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Dr. Eric J. Johnson, Professor and Curator of Thompson Special Collections and Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, The Ohio State University

A recent anonymous donation to Ohio State’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Library created the conditions for an ambitious and unprecedented new curricular experiment at Ohio State that connected students directly to the process of acquiring unique and valuable medieval manuscripts, from working with book dealers, to evaluating and purchasing materials themselves, and presenting their work to one of the donors who funded the program. This presentation will discuss how, with the help of a team of donors, Prof. Johnson has been able to create a teaching program that sees collections drive student use, student use drive donor development, and donor development drive further collection growth, resulting in an effective “perpetual motion machine” that manufactures ongoing educational and philanthropic opportunity.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Eric J. Johnson is a Professor and Curator of Thompson Special Collections and the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library at The Ohio State University, where he regularly deploys his library’s collections—from medieval manuscripts to modern books—in a variety of educational, research, and outreach contexts.