January 14, 2013
The Great Dayton Flood of 1913 was a catastrophic, yet defining, event in Dayton's history. Out of this tragedy came a great community spirit of generosity, strength, and accomplishment in preventing another flood of such devastating proportion. The community commemorates the centennial of this event to reconnect with the past and understand its lasting legacy on our history and physical landscape.
The Wright State University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives created a free traveling exhibit consisting of captivating photographs and primary sources to tell the story of the flood on three, free-standing fabric panels each measuring 33.5" wide and 84” tall. An in-depth brochure accompanies the exhibit in addition to a website offering an image gallery.
The exhibit debuts at the January 24 performance of the WSU Theatre’s 1913: The Great Dayton Flood (call the Theatre Box Office at (937) 775-2500 for available tickets. Performances Jan. 24 through Feb. 10). The Archives’ website lists where and when the exhibit is displayed, and provides a request form to borrow the exhibit. Any organization or institution is welcomed and encouraged to borrow the exhibit for a two-week period. Please complete the online form or call (937) 775-2092. For additional information, please see the 1913 Flood FAQ, or email the Archives.
This exhibit is made possible through the generosity of a Wright State University Friends of the Libraries’ Staff Grant, and the Dayton office of Battelle Memorial Institute. Due to their support, the 1913 Dayton Flood Traveling Exhibit is available at no cost, with the exception of shipping if needed.
Take this opportunity to share the Dayton Flood story with your community.
February 15, 2012
Do you suspect that Great Uncle Bob was a bootlegger during Prohibition but lack proof? Would you like to see the ship's manifest that brought your ancestors to the new world? Do you have a student with a genealogy project? Then check out Ancestry Library Edition (ALE).
Ancestry provides a wealth of genealogical information with access to 75,000 U.S. and international collections. These collections include birth, death, and marriage records; military records; and census statistics from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. Users may also search for travel and immigration records, plus 1885-1940 Native American census records.
A variety of search options are available: basic searches using a name, date of birth, or residence; and advanced searches naming additional limiters such as events (birth, death or military service), known family members, gender or race, and nationality.
What to do with all the information you find? ALE provides several handy forms to help keep track of everything including an ancestral chart, research extract, correspondence chart, and blank copies of census records to make reading column headings easier (difficult to read on some censuses).
This new database is on trial at the Dayton and Lake Campuses only until the summer of 2013 (no off-campus access is available).
This article written by Libraries’ Practicum Student Stacie Peterson.
February 7, 2012
Have you ever wondered how the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library got its name? Or wanted to learn more about the poetry quoted on the walls behind the circulation desk? During February, the Dunbar Library joins with the Wright State University community in celebrating the life and legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar by offering the opportunity to experience Dunbar through a variety of events.
Here in the University Libraries, the staff of Special Collections and Archives has created two new exhibits. In the first floor lobby, the Alumni Case showcases first-edition printings of Dunbar's books in poetry and fiction as well as photographs and documents highlighting Dunbar's life. On the fourth floor in the Archives, you will find a special exhibit containing a handwritten, unpublished poem written by Dunbar for a Dayton neighbor.
As part of this celebration, the University Libraries is proud to announce the complete redesign and relaunch of the Paul Laurence Dunbar website. The newly updated information contains more than 400 of his published poems and a new gallery of images from collections here in the Archives and the Ohio Historical Society. Be sure to check out the expanded biography, explore his books of poetry, and learn about places of interest you can visit in the Dayton area. If you are writing a paper or doing a project about Dunbar, the Selected Resources section offers information about available primary and secondary sources.
The exhibits and Dunbar website are just a few of the exciting events happening during the month of February here at Wright State:
For a full listing of Paul Laurence Dunbar activities going on around Dayton in February, see http://webapp2.wright.edu/web1/newsroom/2012/02/05/paul-laurence-dunbar-black-history-month-celebrated-all-month-at-wright-state/.
Please join the University Libraries and Wright State University this February and "Experience Paul Laurence Dunbar" in a whole new way.
December 12, 2011
Letters from four Dayton brothers serving in the Civil War inspired an exhibit and lecture co-produced by the Libraries' Special Collections & Archives and the Patterson Memorial Center - Personal Stories of the Civil War: Letters from the Patterson Brothers. An exhibit of the brothers' Civil War experiences is currently on display at the Patterson Homestead, 1815 Brown Street, through July 25. This exhibit will move to WSU's Paul Laurence Dunbar Library Aug. 1 and stay through Nov. 30.
