Oberlin College and Conservatory

Exhibition: "Thomas Jefferson's Library & the Roots of American Architecture"

Thursday, November 23, 2017 at 8:00am to 10:00pm

Mudd Center, Seeley G. (Terrell Main Library), Main Level Gallery
148 West College Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Oberlin College Libraries is hosting an exhibition of selected titles from the Thomas Jefferson Architectural Book Collection.

To celebrate the centennial of Oberlin’s Jefferson Architectural Books Collection, we are exploring the singular role this library played in the birth of American architecture. For Jefferson, a practicing architect, establishing a new form of government required more than a Constitution and Bill of Rights; America needed a unique architecture to express the ideals of the budding republic. Today scholars trace the first expression of an American style in the architectural books of Jefferson’s library.

The Jefferson Architectural Books Collection at Oberlin College matches books owned by Thomas Jefferson on a one-to-one basis.  The collection was started in 1917 by Clarence Ward, Oberlin’s first museum director, art department chair, and founder of the art library that bears his name. Today Oberlin has collected 56 of Jefferson’s 62 books on architecture in the same or earlier editions

The exhibition opens October 23 and closes November 23. Exhibition hours are:

Monday to Friday, 8 am to 10 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm

Visitors, please register at the Circulation Desk with a photo ID.


Event Type



Administrative, Oberlin College Libraries




free and open to the public

Contact Person

Barbara Prior

Contact Phone Number


Contact E-mail Address


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