1. Ernst & Young Archives
In August 2013, Ernst & Young (EY), one of the global “Big Four” professional services firms formed out of the 1989 merger of Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young & Company, gifted its historical archives to Kelvin Smith Library. The collection, known as the Ernst & Young Founders Archive, includes such memorabilia as handwritten accounting ledgers detailing firm transactions from the early 1900s, firm advertising from the 1920s, Ernst & Ernst employee and management communications dating back more than 90 years, Arthur Young’s personal cash book, awards, vintage photos and more.

In coordination with the library, the gift was made possible through the concerted efforts of Gary Previts, CWRU Distinguished University Professor and E. Mandell de Windt Professor at the Weatherhead School of Management; Lee Thomas, Managing Partner of EY’s Cleveland office; and Hank Kohout, an EY Associate Director of Branding, Marketing and Communications, also located in Cleveland. As part of the library’s special collections, the Ernst & Young Founders Archive will allow students and scholars to experience the early days of these firms and of the accounting profession, track the evolution of services and gain a sense of the great contributions of both A.C. Ernst and Arthur Young as innovative accounting leaders and benefactors to their communities.

2. Hatch Family Missale Carmelitarum
In 2010, the Hatch family placed a Roman Catholic book of prayers and devotions entitled Missale Carmelitarum on loan with KSL’s special collections. This year the family gifted this important item to the library. The volume contains prayers, music and rites most likely used by the priest in celebrating Mass over the course of the liturgical year. The volume was printed for members of the Carmelite Order by Lucantonio Giunta in Venice in 1500. The British Library’s Incunabula Short Title Catalogue includes only three other copies of this work in the world, one each in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm.

3. Observing the Natural World
Beginning in the 1830s, Clevelanders established societies to collect and catalog natural history specimens. To highlight these materials, KSL presented “Observing the Natural World: The Art and Science of Natural History,” an exhibit that included representative books and periodicals from the 16th–19th centuries, original courses and texts of Western Reserve University’s biology curriculum, field notes, hand-drawn illustrations, photographs and specimen catalogs.

4. History of the Book
This spring, KSL invited guests to explore “History of the Book: From Clay Tablets to Electronic Tablet.” Curated by Robert H. Jackson, KSL’s Distinguished Visiting Scholar, the exhibit was an exploration not only of the physical evolution of the book, but its development as a cultural artifact. The display included archetypal books and manuscripts from the 13th–20th centuries from around the globe.


In the fall of 2013, KSL’s special collections team received an inquiry from Matthieu Ballandonne, a Ph.D. student at Université d’Angers. Studying the history of economics, he was interested in traveling from France to Cleveland to access the S.C. Gilfillan Papers, a collection held at the library. Ballandonne first learned KSL possessed the sociologist’s archives while looking online for biographical information. The library’s website, referenced among the first Google results on his query, led him to discover the finding aid for the unique materials.

“Before that, I did not know that Gilfillan’s archives had been collected and were available to researchers,” explained Ballandonne. “S.C. Gilfillan is a little known sociologist and economist of his time.”

Immediately interested in examining the materials in person, Ballandonne continued a dialog with special collections staff in preparation for his journey. The result was a month-long visit to KSL to incorporate the papers into his dissertation on how economists theorized the link between science and economic growth in the post-war era.

“Matthieu is a seasoned researcher who has worked in some of the finest libraries in Europe and the U.S.,” said Eleanor Blackman, KSL Archivist. “We helped him track down some publications that were not readily available to him in France, such as U.S. government documents, OhioLINK titles, special collections titles and online resources.”

This year, the team welcomed international researchers each semester, including Dr. Lilla Szabo, who traveled from the Hungarian National Gallery, and Dr. Peng Xiaodong from China. In addition to in-person visitors, the department regularly serves patrons from around the world via email reference services and other downloadable digital content.   

Kelvin Smith Library | 11055 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44106-7151 | 216-368-3506