About The Cabell Screen

Epitomizing the innovative approaches to architecture and student space throughout James Branch Cabell Library is The Cabell Screen, or vitrine, on the building’s northern facade overlooking the campus’ main pedestrian intersection. The screen has been installed with the hope to intrigue, inspire and inform the tens of thousands of VCU community members who pass by daily. This media facade is approximately 400-square feet of digital exhibition space, 21 feet wide by 24 feet tall.

The screen — also known as a media facade, a vitrine, or, simply, The Cabell Screen — was installed as part of the library’s $50.8 million expansion and renovation, using funds set aside for equipment and furnishings. It is programmed with visually-engaging presentations including animation, short films, kinetic-art projects and rotating still images, and it is intended to showcase art, scientific images, library collections, medical and scientific illustrations and animations, data visualizations of research and other creative expressions appropriate for an academic research library.

The screen is not a billboard or Jumbotron for advertising or promotional messaging. Instead, it is a platform for artistic and cultural expression, a way to make visible the unique expressions of the VCU scientific, research and artistic community. Even on rare occasions when the screen will showcase a landmark campus event or a significant library event, the presentation will be artful or artlike.

Some common questions

  • The screen has no sound. It will not be used to show sporting events or films.
  • It is the only such screen used by a library east of California. The library at California State University at Fresno uses one as an art installation.
  • Interested in tuning in but cannot come to campus? Watch via the Cabell Webcam, which sweeps by the screen once per minute. http://ramcam.vcu.edu/cabell-library.html
  • Interested in exhibiting? Fill out one of our forms with your ideas: Submissions or email cabellscreen@vcu.edu