A Program By Any Name: Calling All Theater Goers and Performers!

Shakespeare Celebration BookmarkWe need your help! The Archives and Rare Books Library is expanding its Shakespeare holdings as part of the 2016 quadricentennial . In our effort to document and preserve the heritage of Shakespeare productions in the greater Cincinnati area over the past two centuries, we’re building an archival collection of local Shakespeare play programs. It doesn’t matter if they are from 1902 or two days ago. They can be programs from performances by CCM, high schools, professional theater groups, or the couple next door who are forever emoting on Romeo and Juliet. It doesn’t matter! The only requirement we have is that the performance took place somewhere in the tri-state.

Please mail your submissions to the Archives and Rare Books Library, P.O. Box 210113, Cincinnati, OH 45211-0113 or drop them by our library on the 8th floor of Blegen Library. If you have any questions, just contact us via email (archives@mail.uc.edu) or give us a call Monday through Friday, 8-5, at (513) 556-1959.

Thank you all so much for following our celebration, and a special thanks to anyone who can contribute. We can’t wait to see the wonderful programs you have in store for us! To learn more about our Shakespeare commemoration, have a look at our web page, http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/exhibits/shakespeare400/.

Program for Macbeth at CCMScript of Hamlet, presented in Music Hall, Cincinnati

UC Celebrates Its Library’s Founding Collection as It Celebrates Shakespeare 400

Shakespeare Celebration BookmarkEvents around the world will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in April. University of Cincinnati Libraries are showcasing UC’s rare Shakespeare collections and highlights of the UC Shakespeare Tercentenary a century ago.

Cultural, creative and educational organizations around the world will kick off celebrations honoring the legacy of William Shakespeare as the world observes the 400th anniversary of his death, which was on April 23, 1616. Here at the University of Cincinnati, the Archives & Rare Books Library’s Shakespeare collection is one of the university’s original library collections, purchased for the university back in the 1890s.

The Enoch T. Carson collection holds more than 250 volumes. The collection has illustrations from editions of Shakespeare’s works along with pamphlets, clippings, excerpts, criticism, almanacs and various souvenirs that were collected by Carson. Over the past century, dozens of additional volumes have augmented that original collection, including rare editions illustrated by Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham, and W. Heath Robinson. Continue reading UC Celebrates Its Library’s Founding Collection as It Celebrates Shakespeare 400

What’s For Lunch?

Could you imagine being on campus today and not having a place to go for lunch or even more shocking – not being a short walk from a Starbucks?   From burgers to burritos to caramel Frappuccinos, there are plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a quick coffee break on or near UC’s West (Main) campus. With all of us so used to so many food options, we were stumped when the University’s Architect’s office asked us “Where was the university’s first dining hall and when did it open?”

We do not always have the answers in our heads, but we can always come up places to start looking. The Cincinnatian (UC’s yearbook) is a great place to start especially for questions that have anything to do with UC’s students. What makes this resource even better is that UC’s yearbooks have been digitized and are freely available online through the Libraries’ website: http://digitalprojects.libraries.uc.edu/cincinnatian/ Lucky for us, the 1914 Cincinnatian provided the clue that we needed. An announcement in this yearbook stated, “Varsity’s New Lunch-Room, opened February 9th 1914.” The article also included a menu with interesting options like pineapple and lettuce salad with egg dressing and cold ham and a pickle. The most expensive item on the menu was only 12 cents. Continue reading What’s For Lunch?

Memories of Shakespeare and the Lyric Theatre

By: Sydney Vollmer, ARB Intern

Ad for Shakespeare seriesLook what we found! CCM students of days gone by customarily made a scrapbook of their experiences while they were in school. The scrapbook of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (one half of what has become UC’s College-Conservatory of Music) student Virginia Inez Day recently came into our hands just in time for us to start our Shakespeare celebration! For those of you who have been in the cheap seats, 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and we are commemorating it with a year of promoting our Shakespeare holdings in the Archives & Rare Books Library and documenting the history of Shakespeare productions in Cincinnati. Continue reading Memories of Shakespeare and the Lyric Theatre

In Memoriam: Edgar Slotkin, Ardent Friend of the Archives & Rare Books Library

Edgar SlotkinOn June 21st, the Archives & Rare Books Library lost a friend. Edgar Slotkin, professor emeritus of English, died at the age of 72. Edgar was a remarkable folklorist and Celtic scholar, but most of all he was a man generous of his time and knowledge. At his retirement in 2011, he donated his local folklore collection to us and it became the Southwest Ohio Folklore Archive. Additionally, several years ago Edgar worked with Jerry Newman, our Associate Dean for Collections at the time, to acquire and catalog two wonderful rare book collections of Irish and Welsh literature. Of the former, much of it is from the early 20th c. Celtic Revival period in Ireland and represents a physically fragile gathering of books that might otherwise have been lost. Edgar Slotkin was a kind and learned man, and someone who is greatly missed.

