Provides access to official records, monographs, publicity, artwork and artifacts, covering world's fairs from the Crystal Palace in 1851 and the proliferation of North American exhibitions, to fairs around the world and twenty-first century expos.
Collating material from archives around the world, this resource offers insight into the phenomenon of international expositions by presenting official records, monographs, personal accounts and ephemera for more than 200 fairs. From the earliest plans to public reception and the legacy that remains, the impact of these global events can be examined in a comprehensive context. The first fair represented in this resource is what many consider the first world’s fair, the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations at the Crystal Palace in London, 1851. The latest case study is Montreal’s Expo 1967, but there are documents as recent as Milan’s (successful) bid to host Expo 2015. The largest concentration of documents relate to fairs from the late Victorian-early Edwardian era of 1880-1920; the ‘golden age’ of expositions when neighboring cities raced to outdo each other – sometimes hosting rival fairs in the same year. While there are documents for host nations from every continent, the historical focus of international expositions (and therefore this resource) is Northern European, North American and – in the twentieth century in particular – East Asian.