Jack E. and Debbie T. Thomas Gallery

Charting History: Data Visualization Through the Years 

July 3 – December 6, 2019 

Detail of  “A chronological chart of ancient, modern and Biblical history / synchronized by Hon. Sebastian C. Adams ; with maps of the world’s great empires drawn by Prof. JA. Paine.”

The Thomas Gallery fosters discovery and inspiration through the display of Washington University Libraries’ vast and distinct collections. The exhibition space is stewarded by the Department of Special Collections.

Recently, scholars have become increasingly fascinated by data visualization, although various techniques have been used for centuries to illustrate complex ideas in simple ways. This exhibit presents a history of data visualization that includes examples from the library’s collection that illustrate the importance of data visualization as it relates to research and disseminating information.

“Horse in Motion,” Illustration by Eadweard Muybridge.

This exhibit was curated by Cassie Brand, Curator of Rare Books, with the collaboration of Heather Corcoran, Halsey C. Ives Professor in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Bill Winston, GIS Analyst in WU Libraries’ Data Services, and Geoff Ward, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the African and African-American Studies Program.