Author Archives: Emily Gainer

Ohio Archives Month Spotlight 1: Wright State University

Ohio Archives Month Spotlights: Wright State University Special Collections and Archives

by Collette N. McDonough, CA 

A photograph of the research spaces at Wright State University Special Collections and Archives. A man and woman stand in front of an exhibit case.

Research spaces at Special Collections and Archives in the Wright State University Libraries. Credit: Wright State University.

The Society of Ohio Archivists Advocacy and Outreach Committee is happy to announce that we will be spotlighting archives around the state again this year to celebrate archives month throughout October. Each of our archives spotlights will feature places that house materials related the theme of the poster, Land, Water, & Air: Transportation in Ohio.



The first archives we will be spotlighting in 2023 is Wright State University Special Collections and Archives. Even though Wright State’s submission was not featured on the poster this year, we are happy to have them front and center in our first archives spotlight.

Historical image in sepia tone. Shows an airplane on a beach and a man in dark clothing standing on the right side.

This famous image, taken by John T. Daniels, captures a moment of the twelve-second first flight. Daniels walked up from the U.S. Lifesaving Station at Kill Devil Hills to help the brothers. The Wright Brothers did not know if the image caught their airplane in flight until they developed the negatives at home back in Dayton, Ohio.

Wright State University was founded in the 1960s as a part of a plan to make higher education more convenient for Ohioans and got its start as a joint campus of the Ohio State University and Miami University. By 1967, the campus was granted independent status and named in honor of Dayton’s favorite sons, inventors of the manned heavier-than-air powered and controlled aircraft. The Wright State archive got its start with their first collection of Wright Brothers materials. In December 1975, the Wright Family “including Ivonette Wright Miller, Leontine Wright Jameson, Horace A. Wright, Milton Wright, Jr., and Wilkinson Wright,” gave materials to the archives to become the Wright Brothers Collection.

A photograph of the 1903 Wright Brothers airplane replica. It is suspended from the ceiling and this photograph was taken from below.

Full-scale replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer is suspended in the atrium. Credit: Toni Vanden Bos.

The archives are housed on the 4th floor of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library named for the well-known African American author and Dayton native. The library is home to a “full-scale replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer suspended in the atrium. It was conceived and built by a dedicated group of volunteer model makers, mechanics, engineers, woodworkers, and seamstresses under the leadership of Howard R. DuFour.” The replica recently received a thorough cleaning by the facilities staff. Details are on their blog post, The 1903 Wright Flyer Replica Receives Cleaning!

The Reading Room has many items that any lover of aviation history would love to see such as medals the brothers were given in France or a propeller from a Wright Brother plane. If you want to visit the archives for research, you should make an appointment.

Wright State University Special Collections and Archives is home to a wide variety of transportation collections such as the Dayton Electric Railway Collection, the Canal Society of Ohio Collection and more. What they are really known for is their materials related to aviation and aerospace. A lesser-known collection is the Charles Wald Collection which documents the training of an early American aviator at the Wright School of aviation.

A historic black and white photograph of 8 men in suits. One man is standing on a cart with two wheels.

Harry Atwood practicing his balance on a cart. From left to right Henry Arnold, Arthur Welsh, Thomas DeWitt Milling, Orville Wright, Oscar Brindley and Calbraith Rodgers with the Wright Flyer B is parked in the hangar. Credit: Charles Wald.

Interview with Jane S. Wildermuth

Jane Wildermuth is the Head of Special Collections at Wright State University.  She took some time to answer some questions about her job at Wright State for the Advocacy and Outreach Committee (A&O). 

A&O: What do you like most about working at Wright State Special Collections?

Jane: What I enjoy most about working at Wright State Special Collections and Archives is being able to work with dedicated professionals who make my work life enjoyable and allow our department to accomplish much with a relatively small staff.

A&O: How does your current job compare to other archives positions you have held in the past?

Jane: I have enjoyed the various archival positions I have held throughout my career.  I started at the Ohio History Connection and my positions were very focused as a reference archivist and then records manager.  At Wright State, I have a wide variety of responsibilities from managing the department, writing metadata, answering reference requests, creating exhibits, and more.

A&O: What is the most interesting research question you have revived regarding transportation or the Wright Brothers? 

Jane: We have a researcher who lives in California who is using CAD software to build 3D drawings of Curtiss-Wright engines and engine parts.  Over the past several years we have sent him 1000s of drawings from our Curtiss-Wright Collection that he uses to make his designs.  His work has given me a greater understanding of the collection which has allowed me to better assist other researchers.   

