Discover the rich avian heritage at The University of Akron (UA) with the convergence of two remarkable collections –once esteemed as Ohio’s most valuable collections— in the exhibit, Wings & Words: The Rhodes Collection of Birds and the Belcher Bird Library.
Both ornithology collections were donated to The University of Akron by prominent Akronites, Thomas R. and Sarah Rhodes and Paul Belcher. In 1904, Thomas R. and Sarah Rhodes generously donated their collection of 500 taxidermied birds to Buchtel College (UA’s predecessor). Nearly a century later, Paul Belcher contributed his extensive private library of bird-related literature to University Libraries at UA.
Displayed together for the first time, the Rhodes Collection of Birds and Belcher Bird Library celebrate the beauty and significance of natural history preservation and education. Wings & Words invites visitors to appreciate science, literature, and our feathered friends.
Wings & Words exhibit is located on the ground floor of Bierce Library by the MakerStudio. Guests are welcome to explore the exhibit during Bierce Library’s open hours from now till December 23, 2024.
(Left) Photograph of Paul Belcher and John Miller with bird books, featured in Akron Magazine (1992). Both photographs courtesy of University Archives and Special Collections at The University of Akron.
Wings & Words: The Rhodes Collection of Birds and the Belcher Bird Library is a collaboration between University Libraries, the Department of Biology, and the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education, with support from University Archives and Special Collections.
This exhibit stems from the UA Museum of Zoology [Un]Class offered in Spring 2022 by the Department of Biology, LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education, EX[L] Center, Cummings Center of the History of Psychology, and the Myers School of Art.
The Rhodes Collection of Birds on display are on loan from the UA Museum of Zoology, property of the Department of Biology.
A few exhibit items are on loan from the personal collection of Dr. Lara Roketenetz.