Yurt nativity

At the Manger: World Nativity Traditions

Since 1995, the University of Dayton’s Marian Library has presented a selection of its expansive collection of 3,500 Nativity scenes from more than 100 countries, celebrating how people around the world ponder and picture the birth of Christ through many different cultural lenses.

Roesch Library is in the midst of a multi-year renovation; therefore, At the Manger will take place on a smaller scale, running Oct. 22 through Jan. 18.

The Grand Open House, traditionally held the Saturday following Thanksgiving, will not be presented this year.

For the 2018 Advent and Christmas Seasons:

bell ringer

Christmas and No End

This year's Nativity exhibits of the Marian Library will explore a different look—a touch of originality, creativity and magic where culture and religion meet.

How to Go:

Marian Library, seventh floor of Roesch Library
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 22, 2018–Jan. 18, 2019
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1–2
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8–9
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15–16
(closed Nov. 22–25, Dec. 7, Dec. 24–Jan. 1)

Fitz Hall, fourth floor
10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Thursday, Oct. 22, 2018–Jan. 18, 2019
(closed Nov. 22, Dec. 24–Jan. 1)

Parking and group tour information

Free and open to the public

Nativity set by Barbara Trauth

To the Whole World—The Whole Picture

Marian Library Crèche Museum

The signature piece is a 12-foot “merry-go-round” Nativity featuring children who represent 13 cultures from around the world. This Nativity celebrates Jesus’ birth as an event that unites people across borders.

Nativity set made out of clothespins

The Challenge and the Beauty of Culture

Marian Library Gallery

From Korean dolls to Icelandic trolls, these crèches from 20 countries showcase the people who visit the Nativity. Each set demonstrates distinct beauty in all cultures, whether found in clay jars, tents, wooden boxes or tinfoil palaces.

Nativity set

A Matter of Style, Time and Season

Marian Library hallway

Tapestries, paintings, tiles and plates adorn the walls of the seventh-floor hallway approaching the gallery entrance. Diverse styles express the miracle of the Christmas season.

Metal nativity set

Matter Matters; So Does the Artistic Touch

Fitz Hall, fourth floor hallway

Come discover the variety of materials used around the world in making crèches. Many artists use natural resources from their own regions. The techniques and media reflect each culture’s uniqueness.

This display is not located in the Marian Library, but in Fitz Hall on Brown Street. See map.

Additional Exhibits

Nativity set

Gallery Saint John

A Labor of Love and Imagination

Twenty-five years of the Marian Library collecting crèches from around the world.

Noon–3 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays, Oct. 22–Nov. 18

4400 Shakertown Road, Beavercreek, Ohio 

For additional information, visit dayton-gallery-saintjohn.org.

Nativity set

Curran Place, University of Dayton

A Hymn to Life

Celebrating the abundance of life in the one who is the giver of life.

7:30 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays, Nov. 21–Jan. 18

1700 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, Ohio (Formerly known as River Campus)


Parking and Tours

Parking at the university of Dayton

If you are visiting Monday through Friday, 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.

On weekends, visitors may park without a pass in any single letter lot; P Lot is closest to entrance Roesch Library during the renovation; D Lot is closest to Fitz Hall.



Free tours of the Marian Library and Fitz Hall displays are available for groups of 6 to 30 people. To request a tour, contact 937-229-4213 or devittm2@udayton.edu. Donations are appreciated. 


Related Links

More Information

Marian Library

300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1390