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About this collection

Archival Services of University Libraries collects, preserves, and provides access to important historical resources that primarily document the history of The University of Akron and the region.  As part of our mission, Archival Services digitizes select historical resources for preservation and access purposes and makes them available online to promote the collections and make them more readily available to a broader audience.  Our digital collections have focused on our core collecting areas, which includes the history of The University of Akron, Akron and Summit County, the rubber and polymer industry, lighter-than-air flight, Ohio canals, the book and print culture, and the B-26 Marauder and 9th Air Force. 


Please note that while some of our digital objects are in the public domain and therefore are not subject to copyright restriction, the majority of our digital images are protected by copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). The University of Akron makes these items available for personal use for private study, scholarship, or research. Any other use of the materials including publications, exhibitions, or productions is prohibited without written permission of The University of Akron Archival Services.  If you have questions about our digital collections or need to obtain copyright permission please contact Archival Services by phone at 330-972-6253 or by e-mail at    


Please browse or search our online collections, which are listed and briefly described below.  We encourage you to check back periodically as new collections and materials constantly are being added.  


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World War I 



American Legion Post 209:  Goodyear Honor Roll files

During the First World War, Goodyear sent letters to deployed employees and their families asking for photographs of the soldiers in order to make an Honor Roll book of their servicemen.  The Goodyear Honor Roll Files were later donated to Post 209, as many of Goodyear’s employee veterans had joined the American Legion.



George D. Vallen Papers

The papers of George Dales Vallen Senior document George’s experiences during World War I.  His diary and correspondence covers the nine months before his enlistment, his time in the American Expeditionary Forces until he returned home on April 13, 1919.



World War II


Archives of the Ninth Air Force Association  

The Archives of the Ninth Air Force Association at the University of Akron Archival Services includes the official records of the Ninth Air Force Association (9AFA) including newsletters, membership lists, reunion programs, and photographs. The collection also contains unit histories and personal papers such as diaries, photographs, and oral histories of individuals who served in the Ninth Air Force. The materials in the collection relate predominantly to World War II.


B-26 Marauder Archives  

The B-26 Marauder Archives of The University of Akron Archival Services consists of approximately 250 cubic feet of historic materials that document the important contribution made by the Martin B-26 Marauder and the men who operated and maintained them in World War II. Historical materials include photographs, letters, diaries, mission reports, and other materials. The archives also contain the official records of numerous Marauder reunion groups including newsletters, membership lists, reunion programs, and photographs. Published materials including bombardment group and squadron histories, personal accounts, and books and pamphlets are also included.



Buddies of the Ninth Association Newsletters: 

The Buddies of the Ninth Association (BOTNA) is a British-based non-profit group composed of aviation enthusiasts and others, all of whom share a special affinity for the Ninth U.S. Army Air Force of World War II.  Having become a formal organization in early 1981, its efforts became far-reaching due to the work of its members, both veterans and non-veterans.  In addition to meetings and magazine publications, many members pay tribute to those who gave their lives at the annual Memorial Day service at the American Military Cemetery in Madingley, Cambridgeshire, England, where BOTNA provides a wreath and individuals present personal floral tributes.



Canal Society of Ohio Collection

The Canal Society of Ohio (CSO) is a volunteer organization, founded in 1961, dedicated to recreation, education, research and preservation related to Ohio’s historic canals.  The Canal Society of Ohio Collection consists of over 100 books and approximately 30 cubic feet of archival materials dating from 1830 to the present, including documents, correspondence, subject files, photographs, publications, maps, drawings, and reports that document the planning, construction, use, operation, and rebuilding of canals in Ohio.  The collection also contains tour guides, newsletters, meeting minutes, files, and reports of the Canal Society. 



Civil War Letters

In commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, Archival Services of University Libraries digitized and made available online a selection of Civil War era letters from our holdings.

William McCollam (1831-1896) was a carpenter from Uhrichsville, Ohio who served for 100 days with the 161st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) of the 70th Battalion during the American Civil War and later became captain in the Ohio National Guard. His papers consist of 0.2 cubic feet of correspondence between McCollam and his wife Callie that document his military career and the life of other soldiers from Uhrichsville.

