The library is pleased to announce the opening of our new exhibit, “Freedom of Speech, the Right of Expression”. This exhibit showcases some of the resources held by both Trinity and Watkinson libraries focusing on the issues of freedom of speech and expression. You can view this exhibit in the left display case in the library atrium and online at http://tclibrary.omeka.net/exhibits/show/freedom-of-speech
The resources in this exhibit include a multitude of books and essays discussing and analyzing freedom of speech and expression. While some of these are general treatments of the topic others delve into more specific aspects, such as how freedom of speech is perceived on college campuses, arguments both for and against censorship, freedom of speech as it relates to wartime, specific discussion of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, analysis of how freedom of speech is used for oppression, and more.
Also included are sources from the special collections like John Milton’s influential work Areopagitica, which has been used as the basis for defining freedom of speech in several Supreme Court cases, Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from Birmingham City Jail, in which he responds to criticisms of those who feel the protests he engaged in were uncalled for and the unjustness of the laws that led to his arrest for taking part in non-violent direct action, and examples from archived volumes of The Trinity Tripod, of Trinity students expressing their rights of freedom of speech and protest by participating in major anti-war rallies in protest of the Vietnam War.
Freedom of speech and expression is valued by people and nations worldwide. Yet despite widespread acceptance of its importance one would be hard pressed to find a location or time period where it was not a contentious subject. What actions fall under freedom of expression rights? What topics or concept are and are not protected? What constitutes suppression of these right? Though the answer to these questions is not clear, that should not stop individuals from educating themselves in order to come to their own conclusions. We invite you to begin this process by examining the resources featured in this exhibit, as well as the many others held by the Trinity and Watkinson libraries!