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Collection Descriptions

The Slack Research Collections


Comprised of the individually named special collections
of library materials. Included in the research collection,
numbering 35,000 books and 28,000 manuscripts,
are the following:

Cutler Collection
Dawes Collection
Harry Philip Fischer Collection
Hildreth Collection
Stephen Durward Hoag Collection
Marietta College Archives
Marietta College Library Art Collection
Manuscripts and Documents of the Ohio Company of Associates
Manuscript Collection
Rufus Putnam Papers
Rare Book Collection
Charles Goddard Slack Collection
Rodney M. Stimson Collection


The Cutler Collection, numbering more than 1,500 manuscripts, contains the correspondence and papers of Ephraim Cutler (1767-1853) and of his son, William Parker Cutler (1812-1889). These two men, son and grandson respectively of Manasseh Cutler, played prominent roles in the legislative, economic, and educational growth of Ohio. The donor of the collection, Mrs. Arthur G. Beach, great-great-granddaughter of Manasseh Cutler, was the wife of Arthur G. Beach, author of A Pioneer College: The Story of Marietta, published in 1935, and professor of English at Marietta College from 1913 to 1934.

The Dawes Collection consists of 132 autographed letters and documents of internationally known men and women of the past 400 years. The collection was presented to the College in 1938 by General Charles Gates Dawes, Class of 1884, who secured it while he was serving in France during World War I. Included are autographs of world-famous statesmen, artists, authors, monarchs, musicians, philosophers, and scientists. See Finding Aid

The Harry Philip Fischer Collection of photographs contains 14,000 plates and films of local scenes and a collection of photographs of steamboats. Mr. Fischer, a graduate of Marietta Academy, Class of 1896, was a well-known photographer in Marietta from 1901 to 1949. Donors were Mrs. Daisy Fischer and Richard Philip Fischer.

The Hildreth Collection consists mainly of the nine bound volumes of letters, documents, and memorabilia of Samuel Prescott Hildreth (1783-1863), Marietta physician, geologist, botanist, and amateur historian. The volumes deal primarily with the early history of the Ohio Valley from 1787-1847 and with natural history and geology. The three volumes of meteorological records, part of the data from Dr. Hildreth's 40 years of weather observation, are unique for that time. Of unusual interest are his journals of disease, 1831-1854. Some of the material is included in two of his publications, Pioneer History, published in 1848, and Biographical and Historical Memoirs of the Early Pioneer Settlers of Ohio, published in 1852. Also included are books from Dr. Hildreth's own library.

The Stephen Durward Hoag Collection of photographs of people and scenes of the Marietta area represents a pictorial history not only of mid twentieth- century Marietta, but also contains reprints of negatives taken by photographers of an earlier era. A member of the Class of 1923, Mr. Hoag was a well-known Marietta-area photographer. The collection was greatly enlarged in 1984 by Mr. Hoag's private collection of negatives.

The Marietta College Archives contain the history of the College, of the city of Marietta, and of Washington County. They include financial records of the College from 1835 on, correspondence of past presidents, student publications, speeches, and articles. The Helen Hill Sloan Papers, presented in 1963 by Miss Marion B. Sloan, Class of 1933, are a part of the archives and consist of manuscripts and documents of interest to local genealogists.

The Marietta College Library Art Collection consists of paintings and art objects, including portraits of members of the Dawes family.

The Manuscripts and Documents of the Ohio Company of Associates is a collection of documents, records, and letters dealing with the Ohio Company. Included are the original book of minutes of the directors, the record book of deeds, the survey plats, and the field notes of the surveyors. The collection was deeded to Marietta College by the late Mrs. Albert B. White, a descendant of Nahum Ward, the pioneer who owned a controlling interest in the Company's assets. Manuscripts and Documents of the Ohio Company of Associates digital collection

The Manuscript Collection continues to grow in importance. In its collection are the papers of Edward Bosworth Manley (1904-1982), Class of 1926 and Arctic explorer; of the family of Francis Macmillen (1885-1973), Marietta native and world-famous violinist; and of the family of Nahum Ward (1785-1860), influential Marietta resident.

The Putnam Papers is a collection than includes the correspondence, documents, diaries, and memorandums of General Rufus Putnam (1738-1824), Revolutionary War Army officer, superintendent of the Ohio Company of Associates, and surveyor general of the United States. The manuscript collection reflects the hazardous economic, military, and political life of this pioneer era. It was bequeathed to the College by William Rufus Putnam, grandson of General Putnam.

The Rare Book Collection contains volumes dating from 1489. Included are three incunabula, rare dictionaries, 19th century textbooks, and numbers of historical first editions, such as Newton's Opticks. From time to time, as they become items of value, volumes from the regular collection are added to the Rare Book Collection.

The Charles Goddard Slack Collection of historical documents and prints contains more than 250 autographed letters, signed documents, and illustrative prints of persons notable in the history and culture of Marietta College, the city of Marietta, and the Old Northwest Territory. The core of the collection was presented in 1905 by Mr. Slack, Class of 1881, and is supported by endowment funds given by him and by Francis G. Slack (D.Sc. 1951).

The Rodney M. Stimson Collection, deeded to the College in 1900, consists of 19,125 volumes of Americana, rich in the history of the Old Northwest Territory and Ohio, the westward movement, Native American Indians, the Revolutionary and Civil wars, slavery and abolition, personal narratives, almanacs, and books on early travel. Mr. Stimson, Class of 1847, was a lawyer, newspaper editor, and librarian of the state of Ohio (1877-1879), as well as librarian, treasurer, and trustee of Marietta College from 1895 to 1913.