Art in the Archives of Oberlin College
A Selection of Historically Significant Visual Works
Art in the Archives showcases artworks and textiles with deep stories informing Oberlin’s rich history, of early post-secondary coeducation and the admission of Black students, antislavery, education in Asia, leadership in world affairs after World War I, an eclectic and notable built environment, and excellence in teaching and learning on campus. With one exception, a public sculpture, the works featured here are housed in the College Archives. While the Archives is not an art museum, it is the keeper of visual works considered of enduring historical value to the College.
College and university archival collections typically comprise papers, documents, photographs, sound recordings and moving images generated by the College and some of its former presidents, administrators, faculty and students. Some archives also hold objects and works of art related to the history of their institutions, as in Oberlin's case. Over 450 artworks and objects in the Oberlin College Archives can be explored in brief format in the Archives Museum Collection (digital). In Art in the Archives of Oberlin College, selected visual works are presented with historical context and links to related collections and sources. It was launched in January 2021.