40 Years of The Nutcracker in Cincinnati

The holidays in Cincinnati bring many traditions to mind.  You can go see the Duke Energy train display at the Cincinnati Museum Center (formerly the CG&E train display and previously located downtown), and you surely do not want to miss the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo.  One tradition in particular, though, is celebrating a big anniversary.  2014 marks the 40th year for Cincinnati Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.  For many Cincinnatians, a trip to see The Nutcracker at Music Hall is their first experience with the ballet, and for others it might be their only experience.

Panorama of the stage at Music Hall
Continue reading 40 Years of The Nutcracker in Cincinnati

CHRC Collections at ARB Recall Cincinnati’s Own Civil Unrest

By:  Nate McGee, CHRC Intern and UC PhD candidate

CHRC Thank You Letter
A thank you card from a student at Aiken High School following a CHRC outreach visit to the school.

Amid a renewed discussion regarding the relationship between minority urban residents and local police, it’s important to think about how our own community dealt with similar issues in the not too distant past.  The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC) Collection currently being processed in the Archives and Rare Books Library shows the myriad ways the city and various organizations affiliated with city hall attempted to deal with issues not unlike those currently experienced in Ferguson, Missouri, Staten Island, New York, and in the national news discussion.

Continue reading CHRC Collections at ARB Recall Cincinnati’s Own Civil Unrest

October is National Archives Month

By:  Kevin Grace

Utopia 2014 Archives MonthEvery year the nation’s archivists celebrate October as National Archives Month as a way of promoting the use of original source material by students, scholars, and the general public.  The month is also dedicated to promoting the importance of historical documents and their archival preservation.  For many years now, the Society of Ohio Archivists has selected a theme to be explored and to produce a poster for distribution around the state.  This year for Ohio, we have chosen the Great Depression as our theme, with programs and exhibits having that event as a focus.  To see the photos the committee considered for the 2014 poster, please use this link: http://www.ohioarchivists.org/archives-month-in-ohio-2014-ohio-in-the-depression/.

George Bain, the chair of SOA’s Archives Month Committee, has shared this flickr exhibit of Archives Month posters, including Ohio’s: https://www.flickr.com/photos/councilofstatearchivists/page1/.

To learn more about the holdings of the Archives & Rare Books Library, including our work with the Society of Ohio Archivists, please contact us at 513.55.1959 or by email at archives@ucmail.uc.edu. To learn more about our collections, please visit our website at: http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb.html.

 

Fall Means Election Time: A Look Back Through ARB’s Issues of the News Record

By: Iman Said, Archives & Rare Books Intern for 2014-2015

John F. Kennedy
Kennedy campaigns in Cincinnati with local Democratic boss, John “Socko” Wiethe. Photograph by Jack Klumpe.

It’s officially Fall, which means I am writing this post with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. Last week, I wrote about a photo of the UC football team from the late 1800s. While my role is primarily focused on images and photos, I also get to work with historical documents. I love looking through old copies of the News Record, the student-run newspaper here on UC’s campus. You can find digitized copies of the newspapers from 1960 to 1970, as well as 1973 to 1976 by going to http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/newsrecord/.  The Archives & Rare Books Library’s intent is that eventually all the years of the newspaper will be digitized, from 1885 to the point where the News Record began electronic issues. Continue reading Fall Means Election Time: A Look Back Through ARB’s Issues of the News Record

UC Libraries Launch Source Online

Newsletter, first published in 2002, contains the latest news and happenings from UC Libraries.

sourceUC Libraries is transforming  technology, people, space and information resources to “become the globally engaged, intellectual commons of the university – positioning ourselves as the hub of collaboration, digital innovation and scholarly endeavor on campus.”

It is in this spirit of transformation that we are changing the way in which we deliver Source to our readers. The online newsletter will still contain the latest information about the organization, people, places and happenings in UC Libraries, but will no longer be produced in print. By moving Source online, we are able to reach a greater number of readers on various devices – computers, phones, tablets and more.

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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

Culture of Books and Reading Students Deposit A Ghost Story in the Archives

By:  Kevin Grace

Recently returned from a study tour to Edinburgh, Scotland over spring break, the students in the University Honors Program seminar “The Culture of Books and Reading” added one of their assignments to the ARB website – a story entitled “The Sin-Eaters Ghost.”  A group project written by each student contributing a page, the story is just one of the assignments for this course in which the traditional and emerging reading habits and the heritage of books are explored in cultures around the world.

Edinburgh Skyline

Continue reading Culture of Books and Reading Students Deposit A Ghost Story in the Archives

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.

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

Central Parkway and The Making of a "Grand Boulevard" = Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

By Angela Vanderbilt

The primary task of the Rapid Transit Commission and the 1917 Bauer Bill (Senate Bill 264, which authorized the formation of a commission for the design and construction of a rapid transit system) was not the construction of the subway alone, but the construction of Central Parkway, the “grand boulevard” that was to replace the Miami & Erie Canal. The Commission was also tasked with the secondary subway project to ensure that the Parkway was built, since the one could not commence before the other was underway, a means of ensuring the success of both.

When it was first proposed in a 1907 report, written by landscape architect George Kessler regarding the development of a city park system for Cincinnati, Central Parkway was meant to rival Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue and the grand boulevards of Europe, to be landscaped and lined by stately brownstones and mansions. Accented by decorative lampposts, fountains, trees and shrubbery, the new boulevard was to provide a park-like atmosphere for Cincinnatians, with sidewalks to stroll and benches on which to relax and enjoy the scenery of the Parkway as it wound its way north from Walnut Street in the downtown business district to Lundlow Avenue in the residential neighborhood of Clifton.

Ludlow Avenue Dam
Ludlow Avenue Dam, May 4, 1920

Continue reading Central Parkway and The Making of a "Grand Boulevard" = Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project