As work proceeds on the Southwest Ohio Folklore Archives, there are a few papers that are certainly appropriate at this time of year. In November, 2002, student Mathew Z. Keller submitted his contribution to the archive with an account of UC’s Wilson Auditorium. Superstition and mystery are as linked with theatre as performance itself and there are many superstitions associated with theatre. Of course, there is “break a leg” instead of “good luck,” and the ominous effects of saying Macbeth backstage. Perhaps less known is the superstition to never whistle anywhere in a theatre because it signifies that a play will be ending soon. Another ritual is to leave a ghost light on in the belief that it would convince spirits of the theatre that they had not been forgotten. Like most, UC’s theatres are also riddled with superstitions and legends which comprise their lore. Continue reading The Haunting of Wilson Auditorium
Every October, the Society of Ohio Archivists sponsors “Archives Month in Ohio” in order to bring awareness to the rich historical materials contained in the state’s libraries, museums, and historical organizations. The intent is to make citizens aware of these holdings, and to see further use of them by students, scholars, and teachers.
The theme for Archives Month this year is “Peoples of Ohio,” celebrating the ethnic and racial diversity in the Buckeye State. In Cincinnati, the focus is on Irish Americans with exhibits and presentations planned that explore the Irish culture both in the Queen City. Once again, an image from the holdings of the Archives & Rare Books Library has been selected for the statewide poster – a photo of Lance Underwood of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Corps, performing at the 2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cincinnati. Continue reading Archives Month Celebrates the Peoples of Ohio
The Archives and Rare Books Library recently received a new collection from UC’s psychology department containing records from 1967 until 2011. The collection includes information on faculty and graduate students, annual reports, and accreditation documentation and supplements the very small number of items that the archives already held related to the history of the psychology department. This new collection is now available for research by faculty, student, staff, and the public.
The psychology department has a long history at UC. Wayland Richardson Benedict taught the first psychology courses at UC starting in 1876 as part of the philosophy department. Courses like Empirical Psychology covering topics in sensation, content, strength and tone of sensation continued to be offered until a separate Department of Experimental Psychology and Pedagogy was created in the Spring of 1901. The Psychology Department endured quite a bit of instability in its early years and the first three department heads stayed for only a short time. Continue reading New Department of Psychology Collection at ARB
If you were a member of Cincinnati’s blue blood society in the 1950s and 1960s, you would have surely known Dolly Cohen. You might have also been acquainted with her, if you were a polio or cancer researcher, a local orphan, a victim of muscular dystrophy, a University of Cincinnati faculty member, a student seeking a scholarship, or even an Ohio State University football player. The woman was everywhere, donating her time and money to a myriad of causes in Cincinnati and throughout the country. The University of Cincinnati’s Archives and Rare Books Library holds Mrs. Cohen’s scrapbooks and other mementos which provide a visual timeline of her life and charitable work. Continue reading Dolly Cohen: Philanthropist and Fashionista
Every October, the Society of Ohio Archivists sponsors “Archives Month in Ohio” to encourage teachers, students, scholars and the general public to seek out and learn from the rich historical resources in the state. From the smallest community historical society to the largest public libraries and universities, the wealth of primary research material in Ohio contributes not only to appreciation of our heritage, but provides understanding of our current lives as well.
And each year, the SOA Archives Month Committee selects a specific topic to highlight repository holdings. In the past, some of the themes have been music, African American heritage, business, and sports. As part of the annual focus, exhibits, lectures, and other programs are offered and a promotional poster is printed. For 2012, the theme is “Peoples of Ohio” and southwestern Ohio will focus on Irish heritage. For the poster, the Archives & Rare Books Library contributed the image shown here of a piper from the Cincinnati Emerald Society of Police and Fired Pipes and Drums Corps performing in the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. This photo will accompany other wonderful images representing the state’s Native American, Greek, Slovak, Jewish, German, French, and African American citizens, for example. Posters will be available by late summer. Continue reading ARB Makes the Poster Lineup for Archives Month
Now available in the Archives and Rare Books Library are the papers of Dr. Carl A Huether, professor of biology and the visionary behind the establishment of a graduate program in genetic counseling at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Huether was director of the genetic counseling program from 1982 to 1992. After this he remained a vital part of the program as a professor, advisor and advocate for medical genetics. In 2007 after 41 years as a member of the biology faculty, Dr. Huether retired and the first ever endowment fund for a graduate program in genetic counseling was established.
Established as an emphasis for graduate biology majors in 1982, the program is documented in the papers of Dr. Huether and chronicle his tireless efforts to have a formalized program in genetic counseling. Through the correspondence with colleagues and university administration, this collection provides an interesting history of how new programs are established at the UC. In addition, the various drafts and revisions of the formal proposal to have the genetic counseling program established give insight into the importance of such a program. Copies of the various versions of the proposal in addition to the final version that was submitted to and approved by the Ohio Board of Regents are available in the collection. A guide to the collection is available on the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository. For more information on this collection and other items related to the history of the University of Cincinnati contact the Archives and Rare Books Library by phone at 513-556-1959 or by email at email@example.com.
One night in October of 1938, in Cincinnati’s General Hospital (now University Hospital), there was an unusual hustle and bustle as nurses, doctors, and interns searched throughout the building for a tiny piece of uranium which had disappeared. The radium, no larger than a sugar cube, was worth $1400 and hospital staff was intent on locating it. During the search, it was discovered that Dr. Isay Balinkin of UC’s College of Engineering had an electroscope that could be used to find uranium. The problem was that it was late at night, and Dr. Balinkin did not have a telephone. Instead, the hospital sent Postal and Western Union messengers to get Dr. Balinkin and his electroscope at his home on Auburn Avenue. (Yes it does seem like an odd way to fetch someone only a few miles away.) They did find Dr. Balinkin and Dr. Balinkin found the uranium in the trash. Dr. Isay Balinkin spent 40 years at the University of Cincinnati and did even more important things than locating uranium in the middle of the night. An enthusiastic teacher, he taught an estimated 8000 students demonstrating science with devices like bowling balls, rubber gloves, and mousetraps. He was also a great researcher and held 7 patents for devices he had invented. Some of his papers are held in UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library. Continue reading Dr. Isay Balikin: Innovative UC Teacher and Researcher
Former UC architectural history professor Bill Rudd shares the story behind the student-led construction of the Burnet Woods memorial to famed architect H.H. Richardson’s Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building. Henry Hobson Richardson is highly regarded, along with Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, as one of “the recognized trinity of American architecture.” The style he popularized is named for him: Richardsonian Romanesque.
Among the last buildings Richardson designed was the one-time Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce building on 4th Street. That building, dedicated in 1889, would stand among the most significant public structures in the region — along with works like the Suspension Bridge, the Carew Tower, City Hall, Music Hall and Union Terminal — had it not been destroyed by fire a century ago, in 1911.The memorial was completed in 1972.
When I began working at the Archives and Rare Books Library last June, I never could have imagined all that I would learn in the following year. As my one year anniversary at ARB is quickly approaching, I find myself reflecting on all of the great collections I have had the opportunity to process and research, all of the priceless books I have gotten to browse every day, and all of the help and support I have been given from my wonderful co-workers.