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Beyond the Byline

Upcoming Exhibit
Beyond the Byline: Erma Bombeck’s Story

Feb. 1 – June 15, 2024

Stuart and Mimi Rose Gallery, first floor of Roesch Library, University of Dayton

Free and open to the public

Erma Bombeck (1927–1996) was a trailblazing humor writer, bestselling author and syndicated columnist who found and developed her writing voice as a University of Dayton student. In this engaging exhibit, her multifaceted life and legacy are told through the Erma Bombeck Papers, including correspondence, notes, photographs and even her typewriter. Bombeck’s witty observations and roles of writer, housewife, feminist, humorist, mother, activist, philanthropist, columnist and pioneer are inseparably linked and continue to connect us to her story.

Plan Your Visit

Please check Roesch Library’s building hours before visiting.

Visitors need a University of Dayton ID to enter the Roesch Library building after 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and after 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Beyond the Byline will be closed:

  • Feb. 24
  • March 16-17, 23, 29-31
  • May 4-5

This exhibit is a self-guided experience and is appropriate for all ages.

In general, it should take about 45 minutes to view the exhibit. Plan to arrive at least an hour before closing time.

Familiarize yourself with accessibility assistance in Roesch Library.



If you are visiting on a weekday, a parking pass is required. For a free parking pass, drive through the main campus entrance on Stewart Street just east of Brown Street and follow the signs to visitor parking. Stop at the visitor center, and an attendant will issue a parking pass. The closest library entrance to lots A, D and P is on the ground floor (the Learning Teaching Center). B Lot is closest to the main entrance of Roesch Library. 

More information about visitor and event parking is available on UD’s website.


Related Events
Opening Event and Dessert Reception with Gina Barreca

On Thursday, Feb. 8 Gina Barreca, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English Literature at the University of Connecticut and humorist, kicked off the opening of the Erma Bombeck archives exhibit with an inspiring and funny address. Guests then enjoyed a dessert reception featuring recipes clipped by Bombeck.

Watch the recording

Download the dessert recipes

Download photos and quotes featured at the event

Barreca is the author of 10 books, including the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White … But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor; Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League; and It’s Not That I’m Bitter … : Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World. She has been a keynote speaker and faculty member at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop many times.

You Can Write, Too: Finding Your Voice

A Writing Workshop with Sharon Short

Registration is full; join the waitlist below.

3–5 p.m. Wednesday, April 3

The Collab (Room 240) of Roesch Library, University of Dayton

Do you ever stare at your blank computer screen or at a blank page, filled with the desire to write, yet stymied about where to start — or even review something you’ve already written and wonder how to make it better?

Learn how to set yourself free of your writing fears (or at least control them) and find your own compelling writing voice, just like Erma Bombeck did when a University of Dayton English professor told her, “You can write!”

Award-winning novelist and longtime columnist Sharon Short will help writers of all experience levels learn writing tips and techniques to dig down to the good stuff: a unique point of view that will help writers bring their experiences and stories to the page in a way that will connect with readers. Using examples from Bombeck’s columns as writing prompts, Short will guide you through short writing exercises that will help you bring your voice to the page in a humorous or heartfelt way; hone your own distinctive voice; and gain confidence in yourself as a writer. You can write, too!

Join the Waitlist
Related News
President 02.12.24

Erma Bombeck devotees are every bit as passionate as Dayton Flyer fans I discovered at the opening of a new exhibit at Roesch Library that celebrates the humorist’s life and work.

Read more

The University of Dayton’s popular Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is sold out, but writers and Erma aficionados can participate in a number of free events leading up to the April 4-6 workshop.

Read more

A new exhibit in Roesch Library will celebrate the life and legacy of Erma Bombeck (1927–1996), trailblazing humor writer, bestselling author and syndicated columnist who found and developed her writing voice as a UD student.

Read more

Beth Nevarez loves discovering the story behind the story. A public historian who spent days combing through the Erma Bombeck Collection at the University of Dayton, Nevarez quickly realized the dual nature of the trailblazing humorist.

Read more
Features 03.09.22

A gift from the family of one of America’s funniest women, the collection of Erma Bombeck finds its home at the University of Dayton Libraries.

Read more

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