Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Acquisitions Exhibit, April-May 2014

See the latest additions to the holdings of the Oberlin College Archives in our current exhibit. My personal favorite of these is the rubbing from a Chinese monument at the Beilin Museum at Xi'an, China, purchased by the late Paul Arnold, former Professor of Art at Oberlin. Other objects on display include a bamboo cane, letter sweaters, an 1856 handbill advertising a sale of land and slaves in Kentucky, an album of early postcards of Oberlin, etchings of Oberlin buildings by Julia Gridley Severance, and a scrapbook made by a 1943 Oberlin College graduate.

This exhibit will be on view in April and May of 2014 in the Goodrich Room, 420 Mudd.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Celebrating Black History Month, February 2014

Winter term 1980 students march into Oberlin at the end of their four-hundred-mile journey retracing the Underground Railroad. Their thirty-day trip took them from Greensburg, Kentucky to Oberlin, Ohio. The nation's media, both print and broadcast, widely reported on this NEH-sponsored project.

Celebrating Black History Month, February 2014

An Exhibit in the Goodrich Room, Mudd Center, Fourth Floor
In 1935, Oberlin College dedicated a plaque in the Carnegie Library building to commemorate 100 years of black education at Oberlin. That plaque is located on the wall outside Azariah’s Café in the Academic Commons of the Mudd Center. Today we celebrate over 179 years of African American Heritage at Oberlin.
Featured in the exhibit are photographs and documents from the collections of the Oberlin College Archives. The exhibit provides a brief glimpse into the history of African American Heritage at Oberlin including the entry in the minutes of the January 1, 1835 meeting of Board of Trustees of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute: "Whereas information has been received from Rev. John J. Shipherd, expressing a wish that students may be received in the Institution irrespective of color…"
We invite you to visit our website ( or see our staff to learn more about the holdings of the Oberlin College Archives, specifically those related to the history of African American Heritage at Oberlin. See also our Oberlin and Civil Rights Digital Collection.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Students work with archival materials for History 213

Professor Lasser (left) and Ken Grossi (right) presenting in the Archives and Special Collections Forsythe classroom, 4th floor Mudd Center.

Students in First Wave Feminisms examine historical materials for their project.

In Spring semester 2013, Carol Lasser, Professor of History, and Ken Grossi, Oberlin College Archivist, developed a research project for students in History 213, First Wave American Feminism. The students worked in teams to collectively write an introductory essay, and each individual transcribed, introduced and annotated a single historical document. The results were astounding, both in terms of the quality of the projects, and in the engagement of students with the work. Professor Lasser encouraged her students to document their achievement by making their materials, often drawn from little-used collections, more broadly available to a wider world via the Archives website. Lasser and Jennifer Graham (OC 2013), Associate Editor, reviewed and edited the student projects that are now available at

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monday evening hours during fall semester

Archives and Special Collections will hold evening hours when classes are in session during the fall semester on Mondays from 5:30 to 9 p.m. We will not be open Monday evening on October 21 (fall break) or after classes end on December 12.

If you want to contact us before then to arrange to see materials, please use our contact form at

Thursday, July 18, 2013

1870 Drawing of Leech Lake, MN returned from the Intermuseum Conservation Association

This pencil drawing by Anna Jane Wright, OC 1872, daughter of missionary Sela G. Wright, documents the appearance of the Leech Lake, Minnesota settlement among the Ojibwe in 1870.  The drawing had been mounted poorly in a wooden frame, and with the Hunt Preservation Fund, Archives was able to send it to the Intermuseum Conservation Association for treatment. ICA conservators repaired a long tear on the left side, and mounted the drawing in a presentation mat for stability and for attractive display. For the Ojibwe dictionary notes compiled by Sela G. Wright residing in his papers at the Archives, see

Photography by John Seyfried for the ICA

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Antislavery at Oberlin Exhibit, June-July 2013

We have a special exhibit of archival materials on display, "Oberlin, Anti-slavery Activity, and the Coming of the Civil War." The exhibit is up in the Goodrich Room now through the end of July.  Among the items featured are the Bible used by the Oberlin-Wellington Rescuers while they were in jail, early photographs of Oberlin abolitionists, original letters, rifle bullets from a battlefield where Oberlin Union soldiers fought Confederates, and publications on the topic. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Artz Scholars for 2013 Announced

Three scholars have been selected to receive a Frederick B. Artz Summer Research Grant to support their research this summer at the Oberlin College Archives. We look forward to welcoming them in the near future.

Finbarr Curtis, Department of Religious Studies, University of Alabama
"You and You and You: Charles Grandison Finney and the Democratization Question Revisited"
Nicholas Guyatt, Department of History, University of York, York, UK
"Racial Equality and Programs of Racial Separation in the Republic"
Adina Langer, Independent Researcher, Haslett, Michigan
"History of the Oberlin Experimental College"

For more information on the Artz Summer Research Grant Program please visit

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Exhibit on the Tony Musante Collection in Mudd Center

Tony Musante as Hector in the Oberlin Dramatic Association's 
November 1957 production of Tiger at the Gates

An Actor's Actor: The Papers of Tony Musante '58

Academic Commons, Mudd Center, March 3-17

Goodrich Room, 4th Floor Mudd Center, March 18-29

Tony Musante recently donated his personal papers relating to his acting roles in film, television, and theater productions from 1954 to 2012 to the Oberlin College Archives. 
An exhibit featuring photographs, scripts, playbills, posters signed by co-stars and production crews, and DVDs of many of his movies and television shows will be on display in Mudd Center from March 3-29, 2013.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Selections from the Archives Objects Collection

Our first exhibit in the new cabinets!  Featured are a variety of objects, including trophies, cups, fans, commemorative plates, reunion hats and parasols, and some truly unusual objects unique to Oberlin's history.  Visit us and find out what these mysterious objects tell us about Oberlin!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

First class in our new classroom!

Professor Yuri Ijiri's FYSP 143, Deconstructing Technology, visits the Archives on September 20.  Ken Grossi, College Archivist, demonstrates archival materials using the new document camera, above. Below, Professor Ijiri looks on as students peruse materials relevant to the invention of the telephone by Oberlinian Elisha Gray and his rival Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Elisha Gray is thought to be the true inventor of the telephone, though Bell won the patent, with the stipulation that Gray receive 20% of proceeds from the rental of telephone equipment.