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'Invoking the Spirit" Photos on Exhibit at NLM


To celebrate African American History Month, 2003, the National Library of Medicine has more than 100 photographs for public viewing from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The photographs are on display from February 3 to February 28 in the lobby of the Library's Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (Building 38A on the National Institutes of Health campus).   See exhibition poster.


Invoking the Spirit--Worship Traditions in the African World is an exhibition of photographs by New York Times photojournalist Chester Higgins, Jr. The product of more than 25 years of travel and research, this photographic essay documents the vitality and diversity of the global African religious experience.


Invoking the Spirit is organized around a series of themes that explore worship practices across ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries throughout the African world. Documented in this exhibition are the kinds of sacred places African peoples--in Africa and the America--create or consecrate; the diverse spiritual leaders who are involved in conducting worship activities; the universal use of prayer as a formal means of communicating with God and the spirits; the ceremonies Africans use to pay tribute to God; and the roles of music and dance in religious ceremonies.


The images presented here have been selected from Higgins's archive of almost a million photographs that document the broader global African experience. This is the third year that the National Library of Medicine has featured photographs from the Schomburg collection.


Visitors to the National Library of Medicine (on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland) are reminded that heightened security measures are in effect. Information about these is at