There is still an opportunity to see an exhibit of rare letters written by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Gwendolyn Brooks and Georgia O’Keeffe from the collections of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of Carlson Library.The exhibit, “Letters of Luminaries: Notable Correspondence in the Collections of the Ward M. Canaday Center,” has been extended through Tuesday, Sept. 30.
“The exhibit has proven to be very popular, so we wanted to give the public more time to see the unique materials on display, especially new students who will be entering UT in August,” said Barbara Floyd, Canaday Center director.
The exhibit contains more than 250 original letters written and signed by famous people, including political leaders, business leaders, intellectuals, artists, reformers, celebrities, authors, sports figures, foreign dignitaries and famous Toledoans.
Also included are books signed by noted individuals and authors. Of particular significance is a rare 1776 first edition of Common Sense by Thomas Paine, the pamphlet that helped to fuel the American Revolution. The book is even rarer because it is signed by Benjamin Franklin.
Also included are autographed books by Maya Angelou, Harper Lee, T. S. Eliot and Langston Hughes, among others.
In addition to the “Letters of Luminaries,” a smaller exhibit titled “Celebrity Sightings” also will remain on display outside the Canaday Center through September.
“Celebrity Sightings” features enlargements of signed photographs of famous people from the Canaday Center’s holdings; these include Orson Wells, Katharine Hepburn, H.G. Wells and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Of note is an enlargement of a photograph taken in Toledo on Sept. 22, 1967, of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was signed by King and given to then-UT President William S. Carlson. It marks the only appearance by King in Toledo when he spoke at a rally at Scott High School.
Also included in this exhibit are copies of pages from scrapbooks maintained by the UT Office of Special Events from 1976 to the early 1990s that document concerts performed in Centennial Hall, now known as Savage Arena. These scrapbook pages include signatures and sentiments from Bob Dylan, Cher, Steve Martin and Bill Cosby, among others.
The free exhibits are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment by calling Floyd at 419.530.2170.