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Silk Roads

Resources for Research in the Queens College Libraries

December 4, 2015 – November 29, 2016

The Silk Road was a set of trade routes that connected China, India, Central Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa, Greece, Rome and Britain. Few merchants made the journey from China all the way to Europe, so goods exchanged hands multiple times along the way making it a trade network rather than a single route. The Silk Road spanned over 4,000 miles and allowed for the exchange of goods, ideas, technology, and religions between East and West. Silk Road travelers moved by foot and camel caravan through the harsh terrain of Eastern Central Asia. The many cultures passing through this region influenced the people living there, bringing new commodities, beliefs, and technologies to their way of life.

Trade moved in both directions along the Silk Road, but commodities were not the only things travelers carried with them. Artistic methods, styles of music, religions, languages, philosophies and political ideologies were all transported along with silks, spices and animals, and this exchange of culture is its greatest legacy.

As the Silk Routes developed along with the roads themselves, caravans consisting of horses and camels were the standard means of transportation. Caravanserais, or large guest houses designed to welcome weary travelers played a vital role in facilitating the passage of people and goods along these routes. They provided a place to rest and eat, but also a place to trade and meet other merchant travelers, and in doing so, to exchange cultures, languages and ideas. Today many of the historic buildings that were built along these routes still stand, along with art and cultural objects of immense importance.

This exhibition samples research materials in a variety of formats that document the lands, peoples, history, societies, cultures and arts of the Silk Roads in Queens College libraries.

Curated by Sevastoula Kasparian, Paul Remeczki, and Mary Glynn, with contributions by Alexandra de Luise, Donna Schultz, Paola Rodriquez, and Adaliz N. Cruz-Mena. Presented by Queens College Art Library as part of the Year of Silk Roads programming at Queens College.

  • December 4, 2015 – November 29, 2016
  • December 4 – March 31: Barham Rotunda Gallery, Rosenthal Level 3
  • April 6 – November 29: Lobby, Rosenthal Level 2
  • Through the year: Fabric of Luxury in cases on Levels 4, 5, and 6
  • Reading/viewing table on Level 6 (Art Library)

For more information visit Year of Silk Roads or contact the QC Art Library: 718.997.3770,

Exhibition Flyer

Exhibition Catalog

Images from Silk Road

Silk Road Videolinks

The Journey Along the Silk Road (full video)

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