Collage of items from libraries receiving conservation/preservation grants
October 26, 2022

In partnership with the Ohio Preservation Council, the State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce over $41,000 in LSTA Preservation and Conservation Grants were awarded to nine Ohio Libraries to fund conservation of historical objects in the libraries’ collections. The goal of this grant initiative is to enable libraries to conserve a single item or preserve a small discrete group of items within their collections. Institutions could request up to $4,999, and primarily use the funds to contract with a professional conservator or conservation lab to preserve the materials to ensure best practices in conservation.

“Libraries across the state are often a treasure trove of unique collections and artifacts, as this year’s grantees can attest,” expressed Evan T. Struble, Associate State Librarian for Library Development. “I’m grateful to the representatives of the Ohio Preservation Council that worked closely with State Library staff to ensure that grant applicants had the necessary training prior to the application process, as well as their guidance on the review. I can’t wait to see the finished conservation efforts next year”

The nine institutions awarded the grant are: Baldwin Wallace University’s Ritter Library, Earl Sloan Library, Hudson Library and Historical Society, Kenyon College Chalmers Library, Miami University Libraries, Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries’ Special Collection, Pontifical College Josephinum Library, the University of Dayton Libraries, and Wright State University Paul Laurence Dunbar Library.

The College Whim - college newspaper from Baldwin Wallace University
The College Whim

Baldwin Wallace University

Baldwin Wallace has elected to conserve their college newspapers including the College Gazetteer, Sophomore Cyclone, The College Whim and The Bulletin. The newspapers undergoing conservation all date from the 1800s, are either the lone surviving copies or from a very limited number of copies, in need of stabilization prior to digitization, and have gone unseen by anyone other than a select view. The College Gazetteer and Sophomore Cyclone are the only surviving examples of their publications. The College Whim and The Bulletin are the complete/nearly complete runs for their first year(s).

Woman at the Well
Woman at the Well painted by Warren Cushman

Earl Sloan Library

The Earl Sloan Library has chosen “Woman at the Well,” a painting for conservation, which has been part of the library’s collection almost since it opened. The life-sized artwork was painted by Warren Cushman and is one of a series of works he produced from 1875-1895. Its size does capture one’s attention, but it is not out of place; it is 88 inches high by 50 inches wide and a lovely example of a painting style from that period. It has a feeling of belonging among the twelve-foot-high ceilings, golden oak floors, and large interior windows. The library with its well-settled bones beckons the visitor to stay awhile and appreciate the library not only for its function but also for its art and history.

Trumpet from Hudson Brass Band - Hudson Library & Historical Society
Hudson Brass Band – Trumpet

Hudson Library and Historical Society

The Hudson Library & Historical Society seeks to conserve a collection of nineteenth century artifacts, which document the rich history of Hudson’s first community band. The artifacts include: a comet, a military-style band hat, and a set of epaulets, which belonged to Thomas (1854-1927) and Clifford Elliman (1887-1967), active members of Hudson’s town band. Clifford once served as the band’s musical director. 

On March 19, 1860, Hudson village officially formed the “Hudson Brass Band,” electing officials and creating bylaws. Sometime in the 1880s the band changed its name to the Hudson Comet Band, and then at the tum of the century, became known simply as the Hudson Band. The Hudson Band, like other town bands of this time, was a fixture of the community, regularly performing at local fairs, commencements, funerals, and even once played at an event celebrating the passage of the 15th amendment.

Kenyon Reveille student publication - Kenyon College
Kenyon Reveille

Kenyon College

Kenyon College will preserve the Kenyon Reveille. The Kenyon Reveille was first published in 1855 and as such holds the distinction of being the oldest continuing student publication at the College. Beginning life as more of a newspaper, it eventually transformed into the College yearbook around the turn of the 20th Century.

Japanese woodblocks - Miami University
Japanese woodblocks

Miami University

Miami University will conserve a collection of significant historical books: Aristotelous Hapanta (1531), P. Virgilii Maronis Opera (1532), Yusuf wa Zuleykha (c. 1810), Carte Topographique de l’Egypte (1818), and the book of the Secretary’s Office of the Miami University (c. 1810). The University has also selected five objects to receive custom housing: 2 Japanese woodblocks, 2 scrolls, and a toy theater. The selection of unusually shaped items was chosen due to frequent classroom use. 

Adoration of the Magi painting attributed to Hendrik Pot - Ohio Wesleyan University
Adoration of the Magi painting attributed to Hendrik Pot

Ohio Wesleyan University 

The item selected for conservation is the Adoration of the Magi painting attributed to Hendrik Pot and housed in the Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries’ Special Collections. The painting came to Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) in 1924 from the family of one of their prominent donors and alumni, Frank W. Gunsaulus. Gunsaulus and his wife, Georgeanna, acquired antiques, rare books, and art as part of their professional and personal interests; a selection of these items was donated to OWU, including this painting. According to the family, the painting was found in the back of a shop and had been painted over but Mr. Gunsaulus saw a glimpse of the hidden painting and had the top painting removed to reveal this one by Pot. 1 Experts who have examined the painting agree that the painting suffers from condition issues and darkening. These experts include art historian Dr. Carol Neuman de Vegvar and art conservationist Andrea Chevalier.

Francis A. Ludewig sketch book
Francis A. Ludewig sketch book

Pontifical College Josephinum

The Josephinum Library has selected for conservation two sketch books containing drawings and illustrations by the architect of the Pontifical College Josephinum, Francis A. Ludewig. These one-of-a kind works are significant for their beauty and include drawings from throughout Ludewig’s architectural career.  Documentation indicates that these drawings were created during his time as architecture student in Holland, under the guidance of his teacher, as well as drawings from his retirement years.  Documentation indicates also that the book of color drawings includes pictures drawn by Ludewig in 1917, for a fresco to adorn Francis de Sales Church in Saint Louis, Missouri.

1829 Conway family Bible - University of Dayton
1829 Conway family Bible

The University of Dayton

The University Libraries of the University Dayton has selected the 1829 Conway family Bible for conservation. The Conway family, composed of Robert, Sarah, and their nine children, were some of the first Catholics in the Dayton region, and hosted traveling priests in their home so that they could minister to other area Catholics. The Bible was donated to the USCSC by Richard Tischer in 2020. The Tischer family had acquired the Bible at an estate sale for the Conway family in the early 1900s.

Paul Laurence Dunbar first edition book - Wright State University
Paul Laurence Dunbar first edition book

Paul Laurence Dunbar first edition book - Wright State University
Paul Laurence Dunbar first edition book

Wright State University 

Wright State University seeks to conserve the Paul Laurence Dunbar first edition books due to their consistent high use in exhibits and outreach, and deteriorating structural condition. The use of these books has always been high, but even more so in 2022 celebrating the 150th birthday of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906). Dunbar was the son of former slaves who settled in Dayton. He was the only African American in his high school class, where he was friends with Wilbur and Orville Wright and was editor of his school newspaper. Dunbar published his first book of poetry in 1893, and quickly became one of the first influential African American literary figures to garner critical acclaim on a national scale. As the namesake of Wright State University’s Paul Laurence Dunbar Library (PLDL), of which Special Collections and Archives (SC&A) is a part, the libraries joined the National Park Service and local organizations in celebrating with a series of 150 events that included a premier documentary screening, book discussion, art expo, music festival, and exhibits.


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Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875