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At the Manger

'A Labor of Love'

December 2, 2019 – January 12, 2020

Roesch Library first-floor gallery and Marian Library, seventh floor
Free and open to the public

Since 1995, the University of Dayton’s Marian Library has presented a selection of its expansive collection of 3,600 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. 

Join us during the 2019 Advent and Christmas seasons as we showcase the dedicated and inspiring volunteers of the Marian Library's crèche workshop. Each year, At the Manger is the product of approximately 6,000 hours of faithful service by dozens of volunteer craftspersons, carpenters and docents. The 2019-20 exhibit gives tribute to these volunteers who, together, curated it from their favorite settings.

Plan Your Visit

To take in the full exhibit, which begins in the first-floor gallery of Roesch Library and moves to Marian Library on the seventh floor, please plan your visit during these open hours.

8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. weekdays, Dec. 2–Jan. 10
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7–8
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14–15
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21–22
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11–12
(Closed Dec. 6; 11:30-1 p.m. on Dec. 18; Dec. 24–Jan. 1; Jan. 4–5)

Free scheduled tours are available for groups with a minimum of six people. One or more docents will guide your group through the exhibit, offer insight and answer questions. Request a group tour online or call 937-229-4214. Donations are appreciated.

Request a Group Tour

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; B Lot is closest to the entrance of Roesch Library.

map showing the parking options near Roesch Library

One Exhibit. Four Displays.

This display includes the popular Provençal Village with its more than 150 figures (santons); a recently restored 1950s wax Nativity from Mexico; a modular display about the volunteers who curated “A Labor of Love”; and an array of volunteer favorites.

Located in the first-floor gallery

Artist Ruth Sanderson has illustrated more than 80 children’s books, some of which include paintings of the Holy Family. There are 20 works by Sanderson on loan at the Marian Library.

Located on the seventh floor in the Marian Library

Volunteers look for creative ways to display Nativities in a manner that accentuates each set’s most interesting attributes. Volunteers chose Nativity sets from over 30 countries to display in this series of boxes, drawers and cubicles.

Located on the seventh floor in the Marian Library Gallery

Volunteer Harry Mushenheim, a UD retired math professor has created over 50 nativity settings. His eye for design and his patience for detail are evident in these creations. All lead to the manger and the Christchild.

Located on the seventh floor in the Marian Library Crèche Museum


Marian Library

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1390