Captain Robert, Captain William, Private Stephen and Private John Patterson from Dayton, ranging in age at enlistment from 20 to 28, wrote letters to their mother, Juliana. She saved nearly every letter and we are fortunate to have them preserved in our Special Collections & Archives, each providing a unique perspective on the Civil War. Archivist John Armstrong researched these letters and will give a lecture at the Patterson Homestead at 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 17. Additional talks will be given on the Wright State campus once the exhibit arrives in August.
The Pattersons are an interesting family and the youngest brother, John, went on to found the National Cash Register Company and leave a large legacy in the Dayton area.
For more information about the exhibit, please contact the Patterson Homestead at (937) 222-9724 or PattersonBrothers4@yahoo.com.
December 9, 2011
The Wright Brothers successfully flew a powered controlled aircraft on December 17, 1903. Special Collections and Archives is all set to officially launch a brand new web site home page on Saturday, December 17, 2011. This new web site has new exciting features that make discovering information in the archives easier.
The new site features descriptions and finding aids for all of our manuscript collections, direct links to digital collections in CORE, the Campus Online Repository, quick access to two new blogs launched in 2011, the Dayton Daily News Blog and the Out of the Box Blog. The Dayton Daily News Blog features photographs and stories from the Dayton Journal Herald and Dayton Daily News over the last century. The new Out of the Box blog brings hidden local history stories and images to light, such as Civil War letters and diaries from the Patterson Family Papers and much more. Check out our online exhibits and see what new exhibits are in the library. The new site boasts better search capabilities for books, journals and manuscripts in the archives. Plans are underway for an enhanced Paul Laurence Dunbar site in 2012. To learn more about Special Collections and Archives, visit us on the web at our new site and please give us your feedback once you've explored the site.
October 24, 2011
The Libraries' Special Collections and Archives is home to the largest Wright Brothers Collection in the world. And it just got a little bigger this fall. We recently received new materials for the Wright Brothers Collection from Marianne Miller Hudec, great niece to Wilbur and Orville. Marianne is the daughter of Wilbur and Orville's niece, Ivonette Wright Miller, who was instrumental in bringing the Wright collection to Wright State in 1975.
The new additions include some fascinating items such as: postcards written by Wilbur Wright in 1908 while he was in Le Mans, France, demonstrating the airplane; original photographs of the brothers, their father Milton Wright, and sister Katharine Wright; and Orville Wright's National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics membership card.
Probably the most exciting item in these new materials is a photograph album compiled by French photographer L. Callizo. The album contains nearly 50 original prints, labeled and signed by Callizo, documenting Wilbur's flights at Pau, France, in the winter of 1909. The album is inscribed inside the front cover to Wilbur Wright as a special gift to him from the photographer. While prints of many of the images in the album are already in our Wright Brothers Collection, there are others that we have never seen before. The fact that this album was assembled with original prints developed and mounted by the photographer, and presented to Wilbur Wright as a personal gift, makes it a unique and valuable treasure.
Find these and more Wright family materials in the Special Collections & Archives located on the Dunbar Library 4th floor. Visit the Archives' website for open hours and more information about its collections, www.libraries.wright.edu/special, or call 775-2092.
April 4, 2011
History comes alive in many ways, and in this month through Easter Peeps. WSU Libraries submitted an entry of "Peeps' First Flight" to the Ohio Historical Society's first Ohio History-themed Peeps Diorama Contest. They asked for dioramas of famous scenes from Ohio's history, and Wilbur and Orville Wright's First Flight is the natural Dayton inspiration. The submitted photos show the First Flight from different angles than the actual First Flight photo. This was done to show the behind-the-scenes action of the historic event with its photographer and witnesses.
Head of Special Collections & Archives Dawne Dewey spearheaded a team of dedicated Peeps experts to assemble materials and set the scene. Dawne and Graduate Assistant Liz Haeuptle created the hanger out of foamcore board and dressed Wilbur and Orville while Dev./Public Relations Coordinator Karin Nevius organized/balanced Peeps and the photo shoot. Photography is by Chris Snyder.
The deadline for diorama photos is April 4 and winners will be posted on the Ohio Historical Society's facebook page and Twitter feed during the week of April 18. The contest awards four semi-finalists and one Grand Prize Winner, each receiving a signed copy of Dr. Andrew Cayton's book, Ohio: The History of a People. The grand prize winner also receives a one-year family membership to the Ohio Historical Society.
Learn more about the Wright Brothers, aviation history, and how to have fun with history by visiting the Libraries' Special Collections & Archives on the Dunbar Library fourth floor (937) 775-2092 or visiting www.libraries.wright.edu/special/.
February 9, 2011
Be part of the project! Visit a new blog spotlighting the ongoing preservation of the Dayton Daily News Archive housed in the Wright State University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives. Visit the blog regularly to view an image gallery and learn updates as the preservation project progresses. Check weekly to help identify or add information to photos featuring famous local residents or scenes. The blog will be updated three times per week. Comments and feedback are welcome!
Visit the new Dayton Daily News Archive blog on the Libraries' Special Collections and Archives website.
Cox Ohio Publishing donated its collection of Dayton Daily News and Dayton Journal Herald news clippings and photographs in October 2008. The materials document significant events between 1930 and 1990. The materials arrived in 300 5-drawer file cabinets and 500 records center boxes. A $129,694 two-year grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) made it possible to hire a full-time archivist, Bill McIntire, to help prepare the Archive for public access.
For additional information about the DDN Archive and other collections, please visit the Libraries' Special Collections & Archives.
January 18, 2011
Materials documenting 150 years of Dayton's Victoria Theatre were officially turned over to the Wright State University Libraries at a deed-signing ceremony on November 14, 2010, during a 20th anniversary celebration of the theatre's renovation and reopening.
Gems in the Victoria Theatre Association's collection include an 1875 photograph of theatre, early 19th-century playbills, and portraits of visiting actors such as Ethel Barrymore. Other items include photographs, administrative and program files, marketing information, performance posters and programs.
Approximately 160 cubic feet of records were physically transferred to the Libraries' Special Collections and Archives in the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library in August. Archives' staff is arranging and describing the files to make the collection open to public research. Future plans include digitizing selected materials for placement in the Wright State Campus Online Repository (CORE).
"We are very pleased to have been selected as the repository for the Victoria's collection," said Dawne Dewey, Head of Special Collections and Archives. "We look forward to a long partnership to preserve and provide access to its rich history."
The Victoria Theatre Association collection joins Wright State's already significant holdings on the history of the arts in Dayton. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the Dayton Playhouse all house their records at the university.
For more information about the Libraries' Special Collections & Archives, visit www.libraries.wright.edu/special or call (937) 775-2092.
August 30, 2010
September is the centennial of an unprecedented aviation meet whose photographs were recently added to CORE - Wright State's Campus Online Repository. CORE brings you more than 100 rare and unique photographs documenting the 1910 Harvard-Boston Aero Meet. The searchable online photographic collection depicts various airplanes, pilots, spectators, plus oddities like Samuel F. Perkins as the first man to ride a kite. Visit the online collection at http://core.libraries.wright.edu/.
The Harvard-Boston Aero Meet Collection is housed in Wright State University Libraries' Special Collections & Archives. Its photographs were all taken by Anthony Philpott, Boston Globe editor and airplane enthusiast. The online collection is fully searchable by keywords due to extensive metadata tagged to each individual photo.
This meet was the first of its kind on the East Coast (Atlantic, Massachusetts), and the largest aero meet ever held at that time. Sponsored by the Harvard Aeronautical Society, the Boston Globe offered a $10,000 prize for the first person to fly from Atlantic, Massachusetts, to the Boston Light lighthouse and back in the shortest amount of time. The meet also featured a $5,000 prize and the Harvard Cup to the flyer who dropped the most bombs on a battleship model.
Approximately 67,000 people paid to attend the meet while many more lined the route. English aviator Claude Grahame-White won the $10,000 prize.
CORE is an online repository to capture, preserve, and disseminate Wright State's unique collections and intellectual capital, showcasing the university's academic quality. CORE ensures a comprehensive, permanent, and universally accessible home for University collections and scholarly history. Materials saved in CORE are ensured continual transfer to new multimedia formats as technologies evolve. See more of our unique CORE holdings, including the Wright Brothers photographs, at http://core.libraries.wright.edu/, or call (937) 775-3927 for more information.
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435. Phone: (937) 775-2525