48 Years in the Making

This post was originally published on the UC Magazine website.

UC Graduate Samuel Ochiel Obura is greeting on campus by Richard Harknett, head of UC's political science department, 48 years after Mr. Obura finished his degree requirements.  photos/Joseph Fuqua II.
UC Graduate Samuel Ochiel Obura is greeted on campus by Richard Harknett, head of UC’s political science department, 48 years after Mr. Obura finished his degree requirements. photo/Joseph Fuqua II.

UC graduate waited nearly a half century to walk in his commencement and finally receive his lost thesis.

By:  John Bach

Samuel Obura
Samuel Obura Stands during the ceremony when recognized by UC President Santa Ono. photo/Joseph Fuqua II

Samuel Ochiel Obura’s journey to today’s commencement ceremony at the University of Cincinnati took him nearly 8,000 miles and 48 years.

A native of Kenya, Obura finished his master’s degree requirements in political science at UC in 1967. But due to an upheaval at the African Students Association, which helped sponsor his education, he had to cut short his pursuit of a doctorate degree to leave campus and return to Africa or risk losing his return ticket to his wife and children in east Africa.

Obura, then 34, had already spent several years away from his young family back home to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Canada followed by his master’s at UC.

Though he would go on to a long and successful career as a government official in Kenya, Obura left Cincinnati in such a rush that he never even took his trunk full of books, or —even more disheartening — the  dissertation he had written on the “Constitutional Development in Kenya.” His thesis had been sent away for binding when he departed, so he was forced to leave it behind and would spend the next half century longing for the important document.

Continue reading 48 Years in the Making

Emma Lucy Braun: Pioneer Plant Ecologist

By:  Iman Said, ARB Intern, 2014-2015

The University of Cincinnati has had many incredible individuals pass through its doors. There have been outstanding athletes, such as Oscar Robertson and Ron Bonham, and incredible researchers such as Albert Sabin. One such researcher was E. Lucy Braun, who created a research program in vascular plant floristics focusing on deciduous forests.

Lucy BraunE. Lucy Braun was born in Cincinnati in 1889. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1914 with a Ph.D in botany and went on to found the Wildflower Preservation Society of North America in 1917. The Society is still well and thriving today and hosts several different events including an annual Hardy Souls’ Hike at Mt. Airy Forest and lectures on various fungal infections and wild orchids. That same year, she began teaching botany at her alma mater, growing through the University to become a professor of plant ecology in 1946. In addition, she became the first female president of the Ohio Academy of Science. Continue reading Emma Lucy Braun: Pioneer Plant Ecologist

An Early View of the Stands

By:  Janice Schulz, Former ARB Library staff member

The University of Cincinnati is in the midst of a major renovation of Nippert Stadium that will turn it into a state-of-the-art athletic complex, but at one time our gridiron heroes played on what were simply a field and a chain of stands. According to the 1904 Cincinnatian the “much-needed and long-looked for” athletic field was completed in that academic year. The field was later named after UC alum, medical school faculty member, and UC director Archibald I. Carson. As a medical school student (Class of ’89) Carson organized the first UC football team. The stands were first erected in 1912 at a cost of $50,000 and then added to in 1920 and again in 1924, when the stadium was dedicated in memory of Jimmy Nippert. In 1935 the Works Progress Administration sponsored a $135,000 project to add the press box. Shank Pavilion was added in 1954 and a major renovation came in 1991 at a cost of $13,500,000.

The stands at Carson Field

Continue reading An Early View of the Stands

Growth of Student Government

By:  Iman Said, ARB Intern, 2014-2015

Just about every college campus, and now almost every high school, has some form of a student government. It’s a coalition of students who put on events, work on projects, and speak to administrators and members of the community on issues related to the students.

Student Government Posters

Today, the UC Undergraduate Student Government is made up of a Senate, a Cabinet, Boards, and College Tribunals. This makes for an organization that is involved in just about every aspect of student life. Elections are held every year, usually in February, and candidates select a President and Vice President, as well as eight At-Large Senators. After those positions have been chosen, Cabinet positions are filled using an application process. Any student can apply to a cabinet position, no matter their age or year in school. Each of the Tribunals then holds their own internal elections to select their executive board and their representative to Senate. Continue reading Growth of Student Government