From its founding in 1837, the city of Toledo established its connection to the world by taking as its name that of the ancient Spanish city.
“Greater Toledo: The City in the World,” the new exhibition by the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections, celebrates those global connections by examining the people and organizations from Toledo who have shaped — and been shaped by — the world.The exhibit will open Thursday, Sept. 24, at 2:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of UT’s Carlson Library and is one of several events during the week of the inauguration of Dr. Sharon L. Gaber as The University of Toledo’s 17th president.
The exhibit also marks the first public showing of the original Act to Incorporate the City of Toledo, Ohio, from 1837 and the first minute book of the Toledo City Council dating from April 3 of that year. These items are part of a larger collection of early records of Toledo government that recently were transferred by the city to the Canaday Center for preservation.
Also on display will be the 1872 articles of incorporation for the Toledo University of Arts and Trades, the predecessor to The University of Toledo. Jesup W. Scott, a newspaper publisher and real estate investor, established the University that year because he believed Toledo was destined to become the “future great city of the world.”Gaber and Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson will deliver brief remarks at the opening reception.
“The exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the long connection between the city and the University, and the connection of both to the world,” said Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center and interim director of UT Libraries.
Floyd added, “It also fits in well with the theme of Dr. Gaber’s inauguration: tradition, collaboration and transformation.”
In addition to the rare opportunity to see the founding documents of the city and the University, the exhibit will include other items of note from the Canaday Center’s collection. These include records of the Association of Two Toledos, the oldest sister city relationship in the world. That organization was created in 1931 with the help of UT President Henry J. Doermann. On display will be the original seal of UT that incorporates elements of the coat of arms of Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. To further emphasize the connection between the two Toledos, the motto of the University was written in old Spanish, rather than the more traditional Latin.Members of Toledo Sister Cities Inc. also have loaned items documenting the formal cultural and economic exchange relationships between Toledo and the cities of Poznan, Poland; Szeged, Hungary; and the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.
The exhibit will feature letters from soldiers who fought in foreign wars that reflect on the impact of their overseas experience on their lives. It also will include items that document the global impact of Toledoans, including the guest book from the memorial service for President John F. Kennedy that was held in the American embassy in Moscow by U.S. Ambassador Foy Kohler, who was from Toledo. The guest book includes signatures of all of the Soviet leaders of the time, including Nikita Khrushchev and his wife.
The exhibit concludes with a look at how globalization has impacted Toledo’s economy with documentation of the world markets for goods produced by some of the city’s largest corporations. Included are photographs showing the international reach of one Toledo company that literally took the city’s name around the world — Toledo Scale — as well as items that document the global markets of Toledo’s glass corporations. Also on display are three rare original watercolors from the Willys-Overland Corp. produced at the end of World War II celebrating the role of the Toledo-made Jeep in winning the war.
Also opening Sept. 24 in the art gallery area outside the Canaday Center on the fifth floor of Carlson Library will be the exhibit “Pete Hoffman: A Comic Journey.” The exhibit displays a selection of the original artwork by Toledoan and UT alumnus Pete Hoffman, who produced the nationally syndicated cartoon “Jeff Cobb” from 1957 to 1978. Read more here.
Both exhibits are free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Friday, May 6.
For more information, contact the Canaday Center at 419.530.4480.