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 is located on the 5th floor of Alden Library. Before visiting, it is recommended that you contact the Mahn Center at 740.593.2710 to make sure that the materials you wish to consult are available. It also recommended that you make an appointment using the form linked below.

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.

Appointment Requests

The Mahn Center offers appointments by advance arrangement both within and outside of its hours.

Some collections or resources may only be available by appointment.

To request an appointment please read the following and complete the request form:

  • Requests for appointments must be made at least one week in advance.
  • Requestors will be contacted via email by a Mahn staff member if the appointment request has been accepted and confirmed.
  • Only confirmed appointments will be honored.

Request an appointment

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.