Michael C. Carlos Museum Partners With Georgia's Public Libraries

More families will be able to visit the Michael C. Carlos Museum free through a unique partnership with Georgia Public Library Service.

By Michelle Valigursky
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Georgia Public Library Service
Thanks to a new partnership between the Michael C. Carlos Museum and Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS), Georgia families will soon be able to pay a free visit to one of the most revered institutions in the state. 

Renowned for its collections of art from Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Rome, Africa, the Americas and Asia as well as works on paper from the Renaissance to the present, the Michael C. Carlos Museum is providing every public library in Georgia with a pass that is valid for up to six free admissions — a potential savings of $48 per family. Residents with valid library cards can check out the passes beginning October 1 at more than 400 participating libraries across all 159 Georgia counties. 

“The launch of the museum’s partnership with libraries is especially exciting — and timely — in light of the upcoming exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio in November,” said State Librarian Julie Walker. “What could be more exciting for Georgia readers than to see one of the most famous books in the world?” 

Published in 1623, seven years after William Shakespeare's death, the First Folio was the first collected edition of his plays. Without it, masterworks such as “Macbeth,”Twelfth Night,”Julius Caesar” and “The Tempest” might well have been lost. It also includes the celebrated title-page portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout — one of only two likenesses that are considered authentic. “First Folio: The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” on tour from the Folger Library, opens at the Michael C. Carlos Museum on November 5 and continues through December 11. 

Carlos Museum poster.
The Carlos Museum and Literacy

“The Carlos Museum has a longstanding commitment to literacy,” said Elizabeth Hornor 81C 01G, the museum’s Marguerite Colville Ingram Director of Education. “In addition to our dedication to the visual arts, our literacy efforts range from the exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio to programs like Artful Stories, our Carlos Reads book clubs for teens and adults, and other programs relating to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson book series. We seamlessly mesh the studies of art and literature to offer an exploration of the stories of civilization.” 

In addition to the family pass loans, the Michael C. Carlos Museum’s partnership with GPLS will include programs at several Georgia public libraries each year and an eight-panel touring photographic exhibition, “Discover the Stories of Civilization: Stories of Beauty, Power, Love, Glory and Faith,” that opens in Leesburg at the Lee County Library on Sept. 30. Plans call for “Discover the Stories of Civilization” to visit more than a dozen public library systems around the state in coming months, including the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library in late October and the Thomas County Public Library in mid-November. 

“As Socrates said, ‘wisdom begins in wonder,’ and nothing instills wonder in young children like Egyptian mummies and Greek myths,” said Carlos Museum Director Bonnie Speed. “On behalf of the museum board and staff, I would like to thank GPLS for helping us share the collections of the Michael C. Carlos Museum with families throughout the state.” 

According to Jessica Everingham, assistant state librarian for library development and support, the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) encourages programs that foster museum-library cooperation.

“This partnership is an excellent example of how GPLS’s support of statewide partnership programs helps us enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities and economic vitality across the state,” she said. “This program in particular will help strengthen and expand existing relationships between museums and libraries, further establishing them as strong community anchors.”

From its founding as the Emory University Museum in 1919, the Michael C. Carlos Museum has served generations of students, scholars, schoolchildren, history buffs, art lovers and tourists for nearly a century. Today it welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year. Learn more here.

"Georgia's library users of all ages will enjoy visiting this marvelous education treasure, and we're delighted to partner with the museum to make its collections more accessible to families throughout the state,” Walker said. “This is one more wonderful way for public libraries to help create a more educated Georgia."

Editor’s Note: The Michael C. Carlos Museum is located on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays, with hours varying by day, programming and university holidays. Information about current and upcoming exhibitions is available online at www.carlos.emory.edu. Visit your local Georgia public library for complete details of the museum’s library pass loans.

“First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor and by the support of Google.org; Vinton and Sigrid Cerf; the British Council; Stuart and Mimi Rose; and other generous donors. This exhibition in Atlanta has been made possible through support from the Robert W. Woodruff Library; Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library; the Michael C. Carlos Museum; and the World Shakespeare Project.

The GPLS-Michael C. Carlos Museum partnership is supported in part by a grant to GPLS from IMLS under the Library Services and Technology Act.