For a variety of reasons, for the last several years there have been few programs or events sponsored by Special Collections to engage with the public, share and promote our collections, and perhaps most importantly, thank the many generous individuals who support our acquisitions and operations.
This October, with the strong support of Interim Dean and University Librarian Jerome Conley, we celebrated our wonderful collections with three great events. Jacky Johnson, Western College Archivist, coordinated and hosted a visit by the incoming president of the Society of American Archivists (and Miami alumna) Danna Bell. Danna, who currently works at the Library of Congress, met with a variety of groups on campus and in the Libraries and gave an inspiring talk to library staff.
On Homecoming Saturday the staff of the Havighurst Special Collections hosted a reception honoring our Fall exhibit featuring the Cradle of Coaches Archive. A small but fascinated audience heard from one of the creators of the Archive, current Alumni Affairs Board President Nick Selvaggio, who spoke for himself and co-creator Steve Stout about their hopes and dreams in donating the collection to Miami. Then attendees, who included donor Mrs. John (Sandy) Pont, her son, and grandson, enjoyed a guided tour of the exhibit led by exhibit curator Johnathan Cooper and saw an extended exhibit of additional materials along with film footage of some Cradle members in action.
Finally, Miami alumnus and former NBC vice president Rick Ludwin inaugurated our new Annual Special Collections Lecture Series with a fabulous presentation about his student days hosting Miami’s Studio 14, under the mentorship of Professor Emeritus Bill Utter. Bill and David Beller, former student director of Studio 14, also spoke, and Rick provided a great compilation of film clips from the Studio 14 tapes he has generously digitized and donated as part of the Rick Ludwin Collection. We had a standing room only crowd and wonderful feedback from the audience. I am grateful to our speakers who were so generous with their time, to our guests for their enthusiastic response, and to the library staff who worked very hard to make the events so successful.
(Both of these last two events demonstrated the remarkable breadth and scope of our Special Collections. While we certainly have the historical and literary collections you’d expect, we have much more as well!)
If you missed any of these great events, don’t despair! We are beginning to plan for our Spring exhibit reception – date to be determined – and for the Second Annual Lecture next fall. We intend that both will be regular events for a long time to come. Look for more information as our plans develop. I hope you’ll join us for these and other enjoyable events hosted by the Archives, Special Collections and the Miami University Libraries.
Assistant Dean for Technical Services and
Head, Special Collections & Archives