OHIO Archives

Ohio University Libraries Archives & Special Collections

OHIO Digital Archives updates: Spring 2023

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.

Documentary Photography Archive

Lloyd Moore Collection

A new digital collection features the unpublished work of Ohio photographer Lloyd E. Moore (1931–2010). With plans for continued expansion, the current scope of the digital project includes photos which Moore designated as “show quality.” Subjects range from provocative to whimsical, depicting people, landscapes, and abstract observations encountered by Moore both locally and abroad. The images were captured using 35mm color slide film known for its vibrant and crisp visual quality.


World War II collections

Scrapbooks, photos, and other materials from the Libraries’ numerous World War II collections have been digitized in support of a newly curated permanent exhibition in the Cornelius Ryan Room. The digitization will facilitate surrogate copies for display, allowing original items to be preserved. The efforts also serve to expand and diversify a growing number of WWII items currently found in the Digital Archives. In particular, the additions highlight artifacts from local Athens area families and women involved in the war effort.

Nikolais/Louis dance performance photos

More than 500 performance photos and slides have been added to the Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Collection. The images span the two choreographers’ careers from the 1950s to the 1990s, encompassing five decades of modern dance history. Ranging from promotional shots to performance stills, they convey the artists’ innovative approaches to costume design, lighting, props, and movement to create dynamic visual effects.

Four dancers, illuminated with circular shapes, during a performance of "Echo", created by Alwin NikolaisThree dancers in costumes during a rehearsal for Chrysalis under the direction of Alwin NikolaisDancers wearing long, sharp-looking wings during a performance for the Steve Allen Show on NBC, ca. 1959-60Dancers with masks on during a performance of "Gallery", created by Alwin NikolaisThree dancers onstage during a performance of "Nimbus", created by Alwin NikolaisThree dancers in different colored costumes during a performance of "Web", later known as "Tensile Involvement", created by Alwin NikolaisA dancer looks through a reflective circular tube during a performance of "Vaudeville of Elements", created by Alwin NikolaisThree dancers illuminated in red light during a performance of "Tribe", created by Alwin NikolaisThree dancers with string during a performance of "Village of Whispers", created by Alwin NikolaisMurray Louis in costume with his leg extended during a dance performance of "Chimera"

W. E. Peters local history map and exhibit

Earlier this year, the Libraries’ Digital Initiatives unit published an interactive map and digital exhibit showcasing historical features of Athens County, Ohio based on the extensive research of local expert William E. Peters. Since its publication, the map has continued to capture local interest and now displays numerous community-submitted photos documenting changes through time. The project is the result of a multi-year effort in which staff and student employees digitized, transcribed, researched, and recorded locations found within 26 scrapbook volumes compiled by Peters in the 1930s and 1940s.

Civil War Correspondence metadata enhancement

A project to enhance descriptions for a substantial portion of the Civil War Correspondence collection was undertaken and completed over the last five months. Thanks to grant funding from the State Library of Ohio’s Metadata Mini-grant, the Libraries were able to hire Camilla Stegall, an MSLIS student with Civil War period subject expertise. Stegall read hundreds of letters from soldiers and families while applying subject tags that will greatly expand access to the collection. One of the primary goals of the project was to surface accounts and details related to women, African Americans, and political views. A recent blog post by Stegall reflects on these stories and other project highlights.

University Archives

LGBTQ+ Collection

Top of poster advertising Ohio University Gay/Lesbian Awareness Week, 1986

A significant portion of the Ohio University and Athens LGBTQ+ Collection is now available online. The digitization efforts focused on materials that tell the story of the local community’s struggle to protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the city of Athens. Documents including letters, meeting notes, and draft proposals dating back to 1984, recount multiple failed campaigns and advocacy directed toward a city-wide amendment which finally passed in 1997.

1970 Student demonstration photos

Photos of student activism occurring during the tumultuous spring of 1970 are now online. The images, selected from the University Photographer Archive, document demonstrations surrounding student fee increases, ROTC on campus, the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, and the May 4th shootings at Kent State. This eventful time culminated in a period of unrest that brought the academic term to an early end for students at OHIO and across the country. Read more about Ohio University’s part in the national movement in a related blog series that follows campus security reports from the time.

Maggie Boyd digital exhibit

June 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of Ohio University’s first woman graduate, Margaret “Maggie” Boyd. A digital exhibit published in conjunction with Founders Day celebrates Maggie’s experience and legacy. The account of her graduation year is well-documented in Maggie’s 1873 diary housed in the Libraries’ archives and special collections. The exhibit features a video of diary excerpts read by contemporary Margaret Boyd scholars, inspired by the program’s namesake.

Special Collections

Works of Chaucer (1561)

A rare edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer from 1561 can now be viewed online in the Libraries Digital Archives. Known for its previously unprinted additions compiled by editor John Stowe, the edition’s Middle English text is accompanied by woodcut illustrations. This particular copy features extensive marginalia added by a previous owner throughout the nearly 800-page volume.

Botanical illustration exhibit

A new digital exhibit Plants and Printing: 1485-1925 retraces the history of botanical illustration through examples found in the Libraries Special Collections. Researched and curated by OhioLink Luminaries Intern, Morganna Marks, the exhibit conveys developments in both botany and book manufacture through a timeline. Items were selected from the Libraries’ rare book and manuscript and printed leaf collections to highlight extraordinary works and individuals who impacted the art form and study of plants.