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OSU and U-M libraries collaborate with online exhibits

As the Nov. 23 football game with Ohio State University (OSU) approaches, curators from U-M libraries have joined forces with their counterparts at OSU to develop online exhibits highlighting both the athletic rivalry and the academic collaboration between the two institutions.

Focusing on the athletic rivalry, Greg Kinney and Brian Williams at the Bentley Historical Library and Tamar Chute at the OSU Archives have created an exhibit comparing the two schools' football programs side-by-side on each page, including historical statistics; photographs from early games; and facts on coaches, the stadiums and the teams. The site also includes little-known information on players, mascots and marching bands. The exhibit's main page is
The vignette title page of "The Ohio Railroad Guide" was published in Columbus, Ohio, by the Ohio State Journal Company in 1854. (Courtesy of the U-M Special Collections Library)

"By combining our collections, University of Michigan Archivist Greg Kinney and I have been able to create an exhibit that recognizes the excellence of both the football teams and the materials that we have in the archives," says Chute, associate university archivist at OSU. "We could never have done this alone."

The academic exhibit emphasizes the collaboration between the University Library's Special Collections Library and Ohio State's Rare Books and Manuscripts Division. Each library highlights rare and unusual items that originated in the other state. "Ohio at Michigan," created by
Kathleen Dow and Peggy Daub (Special Collections Library), with Web assistance from Amy Garber (public relations and communications), includes such items as a railroad guide printed in Columbus in 1854 and a photograph of a steamship being launched in Cleveland in 1886. "Michigan at Ohio," from Ohio State curators Geoff Smith and his Web assistant, Keith Lazuka, features historical maps and images from the state of Michigan. The exhibits are linked and can be found at

"This has been a great opportunity to collaborate with my colleague Geoff Smith at Ohio State," says Daub, head of the Special Collections Library. "We both have strong collections, but there are many ways in which our libraries supplement each other."

Although famous for their athletic rivalries, OSU and U-M cooperate and complement each other in many areas in the academic arena. One of these areas is their library holdings and services. Both are prestigious research libraries, with Michigan's holdings approaching 8 million volumes campus wide and Ohio State's collection numbering close to 6 million volumes. Both are listed among the top 25 public universities nationwide in the annual rankings of U.S. News & World Report, and both are the premier universities in their respective states.

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