Music and Dance Library Hosts Exhibit, “100 Years Ago” – OHIO University Libraries

Music and Dance Library Hosts Exhibit, “100 Years Ago”

“If you were to drop in on the School of Music 100 years ago, you might not recognize the program as we know it today, but you’d certainly… find a dedication to music as an essential component to everyday life,” wrote Daniel J King, in “Celebrating 100 years of music at OHIO.”

Sheet music from the Richard D. Wetzel Collection, OHIO Libraries. (Photo by John Michael Simpson/Ohio University Libraries)

On Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. the School of Music kicks-off its festivities surrounding their Centennial Celebration (1917-2017) with a recital followed by a reception and an exhibit in the Music and Dance Library.

The display, titled “100 Years Ago,” is curated by Carla Williams, music and special projects librarian, and spotlights the eclectic memorabilia and archival objects of the school. Although most of the objects date back to its founding in 1917—its history dates back to the 1880s.

“As early as 1883 Ohio University offered piano lessons, however such lessons were considered an extracurricular activity. In 1889, the University established a department of Vocal Music…In 1892, the music program expanded to include instrumental as well as vocal [and] in 1917, the department of Vocal and Instrumental became the School of Music,” reads the College of Fine Arts’ website.

In preparation of the exhibit Williams “searched through a variety of resources including digital [collections] and archives and special collections both here [at Glidden] and at Alden…relating to the School of Music over the past hundred years.”

As one can imagine, turning 100 years of age generates some very interesting history and artifacts like the postcard picturing Old Tupper Hall (Music Hall) on the Athens Campus. The two-story building was moved from its original site in 1896, before the building settled behind Cutler Hall, the current site of the Vernon R. Alden Library.

“There are several categories in the exhibit, [such as] the School of Music’s entrance and degree requirements; [historic] photos of the Music Hall, and a … 1917 commencement, documenting nearly a week’s worth of events featuring music and musicians from the School of Music,” said Williams.

Other items in the exhibit include a 1911 Campus map, depicting the location of the Music Hall; WWI letters from an alumnus of the school, photographs, and, of course, sheet music, among many other memorabilia documenting the school’s centennial.

Be sure to stop by to see “100 Years Ago,” in the Music and Dance Library on the fifth floor of Glidden Hall. The exhibit is expected to run throughout the summer.