Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation Online Exhibitions

Wilson's Days: The Life and Legacy of Joseph C. Wilson

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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.

Maps and Meliora

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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.

To the Dandelion Yellow We Will E'er Be True

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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.

Evolutions in Space: The Rush Rhees Library Addition at 50

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In 1970, a major addition to the original 1930 library building opened...

University Traditions: The Boar's Head Dinner

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Since 1934, the students of the University of Rochester have welcomed the winter season with the Boar's Head Dinner.

90 Years Beside the Genesee

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October 2020 marks 90 years since the dedication of the River Campus.

History of the University of Rochester, 1850-1962

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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.