Another Addition to Our Documentation of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music's Heritage

By Kevin Grace

Last week we wrote about the wonderful donation of an exterior wall plaque from the Conservatory of Music when it was located in the old Shillito mansion on Highland and Oak Streets.  No sooner than that blog post run that we received a package from another person with a connection to the school.

ccm-ladies

Florence Lemke of Tucson passed along some memorabilia that had belonged to her late aunt, Rita Moore.  Moore was a Conservatory student in the early 1920s and had a classmate by the name of Minnie Leah Nobles.  Mrs. Lemke sent us the 1921 Senior Annual, which her aunt had obtained from Nobles, along with a class photo.  In the picture, Nobles is the tallest woman in the back row and Moore is in the back row as well, third from the right.  It’s a wonderful image not only in how it depicts coed fashion at the time, but in its look at the Conservatory entrance as well. Continue reading Another Addition to Our Documentation of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music's Heritage

UC's Bearcat Celebrates Its Centennial Birthday

By:  Kevin Grace

Bearcat at the ZooThis time of year 100 years ago, the “Bear Cat” made its first appearance in a student newspaper cartoon that celebrated a UC football victory over the University of Kentucky.  UK had its “Wildcats” but with the red and black backfield boasting the likes of Leonard “Teddy” Baehr, the cartoonist, Paddy Reece, showed a bear-like creature chasing after a wildcat.  It wasn’t until a few years after that gridiron win that the term “Bearcat” came to be commonly used as the University of Cincinnati’s mascot, but now a century later, it’s an integral part of our campus identity.

Paddy Reese Continue reading UC's Bearcat Celebrates Its Centennial Birthday

UC Bicentennial Publishing Plans Gearing Up

By:  Kevin Grace

Football playersIn 2019, the University of Cincinnati will celebrate its 200th birthday, and for the past two years the UC Bicentennial Commission has undertaken a number of initiatives to celebrate and commemorate this momentous event.  One aspect of the bicentennial endeavors is directed by the Spirit of History Committee.  Chaired by longtime UC benefactor and former member of the Board of Trustees, Buck Niehoff, the committee’s plans are for two complementary publications.

taft with brothers_2The first publication is a scholarly history of the university by David Stradling, professor of history.  Dr. Stradling will focus on UC’s relationship to the city of Cincinnati throughout its history.  The second volume, edited by Greg Hand, will be a collection of diverse essays that begin with a facet of University of Cincinnati history and expand it to where it has relevance and meaning to any reader, not just those who are connected to UC in some way.  To that end, Hand is soliciting ideas for essays and invites anyone to submit a proposal by linking to this web page:    http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/Bicentennial/docs/6034-Spirit-of-History-Essay-form.pdf.   The form provides details on the style the essays will take.  It can also be printed out and mailed to potential authors. Continue reading UC Bicentennial Publishing Plans Gearing Up

Shillito Hall Comes Home to the UC Campus

By:  Kevin Grace

For the past few weeks, Mr. Dennis Christine (CCM, Class of 1969), has corresponded with Sue Reller, Mark Palkovic, and me about an old bronze plaque he had.  He wished to donate it to us as a piece of University of Cincinnati heritage that he strongly felt should be preserved, and we’re very fortunate that he thought of us because the plaque that reads “Shillito Hall” is a reminder of CCM’s past and its merger with the University of Cincinnati in the 1960s.  Yesterday I met him at the gatehouse on Clifton and hauled it in to the Archives & Rare Books Library.

Shillito Hall

Continue reading Shillito Hall Comes Home to the UC Campus

Fall Means Election Time: A Look Back Through ARB’s Issues of the News Record

By: Iman Said, Archives & Rare Books Intern for 2014-2015

John F. Kennedy
Kennedy campaigns in Cincinnati with local Democratic boss, John “Socko” Wiethe. Photograph by Jack Klumpe.

It’s officially Fall, which means I am writing this post with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. Last week, I wrote about a photo of the UC football team from the late 1800s. While my role is primarily focused on images and photos, I also get to work with historical documents. I love looking through old copies of the News Record, the student-run newspaper here on UC’s campus. You can find digitized copies of the newspapers from 1960 to 1970, as well as 1973 to 1976 by going to http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/newsrecord/.  The Archives & Rare Books Library’s intent is that eventually all the years of the newspaper will be digitized, from 1885 to the point where the News Record began electronic issues. Continue reading Fall Means Election Time: A Look Back Through ARB’s Issues of the News Record

Exploring UC in Photographs

By:  Iman Said, Archives & Rare Books Library Intern, 2014-2015

Hello, and welcome to my first blog! My name is Iman and I’m a student in the College of Business, studying Operations Management. This year, I am working as a research intern in the Archives & Rare Books Library, a cozy nook on the 8th floor of Blegen Library. The ARB Library is a home to the University’s rare books collection, UC archives, hundreds of archival collections, and texts from all over the world. Just an hour of working in this corner of campus is enough to get a glimpse into the history and traditions that have influenced the way our laws are made, the way we interact with others, even the way our society functions.

