New and Updated Collections Available for Research

We have new manuscript collections available for research!  Click on the links to view the complete online (PDF) finding aids.

The following new collections were recently arranged and described and are now available for research:

Additional materials were recently processed into the following existing collections, so you might want to take another look at them:

New, improved, and/or revised finding aids are now available for:

Posted in Collections, SC&A | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Were You Doing on the Day of the First Flight?


First Flight Photograph, December 17, 1903 (MS1_16_2_8)

Today marks the 113th anniversary of the first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The events of that historic day, December 17, 1903, are well recorded, including Orville Wright’s observations in his diary. Orville closed the entry with the mention of a telegram to M.W., better known as Milton Wright, the father of the Wilbur and Orville. Bishop Wright recorded the following in his own journal:

Thursday, December 17. In the afternoon about 5:30 we received the following telegram from Orvill(e), dated Kitty Hawk, N.C., Dec. 17. “Bishop M. Wright: “success four flights Thursday morning all against a twenty-one mile wind started from level with engine power alone average speed through the air thirty one miles—longest 57 seconds. XXX home Christmas. Orville Wright.”

Now wouldn’t it be fun to see what other Miami Valley residents were doing at home on December 17, 1903, while Orville and Wilbur were changing the world over the sands of Kitty Hawk? Special Collections & Archives holds a variety of letters and diaries from the time period that provide insight into life on that December day.

The Dayton Daily News forecasted the weather as “partly cloudy” and The Temperature Report on page 2 reported the mercury at 14 degrees at 7am and before climbing to 20 degrees at 10am. The bitter cold morning, and an even colder recorded temperature, was echoed in the diary of Reverend Van Buren Christy (1841-1923), pastor of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church and resident of Union Road in Jefferson Township.


Van Buren Christy Diary, December 12-17, 1903 (MS-235)

Just to the northeast in Yellow Springs, Katherine Carr (1878-1960), a teacher at the high school, was writing her soon-to-be future husband, George Harris on the day’s events ( Incidentally, Katherine and George married on January 7, 1904). She discussed the cold weather and went on to describe for several pages the pet crow living in their greenhouse. If you would like to see the entire 7 page letter, please contact the SC&&A staff.


ms160_1_8_dec-17-1903_p-2 Katherine Carr to George Harris, Yellow Springs, Ohio, pages 1-2, December 17, 1903, MS-160, Box 1, File 8.

Now it is your turn! This is a great time to record, in a diary, blog entry, letter, Tweet, Facebook post, or email, your thoughts, observations, and activities of First Flight Day 2017. You just never know when it might be used someday in the future by an archivist or historian!

Posted in Aviation, Collections, Local History, Wright Brothers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Workshop Announcement-Bringing History Home: Educational Outreach Using Local Government Records, January 18, 2017

Please join us for a free educational outreach workshop on January 18, 2017, from 10am-3pm in the Endeavour Room of the Wright State University Student Union.

thumbnail_ohrab-logoThe Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB), with funding by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and support from Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University, is proud to sponsor a unique, educational, hands-on workshop opportunity.  The Greene County Records Center and Archives, winner of the 2016 OHRAB Achievement Award and the 2016 NAGARA Program Excellence Award, is bringing its outreach initiative to you and giving you the tools to develop such a program in your archives and records center!

In 2015, the Greene County Records Center and Archives set about creating a program, using their archival records, to engage students and educators alike as to what the archives were and how the primary sources that they held, such as freedom papers, maps, deeds, tax records and more, could enrich students’ educational experiences, teach research concepts, and bring the state and national issues that they were studying home on a local level.

Teachers rave:

“I am really enthused that our tax money can be used to support the education of the students of Greene County. Thank you for providing this service to us!”

“Using these documents [primary sources]…was a nice way of taking a larger historical narrative and zooming into the local level.” 

“Visualization skills [learned from the program] allowed the students to infer and think deeply.”

The workshop will encompass both presentation and hands-on learning. Lunch will be provided at no charge.

Participants attending this workshop will:

  •  Gain an understanding of how to develop an educational outreach program;
  •  Gain an understanding of the benefits of creating an educational outreach program;
  •  Be provided with some tips on how to market your educational outreach program;
  •  Actually participate in the 4th, 6th, and 8th grade programs developed by the Greene County Records Center & Archives;
  •  Take away an educational outreach packet of materials developed by the Greene County Records Center & Archives.

Parking: Free (Visitor Lot 2, in front of Student Union)   Campus Map:

A special behind the scenes tour of Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University Libraries, will follow the workshop for those interested.

To Register:

Questions? Contact Pari Swift at or 614-466-1356 Or Dawne Dewey at or 937-775-2011

Posted in Outreach, SC&A, Workshops | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment