OHIO Archives

Ohio University Libraries Archives & Special Collections

OHIO Digital Archives updates: Summer 2022

By Erin Wilson, Digital Imaging Specialist & Lab Manager, Digital Initiatives

This news update is part of a semi-regular series highlighting recent additions, exhibits, and projects of Ohio University Libraries Digital Initiatives. Read on for a sample of newly digitized materials that are publicly available in our Digital Archives. See previous updates in the unit’s newsletter archive.

Special Collections

Printed leaves from the Farfel Collection

Hand-colored woodcut illustration with a scribe and two others looking toward a God-like figure in the sky
 Hand-colored woodcut illustration from a German Bible, 1483

More than 140 printed leaves (individual book pages) have been added to the Gilbert and Ursula Farfel collection. They are primarily sourced from incunabula, or books printed before 1501. Included are numerous leaves with woodcut illustrations, some of which are hand-colored. Also among the recent additions is a page from the first edition of Albrecht Dürer’s Unterweisung der Messung, a theoretical work on geometry for practicing artists.

McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers Revue

This souvenir program was published for a 1928 memorial pageant honoring William H. McGuffey, compiler of the Eclectic Readers series of textbooks and president of Ohio University from 1839 to 1843. The pageant was presented by the Athens, Ohio branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at the Athens High School auditorium. Irma Voigt, president of the AAUW Athens branch and Ohio University Dean of Women, organized the event. The pageant was co-authored by Voigt’s longtime companion, Edith A. Wray who taught and later served as chairperson of the English Department at Ohio University.

2021 rare book acquisitions made in honor of Ohio University’s annual Juneteenth celebration:

(online images depict book bindings & unique features, not full text)

Color decorated cloth publishers binding of Contending Forces
Color decorated cloth publisher’s binding, typical of its time, of the 1st edition of Contending Forces

Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted

Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted by Frances E.W. Harper (Philadelphia, Garrigue Brothers, 1892), was long considered the first novel to be published by an African American woman. It is the only novel by Harper, who is otherwise known for her poetry and essays. The novel is about the personal independence of women of color, and of the race in general. Iola commits herself to the education and furtherance of her race, and particularly of the freed slave, but is especially adamant about maintaining her status as an employed woman, saying at one point: “I think that every woman should have some skill or art which would insure her at least a comfortable support. I believe there would be less unhappy marriages if labor were more honored among women.”

Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South

Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South (Boston, The Colored Co-operative Publishing Co., 1900) is Pauline Hopkins’ first and best-known novel. It is a work of activist literature. Its goal was to lead both black and white audiences to understand the wide-spread 19th century lynching and raping of black Americans as a form of political terror, and to persuade them that the most effective way of resisting this terrorism was through African American agitation. Hopkins entered the popular genre of the sentimental novel to push for social awareness and change, awakening readers of all kinds to their own ability to resist the current status quo and redefine the spaces African Americans could inhabit.

University Archives


Ohio University Athena yearbooks through 2022 are now available online!

School of Dance images from the University Photographer Archives

Dating from 1969 to 1993, these film negatives from the University Photographer Archives document the early decades of OHIO’s dance program which was founded in 1969. The images were selected for inclusion in a documentary film honoring the influential career of former School of Dance director, and Distinguished Professor, Gladys Bailin.

Actress & alumna Vanessa Bell on stage while studying at Ohio University, 1978

Selections from the Ohio University and Athens LGBTQ+ Collection

Includes correspondence, newsletters, event posters, informative brochures, and other materials from various LGBTQ+ organizations that began and evolved locally from the 1970s through the 2010s. The materials demonstrate evidence of a vigorous, active, dedicated movement that has continued to advocate for the concerns of the local LGBTQ+ community. Read more about this newly acquired collection in the blog announcement.

Documentary Photography Archive

Lynn Johnson images from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, Sports Illustrated, 2005

Film negatives photographed by Lynn Johnson while on assignment for a Sports Illustrated article about Mike Veeck, owner of the baseball team Charleston RiverDogs and his daughter, Rebecca Veeck, who was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa.


WWII manuscript collections

Highlighting the variety of World War II sources throughout the Libraries’ manuscript collections, a growing number of materials have been digitized. They include correspondence between individuals and families from Southeastern Ohio, a scrapbook compiled by Phyllis Peirce of the Women’s Army Corps, a fascinating letter written by POW Gifford Doxsee recounting his experience, press photos of the Nuremberg Trials, and writings and photos from correspondent Doral Chenoweth documenting the Panama Canal defense.

women wearing gas masks during WWII military training drill
WAC servicewomen wearing gas masks during WWII military training drill. Image from Phyllis M. Peirce scrapbook, 1942-1944