and design. It became a platform for countries from around the world to display their achievements.
Crystal Palace, Great Exhibition (1851 : London, England). Paxton, Joseph, Sir, 1803-1865. Gelatin silver print: black and white.
An important collection has moved across campus and is now available at the Maryland Room, in Hornbake Library’s Special Collections. You can visit us anytime during our open hours to learn more about the history of the World’s Fair. If you want to take a look before you visit, you can browse the digital version of the collection. Below is a description of what can be found in this collection.
The World’s Fair Collection contains nearly 1,700 non-book items including photographs, stereographs, prints, illustrations, scrapbooks, sheet music, periodicals, maps, pamphlets, and memorabilia, as well as many artifacts, such as trade cards, tickets, exhibitor entry forms, postcards, menus, souvenir ribbons and scarves, and a stereograph viewer.
Represented fairs range from the 1851 London exhibition through the present, although the collection’s holdings are strongest for the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial exhibition, the 1893 Chicago Exposition, the U.S. fairs (as a whole), and Paris fairs (as a group).
The World’s Fair Collection also includes numerous books on international expositions. Its holdings are strongest for the fairs held in Paris (as a group), the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851, and the Chicago World Columbian Exposition of 1893.