Lieutenant Colonel John J. Polsley served in the Shenandoah Valley during the American Civil War in the 8th Regiment Virginia Volunteers, which later became the 7th Regiment West Virginia Cavalry. Polsley was captured in 1863 and sent to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. He was released six months later as part of a prisoner exchange and rejoined his unit where he served until the end of the war.  The papers consist of 0.5 cubic feet of primarily correspondence from Polsley to his wife Ellen (Nelly) S. Donnally Polsley. He wrote of camp life and battles as well as his thoughts on war. Also included are letters to his father, Judge Daniel H. Polsley.

Joseph Sailor (1824-1863), a tanner from DeGraff, Ohio, served as a private in the Union Army in Company E of the 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War.  His letters consist of 0.5 cubic feet of primarily correspondence to his wife and parents from 1862 until his death in 1863 from a wound received in a skirmish near Monticello, Kentucky.  The letters detail daily life of the Union soldier in camp, prosecution of the war in Kentucky, and medical practice during the Civil War. 

Alvin Coe Voris (1827-1904) of Akron, Ohio served in the Ohio Legislature and then as commander of the 67th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War.  He rose to the rank of Brevet Major General commanding a Brigade and then a Division. The letters consist of 0.75 cubic feet of correspondence between Voris and his wife Lydia from 1860 through 1865 that relate the environment of the Ohio State legislature just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War as well as his experiences as a soldier and officer in the Union Army.

Sidney Edgerton (1818-1900) was an abolitionist and a Republican who served as a U.S. Congressional Representative for the Akron area from 1859 to 1863. He later was chief justice for Idaho (1863-1864) and the first territorial governor in Montana (1865-1866.)  He then returned to Akron at age forty-seven where he stayed, practicing law, for the remainder of his life.  These letters are especially useful to researchers for their coverage of the Civil War period in both Washington, DC and Akron.  Information about the United States’ westward expansion can also be found here.


Daniel Guggenheim Airship Institute

The Daniel Guggenheim Airship Institute was operated by the Municipal University of Akron from 1929 - 1949. As part of the College of Engineering, the institute provided students with research opportunities relating to lighter-than-air flight, heavier-than-air flight, and meteorology. The records consist of correspondence, technical reports, and administrative files.



Edward C. Shoman Papers

Edward C. Shoman was the marketing manager of big tire sales at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. Included in the papers are business correspondence, reports, and personal notes from his 34 years at Goodyear in addition to numerous Goodyear-related photographs, slides, video tapes, and published materials that mostly document Goodyear’s off-the-road tires.



Frank B. Baldwin Papers

Frank B. Baldwin was an employee of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company under their flight operations department and later their astronautics and undersea warfare sales department. He also served as a pilot and personal aide to Paul W. Litchfield, president and later CEO and Chairman of Board of Goodyear. Included in the papers are photograph albums, logs, and subject files from his 34 years at Goodyear in addition to numerous Goodyear-related film strips, slides, published materials, and artifacts.


George S. Dales Family Papers

The Dales family had its roots in Akron before 1876 when George S. Dales Sr. opened the George S. Dales Company on the corner of Howard and Mill Street. For the next twenty years, the company built its fortune on the sale of jewelry and musical instruments.  This small, but diverse collection contains 39 glass plate negatives as well as one, small positive plate.  The scope of the plates ranges from several personal photos of the family to that of Akron. There are eight photos depicting the 8th or 10th Ohio Infantry marching out of Akron to serve in the Spanish-American War. These plates depict Akron as it was in 1898 including many of the churches near the site of the parade on Main Street. Also shown are City Building and Columbia Hall, the two structures destroyed during the riots of August 1900.


·         Glass Plate images


Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Records

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Records contains approximately 1,000 cubic feet of correspondence, annual reports, financial reports, news releases, advertisements, audio-visual materials, photographs, scrapbooks, and publications that document the history of the company. The Photographic Negatives and Prints Series includes roughly 500,000 images that visually chronicle the rich and diverse history of the largest and most influential rubber company in the world.  Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) allowed Archival Services to digitize and make available online all 23,000 images from 1912-1951. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH.  



