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Founders Day website to pay tribute to University Libraries’ bicentennial

Website to include video, book commemorating Libraries’ 200-year history

Ohio University will commemorate Founders Day on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Honoring the now 210 years since the Ohio General Assembly approved charter plans for the creation of Ohio University on Feb. 18, 1804, this is the third year that OHIO is celebrating Founders Day online through a special website.

In addition to celebrating the University’s long academic legacy of excellence, this year’s Founders Day website will pay special tribute to University Libraries, which is celebrating its bicentennial anniversary.

“There are only a few libraries as old as Ohio University’s in America. That OHIO’s Library grew from a tiny collection of books in the wilderness to a top research library in North America is a tribute to generations of faculty, librarians, administrators and donors,” said Scott Seaman, dean of University Libraries.

“It is a story that is intertwined with the growth of the University, the changes in society and the changes in technologies,” Seaman continued. “It is an honor that the Libraries was selected for Founders Day 2014.”

In 1814, the Ohio University Board of Trustees passed a resolution officially titling the University’s small collection of books the “Library of Ohio University” and establishing seven rules governing the use of OHIO’s first library.

Today, the oldest academic library at the oldest institution of higher education in the Northwest Territory is ranked among the top 100 research libraries in North America and is a member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries. Dedicated to facilitating inspired teaching, learning and research, University Libraries’ commitment to student success and faculty and staff excellence is at the heart of this dynamic, service-driven institution.

“As we commemorate our University’s founding, our reflections focus upon Ohio University Libraries and the vast contributions of this institution to our transformative learning experience,” OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis said in his message that will be featured on the Founders Day website. “It is my hope that by delving deeper into the Ohio University Libraries, you will come to treasure an entity that has been the lifeblood of our academic community for two centuries.”

In addition to McDavis’ message, this year’s Founders Day website will also feature:

  • An electronic version of “200 Years of Shared Discovery: The Bicentennial of Ohio University Libraries,” a book recently published in honor of the Libraries’ 200th anniversary
  • A video produced by Andie Walla, assistant video producer at University Communications and Marketing, that illustrates the history of University Libraries through historic images that complement the bicentennial book
  • Links to University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections
  • Previous articles and stories from past Founders Day celebrations

Founders Day observation to include Alden exhibit

In honor of its 200th anniversary, University Libraries is kicking off an exhibit titled, “Ohio University Library 1814-2014: One Hundred Objects/Two Hundred Years,” on the University’s Founders Day, Feb. 18.

The exhibit will be on display in the Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, located on the fifth floor of Alden Library. It will remain on display for several months as University Libraries celebrates its bicentennial.

The exhibit will highlight 200 years of collecting history and the monumental changes the University Libraries has undergone. Among the items that will be featured in the exhibit are a deerskin trunk believed to have belonged to Manasseh Cutler, OHIO’s founding father, as well as 99 other books and artifacts from the Libraries’ collections.

This exhibit is just one of the several ways that University Libraries is celebrating its 200th birthday. Its bicentennial celebration will officially begin on March 25 at the Founders Day Symposium, scheduled for 1:30 to 4 p.m. on the fourth floor of Alden Library.

Titled “Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation,” speakers at the symposium will include:

Andrea Wulf, New York Times best-selling author of “Founding Gardeners” and the 2013 Eccles British Library writer-in-residence, who will give the keynote address

Dr. David Holben, a professor of nutrition at OHIO, Fulbright Scholar and recipient of a University Professor Award, whose presentation is titled, “Thomas Jefferson: Gardener and Gastronome”

Lauren Cohen, a senior studying applied nutrition at OHIO, who will discuss “Athens Locavores”

The Founders Day Symposium is free and open to the OHIO and surrounding community.