Monday, February 1, 2016

Mary Church Terrell Symposium, February 26-27

Mary Church Terrell, 1927
Oberlin College Archives

"Complicated Relationships: Mary Church Terrell's Legacy for 21st Century Activists" will take place February 26-27, 2016, on the Oberlin College campus.

Occurring at the intersection of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, this symposium celebrates a significant gift of Mary Church Terrell papers to the Oberlin College Archives.  Terrell (1863-1954), Oberlin College Class of 1884, was a feminist and civil rights activist, a founding member of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and the NAACP, who worked tirelessly across lines of race and gender to achieve a more just and equitable society.  We celebrate her life while using this opportunity to think together about social justice today.

Participants include Terrell descendants Ray and Jean Langston, keynote speaker Johnnetta Cole ’57 , prominent Oberlin College alumnae Lillie Edwards ’75 Treva Lindsey ‘04, Rachel Seidman ’88, Jennifer Morgan ’86, and Lori Ginzberg ’78, as well as current Oberlin students.

Cosponsored by the Oberlin College Archives, the Gender, the Institute for Sexuality and Feminist Studies Institute, the Africana studies department, the Oberlin Alumni Association of African Ancestry (OA4), and the Office of Alumni Relations, and with support from the Comparative American Studies Program and the history department, Oberlin College Libraries, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the President, and the Friends of the Oberlin College Library.

The Symposium begins at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 26, and continues all day Saturday, February 27. 

For specific information on sessions see

Complicated Relationships is the part of the Think/Create/Engage series on The Framing of Race.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Archives sponsors Winter Term project by Kathleen Leonard, Class of 2019

College Archivist Ken Grossi is sponsoring a winter term project of Kathleen Leonard, Class of 2019.  Kathleen's project is to organize and inventory a collection of her family's papers.  Included in the collection are materials related to Thornton Bancroft and Martha Martin Penfield, and their daughter Charlotte and her husband Reginald Atwater. The College Archives holds some materials related to members of Kathleen's family who attended Oberlin College and served as missionaries in countries such as Jamaica and China.

Thornton Bancroft Penfield, son of Thornton Bigelow Penfield, A.B. 1856 Oberlin, 
and his wife Martha Martin Penfield are pictured here with their granddaughter, 
Caroline Penfield Atwater (Mrs. Edwin Slater Leonard), A.B. 1942 Oberlin. 
The photo was taken in1928.  Photo courtesy of the Kathleen Leonard Family.

Friday, June 19, 2015

NEW! Architecture of Oberlin College, an interactive exhibit by Archives

 Architecture of Oberlin College is now live! On our homepage, click the link on the right under "Virtual Exhibits".

Over six months in the making, this new guide features current structures and construction projects as well as buildings from the College's history and no longer standing. Eva Fineberg, OC 2015, spent Winter Term customizing an electronic exhibit software program, Omeka, just for this project. Existing photographs from the Archives and the College, as well as new photographs illustrate the entries.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Archives Exhibit Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Visits to Oberlin College




Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke on three separate occasions at Oberlin, including his address at the 1965 commencement exercises. The College Archives will display an exhibit during Senior Week and Commencement Weekend in honor of the 50th anniversary of his speech to the Class of 1965, and to celebrate his legacy and his impact on Oberlin and the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit will be on display in the Academic Commons of the Mudd Center.

Monday, March 16, 2015

New intern in Archives and Special Collections starts March 23

Haley Antell, OC 2009, will be our new intern starting Monday, March 23. Haley recently received her M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College, with a concentration in Archives Management. She will be moving here from Sherborn, MA. Haley has held previous internships at the Connecticut Historical Society, at Simmons, and at the Orang Asli Archives at Keene State College. Not all of these experiences were onsite, and Haley is enthusiastic about getting hands-on experience at her alma mater.  

You may also see her soon as a server at Black River Cafe, where she worked while an Oberlin student. Give her a warm welcome back to Oberlin!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lecture and Exhibit on Oberlin College's First Official Photographer

Arthur Ludwig Princehorn

"Princehorn's Sioux Photographs: an unknown collection from the early 20th century”
Presentation by Emeritus Professor Linda Grimm
Monday, March 2, 2015
12:00 p.m. 
Azariah’s Café, Mudd Center, First Floor

Linda Grimm, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, will give a presentation about Oberlin's first official photographer, Arthur L. Princehorn, who served from 1917 to 1931.  The talk coincides with her exhibit that will be on display in the Academic Commons of the Mudd Center, March 2-22.   The title of the exhibit is "Princehorn: Oberlin's Pioneer Photographer.  An Emblematic Record of the Sioux at Glen Island.”

 The talk is sponsored by the Oberlin College Archives and is free and open to the public.
 Professor Grimm’s research relates to the on-going work of the Oberlin College Ethnographic Collection Project ( 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Free Public Lecture by Prof. Carol Lasser, Tuesday February 17

Left: Mary E. Burton Shurtleff & daughter
Right: Giles Waldo Shurtleff
Credit: Oberlin College Archives  

Civil War Courtship Letters and the 'Homefront Imaginary'
Free Public Lecture, Tuesday February 17, 4:30 p.m.

Moffett Auditorium (Room 050)
Oberlin College Mudd Library

Oberlin College Professor of History Carol Lasser draws on the correspondence of Oberlininans 

Giles Waldo Shurtleff and Mary E. Burton, as well as that of Elliott Grabill and Anna Jenney, 

and looks at the ways in which these Union soldiers turned to women on the homefront 

for emotional support and relationships beyond the battlefield to sustain them 

during the long conflict.

Co-sponsored by the Oberlin Heritage Center, the Oberlin College Archives 
and the Oberlin College Department of History

Friday, October 24, 2014

New museum objects in the Archives

Like albino squirrels? And lantern slide projectors? We do and we've got them.

See the white squirrel soft toy we received from the Alumni Office: 
White squirrel soft toy 

Here is the lantern slide projector used by former art professor and Allen Art Museum Director Clarence Ward:
Ward lantern slide projector 

And here is the updated finding guide to the Clarence Ward Collection:
Clarence Ward Collection

Friday, October 10, 2014

New and Improved Digital Exhibits

Our student webmaster Eva Fineberg is making great progress redesigning our exhibits that were on the old website! So far she has finished these:

The Great Wooden Spoon
1940 Oberlin Mock Convention
Westwood Cemetery
Gilford Scientific Instruments

She has also redesigned the Civil War Letters web page. Click the links or see them from our home page under "Virtual Exhibits" and "Resources." Check them out!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Presentation on "Oberlin, Hotbed of Abolitionism," September 29

J. Brent Morris, Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, will speak about Oberlin and the antislavery movement on Monday, September 29, in the Moffett Auditorium, Room 050, in the Mudd Center at 4:30 p.m. His talk entitled “Be Not Conformed to This World: Oberlin and the Antebellum Fight for Freedom and Equality” is based on his new book Oberlin, Hotbed of Abolitionism: College, Community, and the Fight for Freedom and Equality in Antebellum America. 
There will be a book signing following the talk in the lower level of the Mudd Center near the Moffett Auditorium.

The talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Library, the Oberlin College Archives, the Oberlin College History Department, the Oberlin Heritage Center, and the Oberlin African American Genealogy and HIstory Group. The event is free and open to the public.