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Oberlin and Civil Rights

The Oberlin College Archives, in collaboration with Oberlin College students of the 1950s and 1960s and the staff of the Alumni Magazine, are collecting materials to document Oberlin and civil rights in this online collection. Begun in 2013, this collection is in progress.

Oberlin And The Civil War

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Oberlin College Archives partnered with the Oberlin Heritage Center in 2011-2012 to build "Oberlin and the Civil War," a digital collection of Civil War era materials in the Oberlin College Archives.

Shansi: Oberlin and Asia

The Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association, the Oberlin College East Asian Studies Program, and the Oberlin College Archives and Library present this online digital collection that documents the activity of Oberlinians in Asia from the 1880s to the 1950s.

King-Crane Commission Digital Collection

During the summer of 1919, a delegation under the leadership of Oberlin College President Henry Churchill King and Chicago businessman Charles R. Crane travelled to areas of the former Ottoman territories. Their mission was to determine the wishes of the people of the region as their future was being determined by the major powers at the Paris Peace Conference. The King-Crane Commission, as it became known, met delegations and invited written petitions from various religious and political groups. This digital collection unifies the archival records of Commission members for the first time. It also includes resources on conducting research in the collection.

Sela G. Wright Digital Collection

This collection consists of 19th century Ojibwe language notes and letters from the Sela G. Wright Papers at the Oberlin College Archives.

John Frederick Oberlin

Oberlin College and its town in Ohio were founded in 1833 and named in honor of John Frederick Oberlin (1740-1826), an extraordinary Lutheran pastor who served in a remote region in Alsace until his death in 1826. Explore individual items from the Oberlin College Archives here, or go to the multimedia presentation Oberlin's Namesake to explore John Frederick Oberlin's life and work and the relationship between the College and its namesake in a more interactive format.

Popular Images in the Oberlin College Archives

In response to popular and scholarly demand for images from the Oberlin College Archives for illustrations in publications, this virtual collection presents some of the most widely circulated images from the extraordinarily rich collections at Oberlin College.

Oberlin College Campus Views

The Campus Views digital collection offers a wide range of types of graphic materials, from nearly the span of Oberlin College's history. The images, selected from various collections in the Archives, capture the changing built and landscape environment at Oberlin at particular points in space and time, made for various purposes.

Oberlin College Historic Portraits

Oberlin College established the Historic Portrait Collection in 1883 on the occasion of its Jubilee celebration. Beginning with less than ten portraits, the collection’s focus was “to secure, so far as possible, the portraits of the more eminent men and women connected with our history for a permanent collection.” The College actively sought life sized oil portraits of former professors and instructors, former and present members of the Board of Trustees, founders of professorships and prominent donors, early colonists, treasurers and other officers connected with the institution, and prominent friends of the anti-slavery and temperance movements who have been in any way associated with Oberlin (Jubilee Notes, May 1883). In the early decades the portraits hung permanently in the College Chapel and Peters Hall.

Archives Museum Collection

The Oberlin College Archives Museum Collection consists of a photograph and a description of each 3-D item in record group 35, Museum Items. Most of these items have no connection to other record groups. Explore diverse objects from Oberlin's history.

Near East Relief Digital Collection

Laurence Howland MacDaniels and Frances Cochran MacDaniels (both graduates of the class of 1912 of Oberlin College) volunteered for service in the American Committee for Relief in the Near East (ACRNE), later called Near East Foundation (NEF). This foundation provided relief in the Near East after World War I. The reader can consult online sources on the foundation. Select photographs from a photograph album documenting their service in the ACRNE, 1919-20, can be accessed in this collection.

Military Service in World War I

At the close of World War I Oberlinians, like the rest of the nation, thought about the possibilities of a new era of victory and peace. To remember the Oberlin men and women who had participated in the fight “to save the world for democracy,” the College’s administration and the student body sought to make a loving record of their service. Consisting of more than one hundred and fifty pages, this yearbook material is the first item in the “virtual collection.”

Visual Study Collection

Students at Oberlin are often assigned research projects that involve examining historical visual resources at the Archives. In the 2008-2009 academic year students scanned images to use as illustrations in their papers for courses such as Media & Memory, Meanings of the Memorial Arch, and Approaches to Western Architectural History.