UC Football Team 1895
UC Football Team 1895

Continue reading Exploring UC in Photographs

ARB’s "50 Minutes" Talk for September

By:  Kevin Grace

Headstone The Archives & Rare Books monthly talk returns on Wednesday, September 24, at 12:00 noon with a special presentation on UC’s first female graduate.  Like nearly every other institution of its kind, documenting the “firsts” and the significant moments of our history lends context to our heritage, and, reveals some very interesting stories.  And for this 50 Minutes talk, we welcome back Greg Hand to campus and to Blegen Library.  Greg made some very interesting 50 Minutes talks in the past few years on Cincinnati’s Federal Writer’s project guide to the city; artist, poet, and mystic William Blake; and pioneering cartoonist Winsor McCay.  Now he comes with another…     Continue reading ARB’s "50 Minutes" Talk for September

Cincinnati’s Bathtub Hoax and a Missing Giant Tub

By:  Kevin Grace

Mencken
H.L. Mencken

In 1917, the noted journalist and philologist H.L. Mencken published an article in the New York Evening Mail concerning the history of the bathtub in the United States.  According to the Baltimore writer, known as much for his satire and acerbic wit as he was for his political reporting, Cincinnati was home to this tub.  Mencken asserted that America’s first bathtub was introduced on December 20, 1842 by Adam Thompson who lived, in all places, Cincinnati, Ohio.    Made of mahogany and lined with lead, the vessel was introduced by Thompson to his guests at a Christmas party, described how it worked, and invited the partygoers to take a dip.  Four of them took him up on his offer, and the next day the invention was widely reported in the press. Continue reading Cincinnati’s Bathtub Hoax and a Missing Giant Tub

ARB Jawbone Makes the Pages of Cincinnati Magazine

By:  Kevin Grace

Cincinnati MagazineThey are the fruit of our archival world, those strange objects, quirky provenance discoveries, and odd functions that lend surprise to the workday.  For example, while attending a conference just last week, I was working one afternoon in a research library to delve into a few early documents related to our UC holdings.  Taking a break and wandering down a dark hallway, I saw a partially-opened door, poked my head in, and saw two shrunken heads in bell jars.  Not what I was looking for, but certainly more interesting than what I had been reading!

Raymond Walters
Raymond Walters

So it wasn’t unexpected at all when I returned home and saw that the Archives & Rare Books Library’s own anatomical oddity is in the public eye, something we’ve anticipated for the past several weeks.  In its January issue, Cincinnati Magazine has a feature called “Artifact,” for which they used the jawbone of a mule from our Stephen Foster Collection.  Having the mandible in the collection isn’t as bizarre as it might seem.  The Foster materials were compiled by former UC president Raymond Walters during his tenure from 1932 to 1955.  Walters was a Foster scholar of sorts and acquired the collection as part of his research, eventually donating it to the Libraries.  There are the typical items in the Foster material that you would expect, such as sheet music, songbooks, images, and recordings.  And the jawbone fits right in with these items because it is actually a musical instrument, used for percussion in the antebellum minstrel shows that traveled up and down the Ohio River, stopping in towns like Cincinnati to perform their songs and dances.  A stick would be used to rasp up and down the teeth to provide the rhythm. But how and when Walters acquired the bone is a mystery. Continue reading ARB Jawbone Makes the Pages of Cincinnati Magazine

Complete list of Fellows of the Graduate School Now Available Online

In the Archives and Rare Books Library, we receive all sorts of questions related to the university’s history.  Some are simple to answer, but others can take hours of research and can require digging through many old files and records.  In the Fall of 2013, Steven R. Howe, a professor in UC’s Psychology Department, contacted us regarding his research on the history of the Fellows of the Graduate School.  His goal was to enhance the website for the Fellows of the Graduate School by creating a list of former fellows.   Since no comprehensive list existed, ARB staff helped Howe locate Board of Trustees minutes, course catalogs, faculty directories, and biographical files on individual faculty members.  His research resulted in a spreadsheet that lists all the Fellows of the Graduate School along with some biographical information on each of the fellows. This list, along with some other information resulting from his research, is now available on the Archives and Rare Books Library website:  http://www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/archives/collections/fellows_graduate_school.html Continue reading Complete list of Fellows of the Graduate School Now Available Online