The Archives and Special Collections of Antioch College
Antiochiana began in 1905 as a collection of historical artifacts gathered by librarian Bessie L. Totten (1876-1963), Antioch College class of 1900.
The term “Antiochiana” first appeared in 1898, when The Antiochian, Antioch’s oldest continuously published periodical, first reported a non-circulating section of the library where “not a book is to be found there, whose author is not either an Antiochian or one who has been connected with the college, or whose subject concerns the college history.” Miss Totten, who began her long Antioch career as Assistant Librarian in 1900, recalled how the librarian told her to take special care of these books, and she began to expand the collection. Miss Totten assumed the title of Curator of Antiochiana upon retiring in 1941, which she held until her death in 1963. Remarkably, in its century of existence Antiochiana has had only four directors.
In 1983, the Olive Kettering Library was designated as the official overseer of the Antioch archives, with authority to develop policies for retention and housing of documents and historical materials.
The centerpieces of Antiochiana’s collections are the papers of Antioch College’s two most dynamic past presidents, Horace Mann and Arthur Morgan, and the extensive Bahnsen negative collection.
Antiochiana is located on the second floor of the Olive Kettering Library.
The archives are currently accessible to the public by appointment only. Learn more.
Songs From the Stacks
Historical perspectives and selections from the archives by archivist Scott Sanders.
What follows appeared in the very first issue of the earliest College publication in Antiochiana, not to mention the earliest known account of an Antioch Christmas break.
A selection from Antiochiana’s file of Antioch greeting cards from holidays past.
In a well-timed coda of letters to Horace Mann Jr. in Hawaii, his mother Mary Mann opens with a thought shared then and now by millions and millions of people around the world: the monumental importance ascribed to the outcome of an American presidential election.
After receiving a pair of haranguing entreaties from his mother Mary and his brother George to pack up his expedition to Hawaii and come home to Boston, Horace Mann Jr. received the following account of his youngest brother Benjamin's trip up the...
From the Department of Two Against One comes the following letter from George Combe Mann, Horace Mann, Jr.’s brother. Dated the very same day as the Mary Mann letter from our last installment, taken together they appear to have been written in...
From the department of Mother Knows Best comes Mary Mann, widow of Horace Mann, telling her son Horace Jr. not only what to do but how to live his life. She complains that his last letter took nearly two months to reach her, perhaps not realizing...
One of the best first-hand sources on life at Antioch College in its earliest days was the wife of its first president, Mary Peabody Mann. Her frequent letters home to her family in Boston, held by Antiochiana because of the tireless collecting...
No one, it seems, got as much fun out of an Antioch College Commencement as the local newspaper did. That is if the following article from the Yellow Springs Review is any indication. Their coverage of the graduation exercises for 1896 was spread...
After more than a month battling the New Orleans Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1837, the worst outbreak there in fifteen years, 20 year old medical student Wellington Peabody wrote to his mother. He relates grim details of the death toll on the city’s...
For 100 years, a central component of Antioch’s progressive education model has been its flagship Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program, the first to be established as a core component in an undergraduate liberal arts program.