Celebrate Founders Day 2023 with University Libraries’ Digital Exhibit
For the 2023 Founders Day, celebrated in recognition of the Feb. 18, 1804 establishment of Ohio University, the Libraries is joining in the festivities with an online exhibit titled, “Margaret Boyd 150: OHIO Founders Day 2023. The life and times of Margaret ‘Maggie’ Boyd, first Ohio University woman graduate in 1873,” which is now available for viewing.
Margaret Boyd’s celebration marks 150 years of women graduating from OHIO, and the exhibit examines who she was, what OHIO was like in 1873 and what her time was like as a student. Passages from her diary, photos of the diary and many more pictures of Maggie’s world are featured. A video of how small her diary is also accompanies the exhibit.
Caption: Margaret “Maggie” Boyd was the first woman to graduate from Ohio University in 1873 with a bachelor’s degree. Photo courtesy of Ohio University’s Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections.
Janet Carleton, digital initiatives coordinator and contributor to the digital exhibit, wrote in an email that she and her team wanted to highlight the significant role that Maggie played in OHIO’s history. One of those members is Taylor Burnette, a senior studying journalism as well as the digital collections social media manager and creator of the digital exhibit.
“Founders Day traditionally focuses on the history of the University, of which Maggie is a big part,” Burnette wrote in the email. “We want people to understand more about who Maggie Boyd was and what exactly is in her diary from 1873, and we also want to highlight how valuable of a resource the diary is to have.”
Burnette also wrote that the Founders Day exhibit gave her a chance to look more into Maggie Boyd’s life and story. After working extensively with Boyd’s diary, Burnette mentioned one specific entry from May 25, 1873:
“These longings after something higher and better, will they ever be sadisfied?” Boyd wrote.
Burnette pointed out that the spelling error highlights just how small the diary was and how challenging it must have been to write in. She also mentioned how even with a 150-year difference, the life of a student is still a relatable topic as she compares her time and Boyd’s.
“From the perspective of a senior who is about to graduate in the spring of 2023, I feel a connection to a lot of the experiences and feelings Maggie was having 150 years ago,” Burnette wrote. “That one [entry] really resonates for me, and I think it will for a lot of students who are on the cusp of their post-graduation lives.”
To learn more information, contact Janet Carleton.