Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation Online Exhibitions
"A full report of the woman's rights agitation in the State of New York, would in a measure be the history of the movement. In this State, the preliminary battles in the anti-slavery, temperance, educational, and religious societies were fought; the first Governmental aid given to higher education of woman... Here the first Woman's Rights Convention was held, the first demand made for suffrage..."
Meliora is the motto of the University of Rochester, and translates from the Latin as “ever better.” The form in Latin has an imperative quality—an exhortation to do better and to be better.
Perhaps no individual has embodied the concept of University of Rochester's motto of Meliora more fully than Joseph C. Wilson--alumnus of the class of 1931, Trustee, community leader, and business leader.
19th century Rochester was a boiling cauldron of civic activism. This agitation was epitomized by the members of the Post family. All the materials in their papers have been digitized, including letters from Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Harriet Tubman.
Our earliest map of Western New York—the gift of Dr. Seymour Schwartz—dates to 1724. As the University has grown and moved, the manuscript and printed maps in our collections enable us to trace the topography, ownership, and use of the land our campuses occupy—from West Main Street to Prince Street to Wilson Boulevard.
In 2001, the Neilly Series was established through an endowment gift of Life Trustee Andrew H. Neilly and his wife, Janet Dayton Neilly, to support library programs designed to contribute to the intellectual life of the University and to enhance the libraries' collections related to academic initiatives.
Susan B. Anthony died on March 13, 1906 having dedicated her life to winning for women their political, civil, economic and educational rights. At Anthony's funeral her close friend and ally in the suffrage movement, Anna Howard Shaw, said of Susan B. Anthony, "Hers was a heroic life." The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections commemorated this heroic life with an exhibition of letters, photographs, printed material and memorabilia drawn from its extensive Anthony and woman suffrage collections. The exhibition opened on the 100th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony's death and continued through August 2006.
"Gilbert and Sullivan: From London to America" features items drawn from the collection of Dr. Harold Kanthor and focuses on the original Gilbert and Sullivan productions (1871-1896) in London and their transfer to New York and other major American cities. Included are autograph letters and drawings by Gilbert and Sullivan, programs and souvenirs from the original productions, presentation copies, cabinet photographs of the original performers, and nineteenth century advertising material demonstrating the wide popularity of Gilbert and Sullivan in America.
This digital exhibition was originally created in 2005 in a different digital platform and has been recreated in Omeka in 2020.
This exhibit explores the connections between Mt. Hope Cemetery and the University, and was curated by students in Th. Emil Homerin's Speaking Stones course
In 1861, the University of Rochester moved to a new campus. It had just one building, some houses for faculty, and ample open land--land full of dandelions.
This exhibit pulls examples from the University Archives to explore the deep roots of our favorite flower.
In 1970, a major addition to the original 1930 library building opened...
This online exhibit presents images of some of the over 500 glass plate lantern slides which make up the Rochester Gas & Electric Lantern Slide Collection. The images here include photographs of Rochester-area streets, workers, equipment, gas flames, construction sites, cartoons, advertisements, diagrams, charts of figures, and maps.
The majority of the image content is unidentified, and any details which would provide context are eagerly welcomed.
“Women don't get half as much rights as they ought to; we want more, and we will have it.”
--Sojourner Truth, 1853
Since 1934, the students of the University of Rochester have welcomed the winter season with the Boar's Head Dinner.
October 2020 marks 90 years since the dedication of the River Campus.
The project has digitized and makes available the letters to, from, and about Abraham Lincoln that are held in the University's collections.
Upon his retirement in 1964 after almost 40 years of teaching at the University of Rochester, Professor Arthur J. May was appointed University Historian to write a history of the University.
On Sir Robert Southwell's Notes on the Duke of Ormond and the Process of Dealing with Primary Sources
Presenting the 2021 Experiencing History Directly project, supported by the Zagorin Fund. The Experiencing History Directly project pairs an undergradute and graduate student from the History Department and gives them the opportunity to do in-depth research and study with original materials in one of RBSCP's collections. This online project presents the work of Keegan Matthews and mentor Alice Wynd, examining a 17th century manuscript containing Sir Robert Southwell's biographical notes on the 1st Duke of Ormond. Additionally supported by the Rossell Hope Robbins Library & Koller-Collins Center for English Studies.
The history of the University of Rochester has been, and still is, recorded by its students. This exhibition presents yearbooks, newspapers, creative and literary journals, humor magazines, and student group newsletters.