In the spring of 1883, Cincinnati held its first Dramatic Festival at Music Hall, performing for a consecutive six days. The show had a lineup of performances of all sorts of dramatic works, with many of them holding Shakespearian titles. The festival was such a big deal that even the Chicago Tribune sent someone over to see what it was all about but unfortunately, the Tribune was less than impressed with Cincinnati’s efforts, claiming that the largeness of Music Hall drowned out the performances of almost all the actors. However, the critics did have some kind words for the orchestra as well as the performances of Hamlet and Julius Caesar. Apparently, these were the only two plays that were “great” enough to be worthy of performance while simultaneously using the space effectively. It certainly helped that in the role of Hamlet was the famous thespian James E. Murdoch.
Founded in 1819, Cincinnati College was home to two literary societies, the Philomathic Society and the Erophoebic Society (which had a bit of a rivalry between them). Students of the College formed the Philomathic Society prior to the opening of the College, on January 18, 1818. The Society’s aim was “for mutual literary improvement” and its first members were John Hough James, Junius James, George Mackey Wilson, Lemuel D. Howells, Robert T. Lytle, and Edward L. Drake. Soon after its creation, the student members created a separate branch of the Philomathic Society for elected members consisting of William Henry Harrison, Thomas Peirce, Daniel Drake, Benjamin Drake, Peyton Short Symmes, as well as “other gentlemen, well known at that day… interested in literary affairs.” On April 3, 1821, Daniel Drake invited the members of the Philomathic Society to join the public commencement of the Medical College being held the following day at Cincinnati College’s Chapel. In the early part of 1821, the Society created a semi-monthly paper called The Olio, which featured local literature and was “the first effort on the part of a literary society, in the West, for development of poetic ability.” The publication contained historical essays, articles, poetry, and the occasional “humorous essay.”The Olio, published and edited by John H. Wood and Samuel S. Brooks, ended after just one year of publication.Continue reading History of the Philomathic Society of Cincinnati College
This year’s lecture will consist of a panel discussion by prominent African American physicians and is titled “African American Physicians in Cincinnati: Past, Present and Future.” Moderated by Dr. Elbert Nelson, the panelists will include Drs. Chester Pryor, Charles Dillard, Camille C. Graham and Christopher Lewis.
The evening will include the talk from 5-6 p.m., followed by Q&A and a reception at 6:30 p.m. In addition, an exhibit of the same name will be on display in the Lucas Board Room in the Winkler Center.
The following post was written by Winkler Center assistant archivist, Nina Herzog. All images courtesy of the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions
Without a doubt, checking into and staying at hospitals is a lot different today than it was over a half century ago. Computerized check-ins, televisions in rooms and bans on smoking, etc. have all improved the patient experience. The images below were taken from an informational booklet given to patients at the Cincinnati General Hospital (CGH) in 1958.
The instructive pamphlet titled, “Well Here I Am,” provides the incoming patient with information on subjects ranging from check in, dining hours, and visitor information to hospital maps, directions, and much more.
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
On August 17, 1866, Sarah Frances “Fanny” Frost was born in Caldbeck, England to John and Sarah Frost. As Julia Marlowe, she died at age 84 in New York City’s Plaza Hotel. Between those two events, she discovered passion, love (multiple times), and fame.
The future Shakespearean actress was born into a relatively normal family. She had four siblings, three sisters and a brother and her parents owned a general store while also working in the trades of needlework and boot making. Her father sometimes got drunk and her mother always got frustrated with him. At the age of 5, though, all of that “normalcy” changed for Marlowe. It was the year that her father whisked the family away to America. Plenty of people were immigrating to America during the 1870s, but Marlowe’s father did so to stay out of trouble. During an impromptu horse race between her father—where he was most likely drunk— and one of their neighbors, Mr. Frost allegedly took out his competitor’s eye with his whip. Knowing that he would surely face prosecution if he stayed, he immediately took his wife and children to America. Once arrived, they first settled in Kansas, but soon moved to Portsmouth, Ohio with the new surname “Brough,” which was the maiden name of Julia’s mother. Later on, the family would find out that the competitor had been playing a cruel joke and there had not been any reason to leave so urgently. Continue reading Julia Marlowe – A Cincinnati Girl Learns To Be Juliet
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
I’m a little late on posting a few big Shakespeare things. I promise they’re coming. In the craziness that has been finals, Kevin decided maybe I would like a little break from the Bard. (He was right.) He suggested I try painting for a little—and by that he meant looking into the Fresh Painters Club that was once a major extra-curricular at the University of Cincinnati. Conveniently, there was a history of the club that was written several decades ago. Though I don’t know who wrote it or exactly when it was penned, he or she explained the organization far better than I can. The text is as follows:
ANALYSIS OF THE FRESH PAINTER ACTIVITY
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI.
Looking backward, the Fresh Painters has developed from an old Varsity tradition. Every year during the period between 1900 and 1921, students gave a revue called “Varsity Vanities”. These revues were disconnected sets depicting the frivolities of campus life, and demonstrated singing, dancing and acting talents of undergraduates. Every spring the varsity Vanities Committee was organized and the revue was produced. Continue reading Fresh Painters Club
We are excited to announce that excerpts from Pharmaceutical Education In the Queen City : 150 Years of Service, 1850-2000 by Michael A. Flannery and Dennis B. Worthen, originally published in 2001, documenting the students and graduates who attended the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, Queen City College of Pharmacy, and the University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy from 1850 through 2000 are now available in the UC Digital Resource Commons (DRC). The DRC started as an initiative of the OhioLink consortium of libraries to create a digital repository service that would help streamline access to unique collections and facilitate scholarly communication.