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Ohio University Libraries

Library Overview

Established as a separate unit during the 1960s, Ohio University Libraries' special collections department became the Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections in 2002. University Archives, Manuscript Collections, and Rare Book Collections constitute the bulk of the holdings in the Mahn Center.

Collections within University Archives document the corporate memory of Ohio University since its founding in 1804. Minutes of the university's Board of Trustees, administrator and faculty papers, university catalogs, and student life materials ranging from student handbooks, athletic programs, and yearbooks to photographs, scrapbooks, posters, and other memorabilia are well represented. A sampling of images, gleaned from the University Archives buildings files, is available online.

The Mahn Center's nearly 300 manuscripts are gathered from sources far and near. The E. W. Scripps Papers, the Cornelius Ryan WWII Collection, the papers and music of bandleader Sammy Kaye, and the Alwin Nikolais/Murray Louis Dance Collection attract researchers from all over the world. Regional interests are also well served by the United Mine Workers of America District 6 Collection, the papers of Ohio Governor George V. Voinovich, and the papers of Congressmen Wayne L. Hays and Clarence E. Miller.

Broad in scope and age, and strong in uniqueness and aesthetic, the 59 rare book collections are heavily used as both research and instructional tools. Thirty-six author collections include the works of Alfred Tennyson, Dard Hunter, and Charles Bukowski. Although a 13th-century illuminated Bible is the collection's oldest book, 17th- and 18th-century British literature of the handpress period are also represented. Books from the Doves Press and Kelmscott Press, limited editions such as Edward Curtis's North American Indian (1907-1930), Victorian trade bindings, artist books, and signed first editions are just a few more of the treasures found in Rare Books.

Ohio University
University Libraries
Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections
Alden Library Room 504
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 593-2710 (t)
(740) 593-2708 (f)