GAMBIER — Kenyon College opens the doors to its archives and special collections for public viewing on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., as part of international Obscura Day.
Obscura Day provides access to more than 100 expeditions, museum back rooms, and private collections around the world — from Berlin to Manila, from a tour of the Saltstarumen Sound near Bodo, Norway, to a visit with visual designers at the Weta Cave at Wellington, New Zealand. At Kenyon, visitors to the Greenslade Special Collections and Archives at the Olin Library, 103 College Drive, may view a variety of rare items collected by the college over the decades. Items include prints by Salvador Dali that illustrate Dante’s “The Divine Comedy,” illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, a leaf from a first edition of the Gutenberg Bible dating to 1450, vintage inkwells and walking sticks, autographs of U.S. presidents, and tintypes as patented in 1856 by Kenyon professor Hamilton Simon, among other items. In addition, Thomas B. Greenslade Jr., professor emeritus of physics, will share his private collection of historical physics teaching apparatus. Obscura Day was founded by Atlas Obscura (atlasobscura.com), an online “compendium of the world’s wonders, curiosities and esoterico.” Kenyon student Evan Weiss of Orinda, Calif., learned about Obscura Day and engaged the archives and library staff at Kenyon, who embraced the chance to share Kenyon treasures with the public. The event is free, and the public is encouraged to visit.
“I thought it was a really interesting event, and I wanted to make people more aware of what special collections has,” Weiss said. “They have so much material, a lot of great stuff that I’ve never seen presented.”
Published on April 7, 2011