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DDN: Tom Hanks once took something from Dawne Dewey—or did he?

Dawnes Dewey with Tom Hanks

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

Dawne Dewey has been safeguarding our history for decades. 

She’s the head of Special Collections & Archives at Wright State University, home to the largest Wright Brothers Collection in the world as well as millions of records, documents and photographs. 

On the eve of her retirement, Dewey offers an inspiring perspective on the region’s history.

“The one thing that has always struck me about Dayton’s history is that ordinary people, going about their lives, did some pretty extraordinary things.” 

Our Daytonian of the Week says it best in her own words. 

How long have you been the head of Special Collections & Archives at Wright State University? How did you become interested in this field? 

I started working at WSU in April of 1989. I became the head of the Archives in 1997. I will wrap up 31 years of service at the end of May. I grew up loving history. When I went to college, History and Anthropology were my chosen subjects. I was lucky enough to find the graduate program in Public History at WSU and a career in museums and archives. 

If you had to choose one object in the collection you are most fascinated by, what would it be and why? 

That is a tough question. I like it all! There is one very special small autograph album in the Wright Brothers Collection that belonged to the Wright Brothers’ younger sister, Katharine. It is full of handwritten notes from her classmates and dates to 1882.