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Special Collections and Archives

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A New Home for Wright State University’s Special Collections and Archives

When the family of former Ohio governor and Dayton Daily News founder James M. Cox decided to donate his manuscript collection to Wright State University in 1967, the university’s Special Collections and Archives was born.

Fifty years later, Wright State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives are entering a new era and hopefully, one day soon, a new facility. Currently housed in two separate buildings of the Wright State University Libraries, we have run out of adequate space for our world-class collections.

Scholars and aviation experts come to Wright State from around the globe to see our renowned Wright Brothers Collection, first-edition works by Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, the archives of the Dayton Daily News, and countless other historic treasures.

To properly preserve and protect these priceless memories of our past, we need to relocate our Special Collections and Archives to a new home. Our plan is to move into 30,000 square feet of space in the former corporate headquarters of the Wright-Patt Credit Union at 2455 Presidential Drive. Located directly across from Wright State’s campus, our new location provides high visibility from Colonel Glenn Highway and easier access for the general public and school groups to explore the history of the Dayton region.

The new home for Special Collections and Archives will include:

  • A reading room where students, scholars, and visitors may examine historic materials in an up close and personal way
  • An exhibit gallery housing rotating exhibitions that highlight the depth and breadth of our collections
  • A conference room for lectures, meetings, and special events
  • A classroom to welcome area school children and students from Wright State’s public history graduate program
  • A preservation lab, processing room, clean room, and exhibit prep room that will give staff the tools and space they need to adequately care for our region’s history

The facility will also provide the proper storage and climate control to preserve our historic materials for generations to come.

Above all else, it will bring history to life and celebrate the legacies of the trailblazers and pioneers who shaped the history of our region and beyond.

To help create the new home for Wright State University’s Special Collections and Archives, please contact:

Bill Bigham
Interim Vice President for Advancement
(937) 775-3694
bill.bigham@wright.edu

 

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Conceptual Plans and Renderings