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Feb 4, 2010

It's great to be back in Antiochiana as your College Archivist. Now that Antioch College is back, donations have begun to flow into the archives once again now that independence has been achieved. Starting with the Alumni Reunion in October, several interesting gifts have been given to Antiochiana, including:

  • A felt Antioch banner with gold lettering on a dark blue field, circa 1930, was the gift of Matthew Derr, class of 1989. The large block type makes it reminiscent of the kind of thing used to cheer on a football team, something Antioch College hasn't had since 1928.
  • A collection of historic documents relating to the Carr Nursery, one of the most important businesses in the Yellow Springs of over a century ago, was donated by Corinne Odiorne Pelzl, class of 1971. Her ancestor, William Wallace Carr, was the first of many in this august Yellow Springs family to attend the College, and his diploma from the class of 1869 was part of the gift. Interestingly, these materials also included the calling card of Antiochiana's founder Bessie Totten (class of 1900), a relation to the Carrs.
  • Letters written in 1904 and 1905 between former Antioch College president Arthur E. Morgan and his first wife, Dr. Urania Jones, were given by Morgan's granddaughter Jenifer, class of 1957. Morgan's papers represent the largest single collection in Antiochiana and contain his lifetime of correspondence, and yet until now only one letter to or from Urania was there. They reveal an Arthur Morgan that few people (if anyone) ever knew.
  • The papers of the late Nicholas B. Williams, class of 1954, were donated by his brother, Justin Williams, Jr. Nick taught English in Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Morocco before finally settling down to a professorship at the University of the District of Columbia.
  • A bronze sign advertising Antioch Shoes, most likely made for the outlet stores that sold therapeutic footwear that once bore the College's name, was given by Wendy Lanner Rossen, class of 1968. The Antioch Shoe was the inspiration of eccentric foot genius Edward Mathews, who was discovered by Arthur Morgan in 1926. Lending the College's name to Mathews' invention was precisely the kind of entrepreneurship Morgan sought to promote in his new Antioch.
  • Panoramic photographs of the students and faculty of Antioch College were given by Gretchen Muller, class of 1959. Gretchen's parents, the late Robert and Dorothy Headley (class of 1934 and 1936, respectively), met as students at the College, and the photos originally belonged to them. Of course, Antiochiana has hundreds of these photographs spanning over 50 years, but the one taken September 1928 was special. None of the copies already in the collection showed young Antioch men in the back two rows all sporting their freshman beanies. The compulsory wearing of beanies for first year students was a convention at colleges across the country, and at least in this sense, Antioch College was no different.
  • Architect's renderings of the Antioch College Science Library dated 1929 were given by local collector Buzz Jackson. Only an Antiochian that has celebrated their 50th year class reunion will remember the Science Library in the Science Building (it moved out to Olive Kettering in the mid 1950s), but there was one.
  • Thank you to the aforementioned friends for thinking of us. Donation of artifacts and treasures is largely how Antiochiana's collection have been built over 105 years of collecting...at least that's how we got the good stuff. Keep 'em coming!