How do you determine the starting date of the University of Cincinnati Libraries when from the university’s founding in 1819, books played an important part in the education of students?
As early as 1875, a collection of books could be found in the various classrooms of University Building (now McMicken). These materials were selected for daily reference use and were acquired through various departmental funds. In 1883, a small working library was established in the Academic Department (College of Liberal Arts). However, it is in 1892 that the Libraries were officially recognized as a distinct administrative unit of the university by the Board of Directors (as the Trustees were called at the time) with the naming of a dean and the establishment of a separate general library apart from small departmental libraries maintained by faculty members. William Everett Waters, professor of Greek and comparative philology, was appointed the first Dean and University Librarian and would serve until 1894. Thus, 2017 marks the 125th anniversary of the University of Cincinnati Libraries.
To mark the occasion of our 125th anniversary, we have compiled an exhibit of photographs of the libraries past and present – from the first library in Van Wormer to the stately Blegen Library to Langsam Library, UC Libraries have changed considerably in 125 years.
The photographs are also on display in the 5th floor lobby of the Walter C. Langsam Library. They are from the collections of the Archives and Rare Books Library and UC Libraries Communications Department.
As we are continually building the collections of the Archives & Rare Books Library in our areas of strength and making them more accessible for teaching and research, we know there are vital monographs or documents we would always like to acquire. In some cases, our rare book budget will accommodate some special items, but when it comes to archival materials – and many rare books – we depend on the kindness of friends and strangers. Our most current desiderata outlines some of the books and papers we are seeking, everything from documenting everyday lives in our German Americana Collection through cookbooks and organizational archives to rare books that strengthen our Shakespeare collection and our illustrated myth and legend holdings. And of course, we always welcome the records of University of Cincinnati student organizations.
Read Source, the online newsletter, to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.
This latest issue of Source includes an article with Xuemao Wang, dean and university librarian, about how UC Libraries is utilizing Organizational Development to help bring about transformational change. Kevin Grace, university archivist and head of the Archives and Rare Books Library writes about the Enoch Carson Shakespeare Collection and how it will be a part of autumn 2017 Shakespeare celebrations in Cincinnati. Another great reading collection, the Cohen Enrichment Collection, is also featured in this issue.
Many of us are looking forward to 2019, when the University celebrates its bicentennial. But another important anniversary is already upon us. On July 1, 1977, the University will mark its 40th anniversary as a state-affiliated institution. Prior to 1977, the University of Cincinnati was overseen by the City of Cincinnati. Continue reading 40th anniversary of University of Cincinnati state affiliation
Read the 2015/16 Progress Report: Transforming Our Spaces. In addition to providing an update on the news, events and stats from the previous academic year, the report focuses on the transformation of library spaces – both current and future. Renovations and changes to library spaces that will enable us to be recognized as the intellectual hub for students, faculty, researchers and scholars by providing engaging digital and physical environments, as well as powerful new tools and services that spark inquiry, support analysis and ignite discovery and scholarship as well as prepare emerging generations for lives of ongoing discovery.
The Archives and Rare Books Library recently received a new collection of papers from Marian and Donald Spencer. For over fifty years, the Spencers fought for educational equity and equal rights with organizations such as the NAACP, the U.S. Commission on Human Rights Ohio Board, and the Cincinnati Board of Education. While processing the papers of Marian and Donald Spencer, I learned a vast amount about their groundbreaking electoral campaigns, keynote speeches, court cases, and community boards. However, I also came to know them as people. Donald and Marian Spencer met while they were both students at the University of Cincinnati, married in 1940, and raised two boys. They spent a great deal of their nearly 70 years of marriage in Cincinnati fighting for social justice and equality in the community. Continue reading Donald and Marian Spencer: Lives of Love and Social Justice
Do you want to attend a Halloween event that promises to give you hauntingly horrific, history nightmares…nightmares that include visions of amputee kits, maggot and leach therapies, pharmaceutical potions from the 1800s and much much more?
Then come visit the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions on Monday, October 31, 2016 on the R- Level of the Health Sciences Library from 10am to 2pm. On display will be historic documents, photos and artifacts from a variety of the health professions.
We guarantee you will leave the exhibit appreciating the advances made in modern medical treatments, therapies and technology available today. All are welcome. Come if you dare!!!!!!! Bwwaahhhahhhaaaaaa!!!
The Archives & Rare Books Library will usher in its 7th year of the “50 Minutes” lunchtime talks this August with “A Skeleton, Some Lions, Pigeons, and Gods! The Seldom-Noticed Art in UC Architecture.”
The talk is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, at 12 noon in 814 Blegen and as always, the “50 Minutes” presentations are very informal and conversational. Bring your lunch, relax, ignore the clock on the wall which is invariably an hour behind (though we may climb on top of the piano beneath it and change the battery this year), and enjoy a look at the history and culture of the “hidden” campus. Not advertised in the title, we will also be looking at semi-naked people in the architecture.
Eaton family gives historic documents, including letter from Thomas Jefferson, to UC Libraries
CINCINNATI – Thursday, July 21, 2016 – The University of Cincinnati Libraries today received the thesis of John Hough James, the first graduate of Cincinnati College, now the University of Cincinnati. In addition to the thesis, UC Libraries also received associated research materials, including an 1820 letter from Thomas Jefferson. The rare gift comes from siblings Russell Eaton III, James M. Eaton and Frances Eaton Millhouser, the great-great-grandchildren of John Hough James.
“My siblings and I are pleased to present to the University of Cincinnati our cherished family possessions of John Hough James (JHJ), our great, great, grandfather, the valedictorian of the university’s first class. These possessions include an 1820 letter from Thomas Jefferson to JHJ containing requested source material for his senior thesis, his hand written thesis booklet and his membership in a local volunteer fire company,” Russell said. Continue reading UC’s First Thesis Comes Home to UC Libraries
The Fresh Painters Club was considered controversial due to the type of plays it put on—nothing was off-limits. Perhaps the nature of the club was influenced by the free spirits who participated. One such spirit was Libby Holman. Nineteen Twenty-three, the year the club was founded, she played the role of Violet Fields in “Fresh Paint.” Having dreams and talent too big for her hometown, she left for New York in 1924.
Born Elizabeth Holzman, her last name was changed sometime after her uncle, Ross, embezzled $1 million dollars from the stockbrokerage he owned with Libby’s father. Mr. Holzman changed the family’s name not only because of the anti-German attitudes in America at the time, but because he most likely wanted to save his kin from being attached to such an outrageous scandal, and because he needed to detach himself from the Holzman name so he could find work. This was only the first of many scandals with which Libby would be associated. Continue reading Libby Holman: Fresh Painting the Town Red