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Archives & Special Collections

Mahn Center Reading Room

Ask Archives and Special Collections

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.

During the summer, the Mahn Center, located on the 5th floor of Alden Library, is open by appointment only. The Mahn Center staff remains fully committed to helping students, faculty, and other researchers by providing research assistance, and increasing access to digitized collections. 

For questions about our collections or to request assistance with utilizing primary resources in remote instruction please contact the Mahn Center.

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.

Learn about using Mahn Center materials for primary sources by visiting our Researching with Archival & Special Collections Primary Source Materials guide. 

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.

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.