Ohio University

Archives & Special Collections

Mahn Center Reading Room

The Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections is the principal repository for rare books, manuscript collections, and the Ohio University archives.  The Mahn Center’s mission is to support the education, research, and creative endeavors of the Ohio University community.  A growing number of our collections are available online through the Digital Archives.  For more information about what we select for digitization, see our Digital Archival Collections Materials Selection and Rights Policy.

The University Archivist also serves as the University’s Records Manager, overseeing retention and destruction standards for University records and limited records storage and destruction services

The Mahn Center, located on the 5th floor of Alden Library, is closed temporarily due to State and University requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic pending further notice.  

Nevertheless, during this suspension of in-person services, Mahn Center staff remains fully committed to helping students, faculty, and other researchers by providing answers to some basic questions, by providing access to our digitized collections, and by providing guidance in how to navigate those digitized collections.

For general information about the Mahn Center and its holdings, and for specific information about Ohio University archives materials, and University records management information, please contact University Archivist Bill Kimok by email at kimok@ohio.edu, or call him at (740) 593-2712 and leave a voice message which includes your name, your question(s), and an email address to which he can respond.

For more specific information about the Mahn Center’s Rare Books and other special collections please contact Special Collections Librarian Miriam Intrator at intrator@ohio.edu, or call her at (740) 597-1771 and leave a voice message which includes your name, your question(s), and an email address to which she can respond.

For more specific information about the Mahn Center’s Photograph collections, please contact Photo Archivist Laura Smith at smithle@ohio.edu, or call her at a (740) 593-0219 and leave a voice message which includes your name, your question(s), and an email address to which she can respond.

Locating and Using Mahn Center Materials

Descriptions of the collections in the Mahn Center can be found by searching the ALICE Catalog.

Finding aids for the manuscripts and university archives materials can be found by searching the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository.

While the Mahn Center staff welcome queries about collection holdings, staff are unable to conduct genealogical and other research within collections for patrons.

Permission must be granted to use materials from the collections in publications, public presentations, or productions. Contact William Kimok.

Please see our Mahn Center Reading Room and Materials Use Policy for more information.

Citing Materials from the Mahn Center Collections

The Mahn Center requests that items be cited as:

[Collection Name], Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries.

Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn

Jean R. and Robert E. Mahn

The Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections is named for Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn, who left a lasting legacy of devotion to Ohio University Libraries.

In 2002, then University Librarian Julia Zimmerman announced a major gift to the Ohio University Libraries from Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn, and the Archives and Special Collections Department was renamed in the couple’s honor.  The Department’s Reading Room had previously been named for Robert E. Mahn.

Robert E. Mahn had a long and outstanding career as an administrator at Ohio University, stretching from the late 1930s to the late 1980s.   His wife, Jean (Rohde) Mahn, made Athens, Ohio her home for only a few years, but nonetheless has become an active member of the community.

University Libraries remain grateful for the generosity of the Mahn family.

Supporting the Mahn Center

The majority of our collections are available thanks to the generosity of donors and friends.  Learn more about how to support the Mahn Center with a financial or collection gift.