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Beyond the Byline

Beyond the Byline: Erma Bombeck’s Story

Feb. 1 – July 26, 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:

  • May 4-5, 11-12, 19, 26-27
  • June 2, 9, 16, 19, 23, 30
  • July 4, 7, 14, 21

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

On Wednesday, April 3 Sharon Short, award-winning novelist and longtime columnist, helped 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 guided participants through short writing exercises to help them bring their voice to the page in a humorous or heartfelt way; hone their own distinctive voice; and gain confidence in themselves as writers. 

This event was hosted the evening prior to the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop.



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