Since 1990 The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries have served as the major showcase for Bridwell Library Special Collections. Charles N. Prothro (1918-2001) funded the construction of the galleries in honor of his wife Elizabeth Perkins Prothro (1919-2009) and their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The galleries were expressly designed for significant books and documents to be displayed in an environmentally sound and secure exhibition space. Controlled lighting and large vitrines of optical glass, flame mahogany, and Cambrian granite provide a rich and appropriate setting for the interpretive exhibitions mounted each year by the Bridwell staff. Exhibition themes are diverse, ranging from ecclesiastic to historic to bibliophilic, with subjects including Bibles, liturgical works, devotional literature, church history and theology, Wesleyana and Methodistica, early printing, and the book arts. Reflecting Bridwell Library’s strengths and active collecting interests, exhibitions often feature many recent acquisitions.
The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries are located inside Bridwell Library. Exhibitions are free and open during Bridwell public hours.