On September 20, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, General William Haines Lytle of Cincinnati was shot and killed by a Confederate sniper’s bullet in the Battle of Chickamauga. A few days later, his body was carried back to his hometown. Lytle’s funeral was held at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati and the thousands of mourners followed his casket in the cortege to Spring Grove Cemetery, miles away from the church. The slow procession took up most of the day, the general’s body not arriving at Spring Grove until dusk. Sometime later, his grave marker – a broken column – would dominate the landscape of the garden cemetery.
William Lytle was more than another officer killed in battle. He was a literary man, a soldier-poet whose verse in antebellum America was popular in both the North and the South, and whose lines reflected his experiences on the battlefield. They showed a view of the bloody vista typical of the Romantic era and they embodied his view of duty as well, in his eyes, a terrible beauty of death and destruction. Lytle was a part of the Romantic tradition in his poetry, incorporating his classical education as a boy with his notions of heroism and duty in life. This is an excerpt from a poem he wrote in 1840 as a fourteen-year-old, “The Soldier’s Death”: Continue reading “I Am Dying, Egypt, Dying!”: A Cincinnati College Soldier-Poet’s Embrace of the Battlefield
This year’s lecture, titled “Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Impacting the Health of Children in Our Community and the World: The Past, Present and Future,” will focus on the contributions and historical relevance of pediatrics in the Cincinnati region with a primary focus on Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (Children’s Hospital).
Michael Farrell, MD, and Bea Katz, PhD, will serve as co-lecturers for the event. Dr. Farrell is currently professor of pediatrics in the College of Medicine. He served as director of the Pediatric Residency Program until 2001 and chief of staff at Children’s Hospital until 2015. His major interests are general pediatrics, the history of medicine and gastroenterology/nutrition. Bea Katz, editor of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (2008) by Arcadia Publishing, has chronicled the history of Children’s Hospital for 30 years, first as a writer in the hospital’s Marketing and Communications Department and later, post-retirement, as an independent author and researcher.
The evening will include the talk and audience Q&A from 5-6:30 p.m. Immediately following will be a reception from 6:30-7:30 p.m. outside the Winkler Center. In addition, an exhibit highlighting the pediatric history of Cincinnati will be on display in the Stanley J. Lucas, MD, Board Room.
If you took a composition course in America, chances are you were faced with the seminal book in writing well, William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style. And if you were fortunate, you had a high school teacher or college professor whose teaching could match the plain elegance and helpful guideposts of this little book. The Elements of Style is arguably the most referenced guide to writing in American education.
But how many of us know the story behind this famous text? Chances are we’re all familiar with E.B. White, the decades-long columnist for the New Yorker and the author of modern classics like Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, One Man’s Meat, The Second Tree From the Corner and a host of other books. Curmudgeonly almost to a fault and a writer with uncommon regard for the simple declarative sentence, White was one of the great literary stylists of the 20th century. And William Strunk? He happened to be an English professor at Cornell University during White’s undergraduate days, White graduating from Cornell in 1921. Strunk developed a little handbook for writing that he used in his classes and decades later White wrote an essay for The New Yorker about Strunk’s lessons for usage and style. At the urging of a publisher, White revised Strunk’s work, added an introduction and The Elements of Style was born.
Now to the University of Cincinnati connection: William Strunk, Jr., the author of this famous guide, grew up in Cincinnati and was an 1890 graduate of UC. For the Archives & Rare Books Library’s “50 Minutes” lunchtime series of talks, Greg Hand returns to campus on Thursday, February 22, to relate in his well-informed fashion the story of Mr. William Strunk, and an interesting one it is. As always, Mr. Hand tells his tales with great aplomb and guaranteed satisfaction for all, earning the favor of everyone in attendance. He will speak of facts and fictions, of parodies and paradoxes, and if he were to offer an elegant phrase or two of his own, we would not mind in the least. The talk begins at 12:00 noon in Room 814 of Blegen Library and will last until everyone is ushered out around 1 pm. Bring your lunch, a friend, and acceptable manners (note the Oxford comma). There will also be a random drawing of select and relevant books.
On December 3, 1907, an angry father wrote to the Board of Directors at the University of Cincinnati:
Enclosed you find a doctor bill for treatment of a fractured nose, rendered to my son Armin C. Arend, who was hurt in a flag rush on the 30th of October; the rush being aided and supported by the officials of the University of Cincinnati. I hope your Honorable Body doesn’t expect that I have to pay this bill since I, as well as my son, am opposed to flag rushes. Please take this matter into your hands, & judge for yourself who should pay this bill. Remember, that I paid tuition for this day, which is not given as a holiday in the School Calendar of the University of Cincinnati.
It is hard enough for me as a workingman to pay tuition let alone such foolish unnecessary expenses.
3318 Bonaparte Avenue, City
The bill in question, for $5.00, was referred to the Board’s Law Committee, which quickly denied the father’s claim. As no further word was heard from Mr. Arend, presumably he chalked up the medical bill to an educational expense, like young Armin’s textbooks, but literally, a lesson in the “school of hard knocks.”
Because that is what “flag rush” was during the Progressive Era, a bloodsport of occasional broken noses, broken arms, concussions, and countless contusions and abrasions. A variation on games we know as “capture the flag” and “red rover,” flag rush was a heightened example of these, and was popular on college and university campuses around the country.
One of the most notable parts of Benjamin Gettler’s life and work is his time spent on the Board of Trustees at the University of Cincinnati. He was appointed by Governor George Voinovich in 1993 and elected to chairman of the board in 2000, from which he retired in 2002. While sorting through the records related to his tenure, I was really struck by the massive amount of thought and work that not only goes into shaping the experience for UC students, but also into the surrounding community.
Among the various campus-life projects represented in the collection, one that is very interesting is the long-term plan to improve the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Jefferson Avenue, and Vine Street. At that time, Uptown (Avondale, Clifton, Clifton Heights, Corryville, Fairview, Mt. Auburn, and University Heights) accounted for 10% of the city’s population and 14% of the city’s employment, which together provided for over 46,000 workers commuting into or out of Uptown daily. In addition to the university itself, the hospitals, and the Environmental Protection Agency complex, the immediate area saw the construction of a new office complex, the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, and a UC conference center, including a Marriott hotel. I found the moving pieces, stakeholder interests, and politics concerning an area approximately 100,000 sq. ft. very intriguing. Continue reading University-Area Planning in the Gettler Papers
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