Skip to content

179. John Adams Unbound Exhibition

June 30, 2011

This is truly a special & rare exhibition and Grand Haven’s Loutit District Library (LDL) is very excited and honored to be hosting this very special exhibition. We are very lucky to have the John Adam’s collection here in our backyard and I can not think of another perfect way to celebrate our 4th of July than a visit to the John Adams Unbound Exhibition. The LDL will be hosting several events during its stay this summer and I will be sure to share those events with you as they get closer.

So what is the John Adams Unbound Exhibition, I think they explain it best:

John Adams Unbound, a traveling exhibition opening at the Loutit District Library (LDL) on June 27 at 9:00 a.m., explores the personal library of John Adams, a collection of 3,500 books willed by Adams to the people of Massachusetts and deposited in the Boston Public Library in 1894. This remarkable collection of books provides first-hand insight into how John Adams shaped American history and how he was shaped through his lifelong dedication to reading and books.

“We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Kerry FitzGerald, acting director of LDL. “John Adams’ dedication to self-education and intellectual reflection will be an inspiration to our library’s customers and to our community.”

Adams’s engagement with books was active and argumentative, as evidenced by the meticulous and personal commentary he crammed into the margins of the works he read. Seeing the numerous notations in his own hand is like listening in on his personal conversations with writers such as Cicero, William Blackstone, Thomas Paine, and others across oceans and across centuries. As Adams the lawyer prepares in 1770 to defend British soldiers on trial after the Boston Massacre, for example, he references Cicero’s views on self defense contained in Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Through photo-reproductions of many of Adams’s books, as well as personal objects, graphics, maps and portraits, exhibition viewers will witness one of our founding fathers wrestling with intellectual and political ideas at every stage in his long life – as a boy, university student, Boston lawyer, revolutionary, diplomat, President and citizen of the early American republic. The exhibition is also an extraordinary case study in the power of reading, which reveals the role of books and libraries in the health and prosperity of a democracy.

For more information visit:

PHONE NUMBER:   616-842-5560
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: