Treasures of the Winkler Center: 1843 Botanico-Medical College Diploma of Dr. Henry Randolph Higgins

Through the generosity of Jerry L. Higgins, the Henry R. Winkler Center received an interesting artifact depicting Cincinnati’s rich history of institutions of medical education. This framed diploma from the Botanico-Medical College of Ohio was awarded to Jerry L. Higgins’ ancestor, Dr. Henry Randolph Higgins, and serves as the only artifact in the Winkler collection from the institution.

DAN_3587 edited
From left to right:
Allison Higgins, Jerry L. Higgins, and Becky Higgins
(Photo courtesy of Dan Davenport, UC AHC Public Relations)

Continue reading Treasures of the Winkler Center: 1843 Botanico-Medical College Diploma of Dr. Henry Randolph Higgins

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

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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

New Material in ARB's Urban Studies Collection Highlights Cincinnati's Culture and History

By:  Suzanne Maggard

Kennedy Heights 15th Anniversary Cover
Kennedy Heights Community Council 15th Anniversary Celebration booklet

What do the papers of a local choral director and composer and the records of the Kennedy Heights Community Council have in common?  All these records were added to the Urban Studies collection in the Archives and Rare Books Library in 2014.  Finding aids are now available for both of the collections and they are open to the public for research.

The Urban Studies collection in the Archives and Rare Books Library holds a vast amount of material related to the history of the city of Cincinnati, the city’s neighborhoods, and the people and culture of the city of Cincinnati.  The newest items in this collection help to expand on the history already available within the collection. Continue reading New Material in ARB's Urban Studies Collection Highlights Cincinnati's Culture and History

Historic Cincinnati Subway and Street Images Available on New Website

b53_f25_p001The University of Cincinnati Libraries have created a website and digital archive that provides access to the historic Cincinnati subway and street images, a collection of over 8,000 photographic negatives and prints taken as part of a failed subway development project in the 1920s, and photographs documenting various street projects from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Available at http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/subway/, the “Cincinnati Subway and Street Improvements, 1916-1955” website includes construction images as well as both interior and exterior shots of private residences and city scenes. In addition to providing access to the historic prints and photographs, the website also documents the story of the failed subway project and includes a construction map with linked images.

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Celebrating Black History Month-Cincinnati's Ted Berry

By:  Kevin Grace

Theodore BerryWith a grant awarded by the National Archives and Records Administration a few years ago, we were able to process our Theodore M. Berry Papers, a collection of nearly 200 boxes that documented the life and career of Ted Berry, UC alum, first African-American mayor of Cincinnati, and a national figure in the Civil Rights Movement.  Communities around the nation are celebrating Black History Month in February, and on Tuesday The Ledger-Independent in Berry Backers FlyerMaysville, Kentucky ran a very nice article about Berry, based in large part on the website that was created for the grant project.  Written for the newspaper by Marla Toncray, the article was picked up by Dawn Fuller in UC’s Public Information office.

We invite you to have a look at the article at http://maysville-online.com/news/local/theodore-m-berry-rise-from-poverty-to-politics/article_867ef0e1-2ebe-5c1c-91c1-ed3a399a37f4.html.  To learn more about ARB’s holdings, please go to http://www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/index.html, call us at 513.556.1959, or email us at archives@ucmail.uc.edu.

Looking East: Taft in China

taftPlease join us for a public lecture featuring author Margo Taft Stever and Professor Hong Shen of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 ~ 10am-noon
Baur Room (room 3880 Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, College-Conservatory of Music)

Together with James Taft Stever, Margo Taft Stever and Hong Shen published the book Looking East: William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Asia, The Photographs of Harry Fowler Woods (Zhejiang University Press, 2012).

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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