Exhibits

All In: The University in the Great War

All In: The University in the Great War

In response to the escalation of the war in Europe the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees issued the following on March 26, 1917:

“Resolved, That the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh place all the available resources of the University which the Government of the United States may require, in case of threatened or actual war, at the disposal of the Government.”

With this resolution, the University of Pittsburgh began its work in support of the war effort just a few weeks before the U.S. officially entered the war. University faculty, staff and students in the sciences volunteered and were assigned to tasks in support of our government’s efforts.

Link to American Left Ephemera Collection Exhibit Web Site

American Left Ephemera Collection

The material on this Web site emanates from the personal collection of ephemera accumulated over a 35-year period by Dr. Richard J. Oestreicher, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. The collection emphasizes ephemeral items (i.e., made for one time or brief usage and then likely to be discarded) from the 1890s to the present and includes periodicals, photographs, letters, pamphlets, books, posters, flyers, labels, pins and other objects.

While the majority of these items were produced by the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA), Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), or organizations linked to them, the collection also includes material from a wide variety of other organizations and movements as well as from unaffiliated activists and radical intellectuals. The collection now resides at the University's Archives & Special Collections department.

Link to the Audubon’s Birds of America at the University of Pittsburgh Web Site

Audubon's Birds of America at the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is fortunate to own one of the rare, complete sets of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. It is considered to be the single most valuable set of volumes in the collections of the University Library System (ULS). Indeed, only 120 complete sets are known to exist.

While Audubon was creating Birds of America, he was also working on a companion publication, namely, his Ornithological Biography. Both of these sets were acquired by William M. Darlington in the mid-nineteenth century and later donated, as part of his extensive library, to the University of Pittsburgh. Recognizing that the Darlington Library includes significant historical materials, such as rare books, maps, atlases, illustrations, and manuscripts, the ULS charted an ambitious course to digitize a large portion of Mr. Darlington’s collection, including the Birds of America.

We are pleased to present our complete double elephant folio set of Audubon’s Birds of America, accompanied by his Ornithological Biography, through this Web site. Together these sets constitute an unprecedented online combination.

Link to the Barry Rosensteel Japanese Print Collection Web Site

Barry Rosensteel Japanese Print Collection

The Barry Rosensteel Japanese Print Collection was donated to the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 by Mr. and Mrs. Barry Rosensteel.  The collection consists of 126 wood block prints.  While the earliest print dates to 1760, most of the prints were produced in the 1800s, while others were created in the 1900s. The work of over forty artists is represented in the collection. 

The images portray Japanese culture through detailed depictions of portraits, landscapes, wildlife and theatrical performances, taking into account some of Japan’s rich history. The prints were produced with high-quality paper. Vegetative color pigments, and, in some cases, ground precious metals, were used as part of the creative process. 

The images selected for digitization constitute a significant portion of the total collection.  The entire collection is preserved and managed in Archives & Special Collections of the University Library System, where all of the original prints are available for research and scholarly studies.  

Link to Bud Harris: A Career in Photography Exhibit

Bud Harris: A Career in Photography

Forrest “Bud” Harris was a commercial and advertising photographer. Born and based in Pittsburgh, Pa., his professional clients included a variety of local corporate and non-profit institutions. Working mainly between the late 1960s and 1990s, Harris captured a multifaceted view of not only the corporate manufacturing world of Koppers and Alcoa, but also the local communities that allowed these institutions to thrive. This exhibit highlights a few of the special moments Bud captured throughout his career.

Darlington Digital Library Web site

Darlington Digital Library

The Darlington Digital Library was created from the first major collection of books, manuscripts, atlases, and maps donated to the University of Pittsburgh. Most of the credit for assembling the Darlington Collection rightly goes to William M. Darlington, an attorney by profession who was born in Pittsburgh in 1815.
By the 1840s, Mr. Darlington had developed a keen interest in colonial American history, especially as it related to Western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley. He initially acquired books on those subjects, but later he would expand his interests to topics associated with the exploration of the Trans-Mississippi, the Far West, and even world history. He also expanded his acquisitions to include atlases and maps, broadsides, manuscripts, lithographs, and works of art, including John James Audubon's Birds of America. 

Link to the Elsie H. Hillman Web site

Elsie H. Hillman Web site

The Elsie H. Hillman website is a gateway and starting point to learn about Elsie Hillman’s amazing life. Elsie Hillman or just “Elsie” to many, played a key role in local, state, and national politics, as well as an everlasting impact on the City of Pittsburgh and the region, through involvement in numerous community, educational, and cultural institutions.

Link to the Fred Wright: Drawing on the American Labor Movement Exhibit Web Site

Fred Wright: Drawing on the American Labor Movement

Fred Wright was an American labor cartoonist and activist.  From 1939 until his death in 1984, Wright created thousands of cartoons reflecting the politics and labor issues of the day, which were featured in newspapers, union publications, and overseas union activism.

He was employed by the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) for nearly thirty-five years and was the only cartoonist at that time to be employed by a specific union.  As the UE staff cartoonist, Wright illustrated their newspaper, the UE News, as well as various other union publications.

This Web site focuses specifically on the series of 177 "Labor History" cartoons created by Wright.  This series was featured in the UE News from 1956-1961 and again in the 1970s.  The Labor History series is part of the Fred Wright Papers, 1953-1986 (UE 13), which belongs to the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE) collection held by the Archives Service Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries

The question mark following “Free at Last?” is appropriate because freedom never came to most of Pennsylvania’s slaves. It came to their children, and then only when they reached the age of 28. And, once obtained, freedom required constant vigilance to sustain legal papers. Although Quakers had been condemning slavery since 1688, and other patriots throughout the North American colonies had joined the condemnation by 1780, it took 85 more years and a bloody civil war to silence the powerful who vociferously defended the practice. After the war’s end, no person of moral and ethical standing has ever defended it again. The documents, stories, and images, and sounds in this exhibition captured those years of transition from what at one point was morally acceptable to what at another was morally abhorrent.

Thumbnail of a George Washington sketch

George Washington Manuscripts

The first shots of the French and Indian War were fired in western Pennsylvania in 1754. They came from troops under the command of a young officer by the name of George Washington. In commemorating the 250th anniversary of the conflict, the University Library System brings together selected manuscripts from its collections that provide insight to the early hostilities of the war. In addition, there are later manuscripts that shed light on the career of that young officer who would become our nation's first President. We have also included two noteworthy broadsides, a manuscript copy of an early map of western Pennsylvania, and an engraving of Washington as a young soldier that has been enhanced by watercolors.
 

Pages