Edward Livingston Youmans’ The Chemical Atlas was recently returned to its home in the Oesper Collections in the History of Chemistry library after receiving conservation treatment from UC Libraries’ Preservation Lab. Youmans’ famous book features eye-catching illustrated and hand-colored plates that frequently motivate myself and others to display the item and engage visitors of the Oesper Collections with stunning visual depictions of the unseen world of chemical processes.
Edward Youmans was a renowned science communicator and popularizer in the 19th century United States. In the 1850’s, a reviewer called his Chemical Atlas “without exception, the best popular work in the English language” (Miles, 1964). When he was a young teen, he was afflicted by a disease of the eyes which grew more severe with time, leaving him nearly blind and suffering from frequent eye inflammation between the ages of 13 and 35. During these years, Youmans was unable to read, and learned as much as he could through the second-hand teaching of his sister, Eliza Youmans. His second-hand learning caused him to imagine and visualize chemistry concepts. As he overcame his misconceptions and worked to make his understanding more definite, he wanted to share his scheme for picturing atoms and their combinations. This led to him creating chemical charts which visually depicted atoms of different elements, binary compounds, and more as well as an accompanying book, Classbook of Chemisty. The Classbook of Chemistry was a huge success. “Brief, clear, and devoid of technicalities, it has an astounding and continuous sale; it was revised and sold more than 144,000 copies in its three editions. This was truly a remarkable record and would be envied even in these days of widespread chemical instruction” (Oesper, 1957). Continue reading →
Announcing the 2021-22 University of Cincinnati Libraries Annual Progress Report: A Year of New Beginnings…a year that saw the broad return of students, faculty and staff to campus for fall semester. The transition from virtual to in-person was an extensive process as library spaces were re-evaluated to allow for a safe return to working and studying on campus. We welcomed students, faculty and staff back to campus with refreshed spaces, enhanced safety protocols for social distancing and a revived appreciation for working together in person.
The year also saw the announcement of our renewed Strategic Framework: NEXT Directions. The University of Cincinnati’s NEXT Lives Here Strategic Directions focus on the core areas of Academic Excellence, Urban Impact and the Innovation Agenda in order to engage people and ideas – and to transform the world. The University of Cincinnati Libraries is key to what’s NEXT.
In this Annual Report, we look back at the top News & Events, applaud Staff Accomplishments & Milestones and look at the Libraries By the Numbers and Financially.
While we celebrate the accomplishments of the past academic year, we also continue to move forward in pursuit of our vision of being the globally engaged, intellectual commons of the university – positioning ourselves as the hub of collaboration, digital innovation and scholarly endeavor on campus and beyond. I invite you to be a part of our journey – a journey led by our Guiding Principles of Investment in our People; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and Digital Transformation.
Exhibit of paintings-possibly Renaissance and Baroque from UC’s art collection
DAAP Art History Prof. Chris Platts invites direct observation of these works of art from UC’s art collection to aid his classes (ARTH 5184 & ARTH 3021) in determining style, iconography, materials, function, patronage, and deeper symbolic meanings of the works. Prof. Platts is teaming up with UC geology and chemistry professors to give his students the chance to study an in-house mineral collection as a basis for analysis of paint pigments and how they were made in the Renaissance time period. As a class activity, the students will analyze these paintings from paint chips to date them and attempt to identify which one is a forgery.
Al Gerhardstein, noted Cincinnati civil rights attorney, has donated to the University of Cincinnati Libraries’ Archives and Rare Books Library, papers documenting his nearly 50-year career in civil rights litigation and advocacy, with focuses in reproductive rights, prisoner’s rights, policing, employment discrimination, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
Material to be found in the extensive collection includes briefs, pleadings, depositions, trial transcriptions, newspaper, magazine and journal articles, as well as correspondence and speeches spanning Gerhardstein’s career and notable legal cases. There are 184 boxes available for research, with 45 more boxes sealed under court order.
Excerpt from letter notifying Mr. Gerhardstein that his case was entered into the Supreme Court.
Prominent cases in the collection include:
Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case establishing marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states. Gerhardstein represented Jim Obergefell in this fight to be recognized as the husband of John Arthur.
Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati v. Project Jericho, et al., which was a lawsuit against anti-abortion groups for their continued harassment of women seeking abortion and their providers, after a member of one of the groups firebombed the Margaret Sanger Center abortion clinic in 1985.
Prisoner rights lawsuit in response to the 1993 Lucasville Prison riots, where Gerhardstein represented inmates against prison officials for failure to protect them during the riot and the forces that caused the riot.
Litigation to declare unconstitutional Article XII, which was voted into the Cincinnati City Charter in 1993 and actively prohibited Cincinnati from protecting LGBT people from discrimination.
Creation of the Collaborative Agreement as a partnership between the ACLU, Black United Front, the city of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police, which re-oriented the philosophy of policing in Cincinnati towards a Community Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP) model. It was the result of a civil rights action filed on behalf of a class of African American citizens of Cincinnati based on discriminatory policing including racial profiling, excessive force and disproportionate arrests of African Americans. The success of the Collaborative Agreement made Cincinnati a national role model for police reform.
P. Alfred Marchand was one of the first African American librarians in the United States and possibly the Midwest region. He worked at the Cincinnati Hospital from ~1873-1918. Although Marchand was highly valued by the medical staff at the Cincinnati Hospital, there was also controversy surrounding his unwarranted dismissal then reinstatement following protest by medical staff.
Please join Leah Everitt, research assistant in the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library (HSL), on Thursday, June 16, 2022 from 12:00-1:00pm in the Stanley J. Lucas, MD Board Room of the Winkler Center, to hear about archival materials that reveal much more about Marchand’s academic accomplishments and his time at the Cincinnati Hospital. Please note that lunch will be served.
The Oesper Collections and Museum in the History of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati is pleased to present a new blog series, Oesper Collection Highlights. We will feature items from our amazing collections of rare books, prints and portraits, and online collections that inspire and educate all. We thank our student intern, Brenna Kobes, for researching and preparing these posts. If you have questions about the Oesper Collections and Museum, please contact Ted Baldwin, Ted.Baldwin@uc.edu, Director of the UC Science and Engineering Libraries.
Oesper Collection Highlights for March 2022 recognize Women’s History Month and the contributions of women to chemistry over the centuries. We aim to raise awareness and celebration for their accomplishments. Continue reading →
The Oesper Museum & Collections in the History of Chemistry (502 Rieveschl Hall, University of Cincinnati’s main campus) invites you to a celebration and open house starting at 7:00pm on Tuesday, March 15. The Museum & Collections will be designated as a National Historical Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society (ACS). More event details in the invitation graphic below. Please RSVP at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/63BJC22 and share with others. The public is welcome.
Program details for March 15 Oesper Museum celebration