In celebration of Barack Obama’s inauguration, RIT Archive Collections is hosting an exhibition featuring one of the university’s historic collections: The Frederick Wiedman Jr. Collection of Presidential Papers. Currently open for viewing, the exhibition runs through March and is featured in two areas of The Wallace Center: the RIT Museum on the third floor and the Gallery for RIT History and Art on the first floor.
According to RIT archivist Becky Simmons, the documents—with signatures of 43 U.S. presidents—provide a glimpse into the lives of the individuals who have held the most important office in the nation. “Almost like relics, we feel the presence of the men who touched these documents that occupied a moment in their lives,” Simmons says.
Some highlights of the exhibition range from the personal to the official:
The collection was assembled by Frederick Wiedman Jr., a longtime Rochester attorney and supporter of RIT. He became a member of the RIT Board of Trustees in 1986, and upon his death in 1995, bequeathed the major portion of his assets to the university to support educational programs.