Wednesday, April 8, 2020

EARTH DAY 2020: 50 years

On April 22 the 50th Earth Day will be observed, and what a perfect time to be outside (at a safe distance from others)! 

In the days leading up to Earth Day, check our Tumblr blog for our posts about the rich history of ecology and environmental studies from materials at the Oberlin College Archives.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Oberlin Sanctuary Project, Phase 2

The "South Africa and Oberlin" story in the Sanctuary Project exhibit
at the Cleveland Public Library-Langston Hughes Branch

The second phase of the Oberlin Sanctuary Project, supported by The Council of Independent Colleges' (CIC) "Humanities Research for the Public Good" program, is nearing completion. The interactive web publication is now available from the Archives home page. A traveling exhibit is currently at the Cleveland Public Library-Langston Hughes Branch, with more locations to follow.

The Project features seven stories from Oberlin's history and into the present, covering anti-slavery and the Underground Railroad, Japanese American internment, civil rights, the Kent State University shootings, apartheid, and the Overground Railroad.

The partners in the project are Alexia Hudson-Ward, Director of the Oberlin College Libraries; Ken Grossi, College Archivist; Meredith Gadsby, Associate Professor of African Studies and Comparative American Studies; Gina Perez, Professor of Comparative American Studies; Liz Schultz, Executive Director, The Oberlin Heritage Center; and Caitlin Merikallio '20, Student Researcher/Assistant.

Monday, November 4, 2019

New materials in the Mark Heald Papers

New Materials in the Mark Heald Papers

The wonderful materials received by the Oberlin College Archives in 2019 include additions to the Mark Heald Papers. Class of 1914, Mark Mortimer Heald saw active military service during World War I, worked under Herbert Hoover in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and later taught history at Rutgers and Princeton Universities. Spanning from 1907 to 1919, the correspondence and printed materials exchanged between Mark, family, and friends offer detailed accounts of early 20th-century courtship, student life at Oberlin, and wartime France and occupied Germany. 

Written by Emma Larson, Archives Student Assistant. Emma is processing the new materials in the Heald Papers.

The above photograph, inscribed on the back by Mark Heald, was taken during the World War I Victory Parade as it passed by the reviewing stand at the White House in Washington, D.C. on October 13, 1919.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

King-Crane Commission Centenary Event

King-Crane Commission Centenary

The History Department offers this special event on September 20 to mark the King-Crane Commission's centenary. The Oberlin College Archives holds the Henry Churchill King Papers, with extensive documentation of the Commission's work in the Middle East in 1919. For more information see

Space is limited for this event. To reserve a slot, see

Friday, July 5, 2019

Welcome to the 2019 Artz Scholars

We welcome this year's Frederick B. Artz Summer Research Grant scholars, who will come to Oberlin College to use the Archives and Special Collections for dissertation or book project research. 

2019 Artz Scholars

Ashley Serpa-Flack, doctoral student, University of California, Davis

“Shadow Diplomacy: The United States, the Portuguese Empire and the Cold War, 1961-1974”

Blake Wilder ’03, English Department faculty, University of Maryland, College Park
“Mary Church Terrell, Black Soldiers, and the Fight for Citizenship”

Kevin Yelvington, Professor of Anthropology, University of South Florida
“The New World Negro: Melville J. Herskovits and the Making of African Diaspora Anthropology”

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Charles Livingstone Papers available

New Finding Guide for the Charles Livingstone Papers

A collection of journal books, notes and a transcribed letter by Charles Livingstone, brother of David Livingstone, is now described by a finding guide:

The journal books hold Charles Livingstone's original account of the Zambezi Expedition led by David, and in which Charles was a member of the party. They drew on Charles' account to write their book Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries, published in 1865. Charles Livingstone was a graduate of Oberlin College in 1845, and attended Oberlin's Theological Seminary for three years. 

The journal books were donated to the Library in 1922 by the son of Charles Livingstone. They were transferred to Special Collections later on, then to the Archives in 2016. That year they were digitized and published in Livingstone Online at[0]=repository_ms:%22Oberlin%20College.%20Archives%22

Friday, May 24, 2019



Presentation drawing by Warner, Burns, Toan, and Lunde, architects

For the 45th anniversary of the dedication of the Seely G. Mudd Learning Center in 1974, we present an exhibit on the building and the people who brought it to fruition. Visit the exhibit in the Archives and Special Collections reading room, Mudd Learning Center, 4th floor. We are open Monday through Friday, 10-12 & 1-4:30. The exhibit closes on June 7th, 2019.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

New! Student Publications Digital Collection


See our new digital exhibit from the Oberlin student publications collection at the College Archives, which ranges from 1858 to the present, in nearly 200 titles. Descriptions were written by Kira Zimmerman '19.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Geoffrey T. Blodgett Papers now available for research

Archives is pleased to announce that the Geoffrey T. Blodgett Papers (record group 30/263) has been processed, and is now ready for access by researchers. The finding guide can be found from the Archives home page by clicking the blue box for "Browse our Finding Guides." Then type Blodgett in the search box.

"Jeff" Blodgett (1931-2001; OC 1953) was an esteemed and beloved faculty member in the History Department from 1960 to his retirement in 2000. He became the college's unofficial historian following the unexpected death of his mentor, Robert S. Fletcher, at the age of 59. His teaching was described as superlative, and his scholarship resulted in numerous articles as well as several books, among them Oberlin Architecture, College and Town: A Guide to its Social History (1985), and Oberlin History: Essays and Impressions (published posthumously in 2006).

Processing the Blodgett Papers involved the Associate Archivist, Anne Salsich, the Archives and Special Collections Intern, Becky Sparagowski, and student assistants Rachel Marcus (OC 2020) and Kira Zimmerman (OC 2019).