From Woody's Couch

Our Playbook on OSU History

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Searching the Alumni Magazine and the Lantern online

The University Archives is excited to announce the release of the alumni magazine online archives.  We have digitized the magazine from its creation in 1909 until 1979.  Later issues are currently in the process of being scanned and will be available soon.

The alumni magazine is located with the Lantern at  For more information on how to search the site, please see our previous post about searching the Lantern.

You can limit your searching between the publications by clicking on the “All titles” button under “Filter your search”

You can then check or un-check the title you would like to search within.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Scrapbook provides insights to early student life

Esther McGinnis Scrapbook, 1915

Today, college scrapbooks simply contain photos of one participating in various university events, friends hanging around on the weekends, and maybe a graduation cap tassel or diploma at the very end. However, the almost 200 page scrapbook that Esther McGinnis made to commemorate her time at the Ohio State University may not contain any photos of herself, but tells us much more.

Makio 1915

McGinnis started at Ohio State in the fall of 1911 as a Home Economics major and was actively involved throughout the Ohio State community during her undergraduate career. The journey through her scrapbook begins with the various organizations that she participated in during her four years. The Young Women’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) appears to have been a major organization during McGinnis’ collegiate years.

YWCA Membership Card

Her membership card stating her affiliation and fee of one dollar to join is one of the first items glued into the book with a news article about her appointment as treasurer. She also belonged to the Philomathean Literary Society, one of the oldest existing literary societies among universities. Her scrapbook contains her invitation to join and several invitations to attend events held by the group. Additionally, as a member of the Women’s Glee Club she cut out Lantern news articles about her acceptance and their concerts that followed.

Athletic Tags, c. 1911

During McGinnis’ time at Ohio State she also participated in quite a few organizations pertaining to her major, home economics. She was a member of the Home Economics Club, inducted into Phi Upsilon Lambda – a national home economics honorary, andworked as a student assistant in the Home Economics department.

Dance card, 1912

While this scrapbook is significantly dated, it is similar to today’s scrapbooks by what it contains next. The first half of the book reads like a yearbook mainly because it involves her inclusion in school activities, while the second half of the book is more about the various events she participated in outside of her organizations. One such activity is a Co-Ed prom she attended with Dorothy Griggs in 1913 at The Armory. Inside the scrapbook McGinnis attached a dance card, which lists the dances followed by the name of whomever she danced with. In addition, there are tags that were used for various athletic events around campus with captions underneath them such as, “Girls Basket Ball Tournament.”

Valentine c. 1911

Continuing to flip through the pages will allow one to see all the parties, luncheons, plays, and concerts that McGinnis attended by means of invitations, playbills, tickets, and programs glued inside. One page we found to be interesting within the scrapbook was a cut-out heart valentine that reads “’E’ is for Esther, Please don’t molest her.” While we may not know the context behind it, this clever rhyme allows us to think about a different time in history and what the valentine could have meant to her at the time. Whether it is an inside joke among friends or a gift she received, we may never know but this is what makes the scrapbook intriguing and an asset to our collection at the archives.

The rest of McGinnis’ scrapbook is filled of news clippings about what was going on around campus. While some of these articles acknowledged her induction into an organization or her tryouts for the Glee Club, most of them were just current events or updates on individuals’ lives. Many were about new faculty and staff, engagement and event announcements, event recaps, and the occasional news clipping about Dr. Thompson; such as the Christmas greeting that he wrote in 1914.

Alumni Magazine, 1951

This scrapbook contains the memories and moments that Esther McGinnis wanted to remember beyond her days at Ohio State. In doing so, Esther provided the archives with an inside story of what the life of an Ohio State student was like at the beginning of the 20th century. It highlights the events that took place, what students valued and found to be of importance, and gives us the chance to learn about Ohio State from a new, fascinating perspective.

