The Dream Machine: The Beat Generation & the Counterculture, 1940-1975

A colorful cast of characters shaped post-World War II American literature and culture.

The exhibition reconsiders postwar literature and the ways it mirrored, predicted,and remade the culture around it, with special focus on the influential group known as “the Beats.” Pulling from the Rose Library’s rich literary collections, especially the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, the show rediscovers a number of fascinating countercultural writers and will be the first major consideration of the Beats in the U.S. in nearly a decade.

Press Release

Visit Special Collections

If you are interested in seeing more of the collections, visit the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library on level 10 of the Woodruff Library. Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.


Ongoing: Guided tours are available to the public, free of charge. Please fill out this form to request a tour.

March 8, 2018, 6:30-8:30 pm, "This Tank Full of Dreams: Buddhism, Poetry, and the Beats." A celebration of the rich connections and intersections between Eastern traditions and American poetry. Learn more and register for this event. 

All events are free and open to the public.

Visitor Information

The exhibition is located in the Robert W. Woodruff Library on level 3. Parking is available in the Fishburne Parking Deck (Weekdays: free after 6 pm, Weekends: free). “Visitors” hours at the Robert W. Woodruff Library are posted here.