A&O: What is your favorite collection that deals with transportation?  Do you have a favorite image? 

Jane: My favorite transportation collection is the Wright Brothers Collection.  It is hard not to fall in love with the Wright Brothers if you work at Wright State. They truly were geniuses, and their innovative work continues to inspire people today.

A historic photograph is sepia tones of an airplane in flight.

In 1902, Wilbur Wright pilots the glider while visiting Big Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. Credit: Wright Brothers.

A historic photograph in sepia tone of an airplane with two men standing on the ground by the left airplane wing.

The Wright brothers at Huffman Prairie, near Dayton, OH, next to their 1904 Flyer. It was here where they learned the ins and outs of flying. Credit: Wright Brothers.

A&O: What is the most interesting story that the Wright State archives hold that does not relate to transportation? 

Jane: I am fascinated with the story of Martha McClellan Brown.

A historic photograph in sepia tones of a woman in profile. She is wearing a high-collared dress and has her hair in a bun.

Martha McClellan Brown. Credit: Veeder.

She was born in Maryland in 1838, but her family later moved to Cambridge, Ohio. She married William Kennedy Brown, a Methodist Episcopal minister, at age 20. The couple shared an interest in advocating for women’s rights, suffrage, and social reform. They became greatly involved in the temperance movement in Ohio and nationally.  Brown served as the Grand Chief Templar of Ohio and was a popular speaker throughout the country. She drafted the Plan of Work and the call for a temperance convention that took place in Cleveland in November 1874. At that convention, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union was founded.  Brown went on to take leadership roles, including vice president, in the Prohibition Party. She later worked in academia as a professor and vice president of the Wesleyan Female College in Cincinnati.


Follow the Wright State University Libraries’ Special Collection and Archives on social media:
X: @WrightStArchive
Facebook: @wrightstatearchives
Instagram: @wrightstarchives
All images courtesy of the Wright State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives.

Internship Available at OCLC 2024

Sharing an Internship Opportunity

Posting Date: September 27, 2023

Institution: OCLC

Internship Description: We are looking to fill a part-time internship beginning in mid-January 2024 for a current MLIS or Archives/Museum studies student at the OCLC Library, Archives, and Museum located within the OCLC Headquarters in Dublin, OH.  Internship is for a total of 268 hours at $17.00 per hour with some flexibility in starting and ending dates.  Estimating approximately 20-30 hours/week.

Additional Information: Students must currently be enrolled in a LIS, Archives or Museum studies graduate level program. Internship is intended for on-site attendance with some remote work if logistically possible and pre-approved by OCLC Library manager.​ For more information, check the link to the job posting and application.

Availability: beginning January 15, 2024, and ending before May 1, 2024.

For more internships, visit Internship and Volunteer listings, which is a project of the Membership and Awards Committee. Contact committee member Mark Bloom to submit or update an entry.

Internship Available at Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation 2023

Sharing an Internship Opportunity

Posting Date: September 19th until October 4, 2023

Institution: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Internship Description: We are looking for a highly motivated student with an interest in museums, archives, and libraries to help us digitize and catalog archival material in the BWC Archive. The intern will be involved with the planning of museum exhibits at the BWC William Green building in downtown Columbus.

Additional Information: Must currently be enrolled in a higher education program. All majors will be considered but those expected to be most relevant include library science, museum and archive studies, and history. Compensation: $13.50 – $20.59. For more information check the link to the job posting and application.

Contact Person: Sharon Roney, MLIS, Ohio BWC Library Administrator; 614-466-0580

Availability: year-round.

For more internships, visit Internship and Volunteer listings, which is a project of the Membership and Awards Committee. Contact committee member Mark Bloom to submit or update an entry.

Ohio Archives Month Poster Reveal on YouTube

Did you miss the Ohio Archives Month poster reveal live on September 7?  You can now watch the recorded event on the Society of Ohio Archivists YouTube channel.

Each year, SOA creates a poster to recognize and celebrate Archives Month in Ohio. This year’s theme is transportation. We had more than 20 Ohio institutions contribute images, and the SOA membership voted to pick the top ten images.

Questions? Contact the committee at [email protected].

SOA Bylaws Revision Task Force – Call for Volunteers

Volunteers Needed for Bylaws Revision Task Force

The SOA Council recently decided to form a task force that is charged with providing SOA Council recommendations on possible updates to the SOA Bylaws. More specifically the task force has been asked to look at how the Bylaws can better support:

  1. Increased democratization of organizational decision-making.
  2. The improved efficiency of Council administration.
  3. The identification, and where practical, reconciliation of differences between the SOA Council Manual and the SOA Constitution & Bylaws.

