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World's Fair materials


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Brussels World's Fair (Expo 58) took place at a time during the Cold War, and after World War II. The American Pavilion focused on lifestyle while the USSR, which neighbored the American Pavilion, focused on advancements in technology (especially the "Sputnik" satellite). The fair was a display of cultural and technological advancements, focusing on the future. There were racist and problematic portions of the fair including Congo "human zoos"—a product of Belgian Colonialism. About 48 countries participated in the fair.

This collection consists of photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, a playbill, 2 guidebooks on the United States pavilion, the May edition of Ivy Magazine, a special World's Fair issue of the Paris Match magazine in French, an April 1967 issue of Life magazine on Expo 67 (World's Fair in 1967), and fliers from the Brussels World's Fair in 1958. Much of the content is in reference to the American Pavilion, a part of which (the American Theater) still stands today in Belgium. There is also information regarding the controversial "Unfinished Work" exhibition, focusing on racial issues and other challenges faced in America at the time. The exhibit was originally an acknowledgment of the USSR's criticism regarding segregation and racial discrimination in the United States. The exhibit faced backlash from many lawmakers in the United States, accusing the exhibit of presenting a poor image of the country. In addition, there is material praising the holistic content focused on the American lifestyle, as well as the elegant architecture found throughout the pavilion. Sources include fliers advertising a few shows at the American Theater, a memorandum from the Office of the U.S. Commissioner General, a letter approving the exhibits from the U.S. Secretary of State, a letter from a Yale student about their trip to Brussels and the World's Fair, and a little booklet advertising Flek's Beer Brewery. Most of the photographs highlight the architecture and exhibits of the American Pavilion.

Materials are organized chronologically


Processed by Sakina Gulamhusein, completed March 2022

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Sakina Gulamhusein
Finding Aid Date
March, 2022
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

Box 3
Box 3
Box 5

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