OHIO Archives

Ohio University Libraries Archives & Special Collections

About the Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections, Preservation & Digital Initiatives

We are a multi unit department that values collaboration within the library, throughout the University, and across communities. We believe that meeting our obligation of responsible stewardship requires a radical examination of how our historical practices and current choices contribute to or detract from accessible, representative, and equitable collection building.

The Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections

The Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections is the principal repository for rare books, manuscript collections, the Documentary Photography Archive, and the Ohio University archives.  The Mahn Center’s mission is to support the education, research, and creative endeavors of the Ohio University community.

Digital Initiatives

Digital Initiatives supports the preservation and access of Ohio University Libraries unique collections. We digitize collections in-house using a Phase One digital imaging set-up for cultural heritage digitization. We also support outsourced digitization of AV and microfilm collections. We deliver digital images for research, publication, and the creation of digital tools for instruction and discovery.


The preservation program at Ohio University Libraries focuses principally on preventative conservation which is defined by AIC as “The mitigation of deterioration and damage to cultural property through the formulation and implementation of policies and procedures for the following: appropriate environmental conditions; handling and maintenance procedures for storage, exhibition, packing, transport, and use; integrated pest management; emergency preparedness and response; and reformatting/duplication”. We take a user focused approach with in-house and out-sourced conservation to meet the preservation needs of the collections in support of long-term access