As for Esther McGinnis, she continued on to receive her master’s in nutrition at Columbia University and her Ph.D in child development at University of Minnesota, but eventually returned to the Ohio State University. In 1951, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree was granted upon her at the Ohio State University and the following year she became a professor in the Home Economics department at Ohio State. She was the member of several honorary societies within her discipline and the author of many books as well. Her scrapbook will remain in the University’s collection to allow our patrons to enjoy it as much as we have!

Poetry brings the war to Ohio State

This blog post is part of a World War I series.  Throughout 2017,  we will be posting student blogs relating to Ohio State and its involvement in the war.

Inspired by the legacies of Homer, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Walt Whitman, poets of the Great War wrote verse that recorded their experiences on the front. By reading war poems, those who were lucky enough to stay home could understand and imagine the perspectives of the soldiers. Some of these poems were published in The Lantern, coordinating with Professor Joseph Villiers Denney’s research and lectures on the subject.

Featured here are a few of the poems that were published in The Lantern. These poems, as well as the others published in The Lantern, are fairly simple. They have mass appeal and avoid confusing symbols and indulgent imagery. Rather, these poems avoid a complex rhyme scheme, consisting mostly of literal language and including motifs of nationalist symbols. Ohio State Professor of Journalism Osman C. Hooper focused on the songs of the Liberty Bell, appealing to patriotic American readers. Hooper writes to the Liberty Bell, desperate for its song to bring peace and solace to the world. This poem, published in Columbus in 1916, expresses the idealist and isolationist mindset that occupied most Americans. Since these fresh poets did not feel the need to follow traditional expectations or standards, World War I poetry is unorthodox and unique. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrea of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces wrote a poem titled In Flanders’ Fields about the dead lying in open fields. Inspired to write an answer to this poem, a Columbus librarian, C.B. Galbreath, penned a poem of the same name. Galbreath honored those who have fallen in Flanders’ Fields, comforting the Lieutenant Colonel. By interacting with a soldier on the front, Galbreath was able to bring the war home. When these poems were written the United States had yet to join the war so these poems allowed readers to connect with the conflict overseas. This conversational poem is consistent with other WWI poems that transform traditional poetry to more casual and playful. By not following specific rhythm, length or composition requirements, these poems are able to achieve great diversity. This broad range of poems and poets provided Joseph Denney with vast material to use in his upcoming lectures and essays.

After graduating from University of Michigan in 1885 and a short stint as a journalist and high school principal, Joseph Villiers Denney came to Ohio State in 1891 as an associate professor of rhetoric. In three short years, Denney was promoted to full professor. Over the next forty years, Denney made his mark on the university, performing a variety of roles. His position was constantly evolving as he moved from professor to Secretary of the Faculty to, eventually, Dean of the College of Arts, Philosophy and Science. Denney’s experience in a wide array of roles at the university made him well known and beloved by the faculty and students. Much of the work throughout his career was published in a variety of outlets, spreading across the country and occasionally across seas. In 1918, when Denney concluded his research on war poetry, he made the rounds across campus, visiting various clubs and lecturing around the city.

Joseph Denney, 1926

In 1918, Denney published his paper titled “War and Poetry” in The Ohio State University Monthly. He argued that the ideals for which the Great War was fought also made their way into poetry. Great advancements of the 20th century improved lives and inspired people to live more intensely. This new ferocity for life is evident in the poems of the Great War. Not only does their previous life give soldiers something to fight for on the battlefield but it also provides comfort and nostalgia while reminiscing in down time. Professor Denney writes that the War expanded the ordinary man’s senses, augmenting the sensation of life and soldiers captured these phenomena in the verses of the War.

Regardless of the greatness or longevity of the verses, poems of the Great War succeeded in communicating the experiences of war to those left at home. Denney argues that this literature is essential to bonding a nation’s population. This poetry generates understanding and enthusiasm, thus uniting the people of a nation. As the students of the University and people of Columbus were reading these verses and hearing Denney’s lectures, they were certainly bonded over the poetry of the Great War.

Written by Tyler Osborne.

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