 Louis Baus Canal Photograph Collection

The Louis Baus Canal Photograph Collection at The University of Akron Archival Services consists of 423 negatives of the Ohio & Erie Canal, Miami & Erie Canal, and connecting waterways from 1854 to 1933.  The majority of images were photographed by Louis Baus (1875-1949), a Cleveland, Ohio photographer, while others were acquired by Baus from his predecessors.  Included in the collection are images of canal boats, crews and passengers, and various locks, businesses, and homes along the canalways.  Digitization of the Baus Collection was sponsored in part through the generous support of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association. 



Opie Evans Papers

The Opie Evans Papers at The University of Akron Archival Services consist of approximately 40 cubic feet of archival materials documenting the life and work of African-American photographer, publisher, and businessman Opie Evans of Akron, Ohio. The papers include hundreds of photographic prints and negatives taken or collected by Evans during his career that provide a rich visual history of the African-American community in Akron and surrounding areas during the middle of the twentieth century. The images mostly depict African-American churches, workers, personalities, and social and fraternal organizations and events. They also capture the 1964 and 1967 elections and the civil rights movement in Akron.


Theodore J. “Ted” Dettling Collection

Theodore J. “Ted” Dettling (1904-1992) was a co-owner of Dettling Bros. Floral & Seed Company in Akron, Ohio (later known as Dettling Florists). A canal and local history enthusiast, Dettling was one of the founders of the Canal Society of Ohio and served on the board of the Summit County Historical Society for over 20 years. With the Canal Society of Ohio, Dettling researched the history and route of the Ohio and Erie Canal and wrote extensively on his findings. He also led tours of canal sites throughout Ohio and collected a large amount of canal-related materials including books, documents, maps, and photos.


·         Glass plate images




University of Akron

The University of Akron Photographs visually document the history and development of The University of Akron, from its beginnings as Buchtel College in 1870 until its modern-day status as a state university. The photographs include photographic prints and negatives that depict individual students and faculty members as well as special events, student life, buildings, and the campus landscape. Images of academic departments and administrative units are also included.


The Buchtelite is the independent student-operated newspaper of The University of Akron and its predecessors Buchtel College and The Municipal University of Akron. First published in 1889, the newspaper covers campus news and includes sections such as opinions, arts and life, sports, comics, puzzles, and classifieds.



Eileen E. Bluhm Scrapbook

Eileen Bluhm was the Vice President of Communications at the Akron Regional Development Board from 1975 to 1995 and was considered one of Akron’s “chief civic boosters.”  She was involved in a number of local organizations including the Ohio Ballet, Akron Zoo, and the Akron Art Museum, to name  a few.  She was also a supporter of education and women’s rights. The scrapbook contains photographs, articles, awards, and newspaper clippings that document her life and work in the Akron area.



Jorgen Petersen Diaries

Jorgen Petersen was a canal boat captain who hauled goods up and down the Ohio Canal in the 1860s-1870s.  During this time, he recorded his day-to-day activities in diaries highlighting his life on the Canal.



John S. Knight Papers

John S. Knight (1894-1981) was a journalist and newspaper publisher from Akron, Ohio who inherited the Akron Beacon Journal from his father and parlayed it into a newspaper conglomerate known as Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Inc. His papers consist primarily of material relating to his life and career including correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks, “Editor's Notebooks,” newspaper clippings, photographs, phonotapes, and memorabilia.



Talalay Foam Rubber Archive

Joseph Talalay and his sons, Leon and Anselm, were integral players in the history of rubber. They developed and perfected a process to make latex sponge rubber that was more sustainable than other processes also developed in the mid 1900’s. Much of their work occurred at the B.F. Goodrich Company in Akron, Ohio during the 1950s and ‘60s. The process was used by over 20 countries across the world and has continued to be used to create mattresses, pillows and other products comprised of foam rubber. The archive contains material relating to the Talalay Foam Rubber Process and the Talalay Family.


Alan “AirshipAl” Gross Collection

Alan “AirshipAl” Gross is an airship aficionado and collector of all things airship who helped found two airship companies.  The collection documents various airships including the Goodyear Blimp and includes press kits, flight manuals, drawings, books, journals, newspaper clippings, audio/video, musical scores, and artifacts.

AirshipAl photograph collection



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