(In celebration of the University Archives’ upcoming 50th Anniversary in 2015, we bring you “The Twelve Days of Buckeyes”. This is day four in a series of 12 blog posts highlighting the people who were instrumental in the creation and growth of the Archives.)

Cake made for the University's Centennial Celebration, 1970

The University’s centennial celebration cake, 1970

When you are planning a party, you always make sure that you have everything ready before it starts, right? In the case of a regular party, you see that you have enough food, beverages, plates, napkins, etc.

Same thing with the University’s centennial celebration in 1970, only in this case it had to make sure it had the historical papers, photos and artifacts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding in 1970. Five years earlier, in 1965, the first University Archivist, Bruce Harding, was hired; a professional archivist was needed to properly manage the historical records as the University prepared to show off the legacy of its first 100 years. Particularly, photos were important, as they offered the basis of the “The First Hundred Years” book that was widely distributed for the event.

Centennial celebration container

Centennial celebration container

Coincidentally, as the University used the Archives to help it display its many historical legacies, the process of celebrating produced much-needed – and now often used – historical documents to be housed at the Archives. For instance, many OSU departments created centennial histories, which remain key resources for those doing administrative historical research.

And the celebration produced its own historical record: Not only does the Archives retain the various reports, proposals and other materials documenting the planning process, but it has a lot of really cool artifacts that demonstrate the way the University celebrated, such as a porcelain whiskey container with images of Orton Hall, Ohio Stadium and University Hall on it (at left).

Just an FYI: The University celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2020. It’s never too early to plan a party!