Our goal for the task force membership is to have representatives from SOA Council, Committee co-chairs, and the general membership. Consequently, if you are interested in serving on this task force as a representative of the general membership please contact Vice President/President-Elect Matt Francis with your interest by Wednesday, September 20, 2023.

Additional Information

  • Timeline – We will work to get recommendations to SOA Council during the Spring of 2024 in order to support Council bringing any suggested revisions to the membership at the 2024 Annual Meeting.
  • Time Commitment – In support of trying to allow as much flexibility for volunteers as possible, my goal is that after an initial virtual kick-off meeting most of our work will be accomplished through email and Google Docs. That said, if/as needed we will look to schedule additional virtual meetings.

Thank you for your consideration and contact Vice President/President-Elect Matt Francis if you have any questions about the opportunity.

Call for Nominations – Special Election 2023

Nominating Committee Calls for Nominations

The SOA Nominating Committee would like to announce a call for nominations for a special election to fill the Council seat with the term ending at the SOA Annual Meeting in May 2024. The person who completes this term can run for a term in their own right in the regular 2024 election if they wish. Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged, as are peer nominations.

Candidates must be current SOA members in good standing and be willing and able to attend monthly council meetings and business activities (both in-person and virtually).

The election will be held online from October 16-October 31. Candidates will be required to write a response to a question to be published on SOA’s website prior to the election.

More details about responsibilities and terms can be located in the SOA bylaws.

I would also be happy to answer any questions about the position. Please respond to me with any nominations by Wednesday, September 20, 2023.


Amy Rohmiller
Past President & Chair, Nominating Committee
Society of Ohio Archivists

SOA Strategic Plan 2023-2026 Now Available

Message from the Strategic Planning Committee Chair

I’m pleased to announce that SOA has completed our strategic planning process, and the 2023-2026 strategic plan is now available on the website. This plan has strategies for success across the organization to help SOA meet its vision to be the primary provider of professional development for archivists and historical records professionals in Ohio. You can follow our progress towards these goals by checking the task tracker on the site, which will be updated regularly.

I’d like to thank all the members of SOA’s leadership in 2022-23 and 2023-24 for their work in creating the plan and helping refine the goals and tasks. We would not have this plan without their active participation. I’d especially like to thank the members of the strategic planning committee over the past 18 months: Melissa Dalton, Sherri Goudy, Collette McDonough, and Nick Pavlik for their work every step of the way. Finally, thanks to Rob Colby for helping us start the process and Jennifer Souers Chevraux for helping us bring this plan to fruition.

I hope you take the time to read the plan and see what SOA hopes to achieve for our profession!

Amy Rohmiller
Past-President & Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

OLHA/SOA Fall Meeting 2023

OLHA/SOA Fall Meeting, October 6-7, 2023

The Society of Ohio Archivists is partnering with the Ohio Local History Alliance for the fall meeting, History as Necessity.  Join us on October 6-7, 2023, at Quest Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio.Ohio Local History Alliance and Society of Ohio Archivists brochure first page.

Registration is now open through September 22 September 30 (extended)! Sessions will discuss a wide array of ways in which collecting, sharing, and commemorating Ohio’s local history can, and perhaps should, become more central in the operations of our organizations.

The SOA track will take place on Friday, October 6. The Fall Meetings page includes more details on these tracks. View full details on the conference brochure.

Questions? Contact the Educational Programming Committee Cochairs Sara Mouch and Michelle Sweetser.

Archives Month Poster Reveal 2023

2023 Poster Unveiling – Sept 7

The Society of Ohio Archivists Advocacy and Outreach Committee invites all SOA members and lovers of history to an online event where we will unveil the 2023 Archives Month poster!

Join us on Thursday, September 7, 2023, from 3 – 4pm (ET) on Zoom for the poster unveiling, along with fun trivia. Please register by September 4.

Each year, SOA creates a poster to recognize and celebrate Archives Month. This year’s theme is transportation. We had more than 20 Ohio institutions contribute images, and the SOA membership voted to pick the top ten images. View the 2023 top ten images on the blog.

Questions? Contact the committee at [email protected].


SOA Council Minutes for May 2023 Available

The Society of Ohio Archivists most recent leadership meeting minutes from May 12, 2023, can now be found on the Council Meeting Minutes page.

Interested in SOA over time? Also on that page are minutes dating back to 1997. In addition to documenting actions from the leadership meeting, minutes include reports from the treasurer as well as from committees and task forces.

Questions about minutes? Contact SOA Secretary Shelby Beatty.