OHIO Archives

Ohio University Libraries Archives & Special Collections

OHIO Digital Archives updates: Fall 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.

University Archives

1960s-1970s student activism fliers

More than 100 fliers produced by Ohio University students during the late 1960s and early 1970s can now be accessed online. Part of the Student Activism collection, the fliers document student movements and the campus response to various issues of the time period including: the Vietnam War and military draft, student housing, education reform, anti-racism, and the right to demonstrate. Characterized by modest layouts and faded photocopy ink, the fliers are a testament of the format’s ephemeral nature. Their remarkable survival and preservation offer researchers a glimpse into the communication, urgency, and passion of student organizers at a historical turning point.

Homecoming exhibit: Memories through the Music

To commemorate the University’s October 2022 Homecoming, Digital Initiatives Student Social Media Manager, Taylor Burnette, researched and created the digital exhibit Memories through the Music: Popular Music at OHIO’s Homecoming Concerts. Focusing on the University’s past tradition of hosting widely known musical acts for Homecoming, the exhibit recounts performances through historical images, audio playlists, and archival sources. From the 1940s to the 2000s, OHIO’s Homecoming concerts reflected a variety of musical styles with surprising appearances from artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, Dizzy Gillespie, Dionne Warwick, and John Denver.


AAPI organizations collection

Materials related to Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations in Athens, Ohio can now be accessed online in a new digital collection which documents their founding and early activities. The participating organizations are the first of their kind at Ohio University and in Athens to support the AAPI community. All were formed in 2021 as local community members responded to increased racism and anti-Asian violence which emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials include event photos and fliers, interviews with founding members, and personal testimonies for House and Senate Bills pertaining to the teaching of AAPI history in public education. The collection was created and processed by alumna Alexis Karolin (BA ’22) during her spring 2022 internship at the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections. As the online collection is still in progress, please see the complete finding aid for additional materials.

Manasseh Cutler letters

Cursive handwritten text describing bald eagle specimen recorded by Manasseh Cutler in 1791
Bald eagle description from a list of bird species by Manasseh Cutler, May 28, 1791.
The specimen Cutler recorded had a wingspan of 7 feet and weighed 10 pounds.

An assortment of letters written by Manasseh Cutler, one of the University’s founders, have been digitized and are currently being transcribed. Cutler was a clergyman, botanist, politician, and agent of the Ohio Company which colonized the Ohio River Valley. The digitized letters span 1781 to 1810 and include Cutler’s research on medicinal plant uses, plant and animal descriptions, and correspondence with European naturalists. A prominent theme throughout, the letters reflect Cutler’s ambition to document American species and to establish a study of U.S. natural history.

Documentary Photography Archive

Peter L. Goss photograph collection

New additions have been added to the Peter L. Goss photo collection which documents his time in Athens and at Ohio University from 1966 to 1970. While enrolled in OHIO’s Comparative Arts PhD program, Goss worked as a freelance photographer for the Columbus Dispatch and in his free time continued to capture both the regional and campus culture through his photos. The collection features images of student demonstrations, campus visitors, and university performances. Off-campus subjects include Athens, Ohio street photos, local architecture, and community events.

Special Collections

Herbarium and plant description workbooks

Two herbarium workbooks featuring pressed and mounted plant specimens have been digitized in collaboration with Ohio University’s Floyd Bartley Herbarium. The workbooks were compiled by two high school students in Southeast Ohio and neighboring West Virginia in 1897 and 1927 respectively. Both are well-preserved examples of historical methods of plant identification and collection. They feature native species including trillium, may apple, pawpaw, and wild ginger which have been captured at high resolution to allow close inspection of botanical details.

Appalachian Movement Press publications

Now online, the Collection of Appalachian Movement Press (AMP) publications contains pamphlets, calendars, children’s books, and other works produced by this small, independent press during its primary years of operation from 1970 to 1973. AMP was based in Huntington, West Virginia. They published works about Appalachian history and culture as well as activist literature related to regional labor, coal, and the rights of mountain residents.