Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Miami of Ohio Bicentennial

Miami University in Oxford, Ohio celebrated its 200th anniversary yesterday, February 17. The 1912 Library Handbook depicted here is only 3 inches by 5 inches in size. The copy inside provides a brief history of the library. It reads in part: "Miami's Library is one of the oldest in the West. Its beginning dates back just one hundred years, when the trustees of the newly incorporated institution commissioned Rev. John Brown to travel through the East to solicit books and money. The four hundred and twenty books which he collected were partially destroyed by fire in Cincinnati where they were temporarily stored. It is not known how many survived. Probably quite a few are in the Library at present time. Several are identified by the very explicit inscriptions on fly leaves. There is a tradition that two volumes were received from John Adams." The library has created a digital collection of documents from the history of Mianmi Univesity which includes a number of library related images.
The United States Postal Service commemorated the University's bicentennial by issuing a postal card depicting MacCracken Hall on the University's campus. The USPS has established a tradition of honoring U. S. colleges and universities by issuing a postal card on their bicentennial. When Columbia University was so honored in 2004, the postal card depicted the Low Memorial Library. This is one of the few ways a library can be honored by the Postal Service. I have advocated for a postage stamp that would collectively honor America's public libraries.

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