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Ten Must-See UD Memorabilia

By Haylee Hunt ’21

One of the most interesting collections in University Archives and Special Collections is its memorabilia collection. You may have seen some framed historic photographs from the collection hanging on the walls in Heritage Coffeehouse, but there is so much more to discover.

With pieces ranging from keychains to coffee mugs, microscopes to trophies, and portraits to basketball tickets, the memorabilia collection is full of objects that showcase UD’s history. Archives staff and student workers have been hard at work inventorying the collection.

To celebrate American Archives Month, here are my 10 favorite pieces of memorabilia. You can click through the gallery below to view them. To see these in person — or to pick your own favorites from the large collection — make an appointment with University Archives by emailing 

Bowler Hats

These bowler hats are a great find because they emphasize the long history of the University of Dayton. These are the kinds of hats that men wore in the early 1900s when walking around campus. (UAM_01H_0033)

School Desk

This item was used at St. Mary’s Institute. Founded in 1850, St. Mary’s Institute was a grade school, a high school and a college before 1920, when it took on the name we all know today. This desk was occupied by students of all ages. (UAM_1H_ 1148) 

Hatchet and Note

Father Raymond A. Roesch, S.M., states in this note that this hatchet was found during the 1971 renovation of the Immaculate Conception Chapel. It was probably used in the construction of the chapel in 1869. (UAM_1H_ 0614)

Sesquicentennial Chair

This decorative chair was created as part of the University of Dayton’s 150th Anniversary celebrations in 2000. A historical image of UD on the chair’s backrest makes it seem nostalgic, although it was made in 2000. (UAM_1H_ 1149)

Football Team Sculpture

This unique item is a wooden sculpture of an early UD football team. This is different from other football portraits because it has 39 players’ faces along with the faces of the coaches affixed to wooden bodies. The names of the players are listed as well. (UAM_011_0680)

Football schedules, 1927-1929

These University of Dayton football schedules from 1927 to 1929 show what football schedules looked like in the 1920s and 1930s. They are quite different from today’s athletic marketing materials. (UAM_004_0039)

Printer’s Block

This printer’s block has an etched plate of Albert Emanuel Hall. It is so fascinating to see some of the art that is presented here on campus. The metallic plate is cut in an irregular shape. (UAM_1T_0171)

Leitz Microscope

This Leitz microscope was manufactured between 1940 and 1941. The accompanying microscope kit has a range of lenses. It is so cool to see the types of items students and faculty used in classrooms and laboratories way before the information age. (UAM_004_0039)

Board of Honor Certificates

These board of honor certificates from 1868-69 were for John Ohmer, signed by Brother Maximin Zehler, S.M., president of St. Mary’s Institute at the time. Zehler was one of the first Marianists sent to the United States from Europe and was among the four Marianists who founded the institute in 1850. It is awesome to know that the University of Dayton Archives has these nostalgic records dating all the way back to the 1800s. (UAM_7_0596)

Letter Sweater

This is included in this display because it is sometimes interesting to see what athletic letter attire at a University used to look like. This D sweater is truly nostalgic and worth seeing as it depicts what a student used to wear. (UAM_7_0515)

— Haylee Hunt of Huber Heights, Ohio, is a junior history major and a student assistant in the University Archives and Special Collections.

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