At a Friday meeting, the Finance, Audit and Infrastructure Committee of the Wright State Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept a resolution to relocate the university’s archives, signaling the first stage of a project which has been discussed for over a year.
The resolution is now subject to approval from the full Board of Trustees.
The university is proposing that the archives be moved from their current location in the fourth floor of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Library on campus to the former Wright-Patt Credit Union headquarters, located at 2455 Presidential Drive.
“Located directly across from Wright State’s campus, our new location provides high visibility from Colonel Glenn Highway and easier access for the general public and school groups to explore the history of the Dayton region,” reads an announcement from the university.
Wright State’s archives include a Wright Brothers Collection, works by poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and archives of the Dayton Daily News, according to information from Wright State’s website.
This stage of the project will be funded by a one-time grant of $450,000 raised by the Wright State Foundation.
Although the Finance committee voted unanimously to accept the resolution, some trustees raised questions about the relocation.
Before the committee moved to a vote, Student Trustee Austin Rains asked how other universities traditionally store their archives.
Dawne Dewey, head of the special collections and archives, said that archives are usually kept either in the library or in their own separate space.
Trustee Bruce Langos said that he would only vote in favor of the project if the university were to define a space plan and a date by which the move would occur. Walt Branson, vice president for finance and operations and chief business officer did not provide a date but said that he would take ownership of setting a timeline.
The new archives center will include the following, according to Wright State’s website:
* A reading room where students, scholars and visitors may examine historic materials in an up close and personal way
* An exhibit gallery housing rotating exhibitions that highlight the depth and breadth of our collections
* A conference room for lectures, meetings and special events
* A classroom to welcome area school children and students from Wright State’s public history graduate program
* A preservation lab, processing room, clean room and exhibit prep room that will give staff the tools and space they need to adequately care for our region’s history
“The facility will also provide the proper storage and climate control to preserve our historic materials for generations to come. Above all else, it will bring history to life and celebrate the legacies of the trailblazers and pioneers who shaped the history of our region and beyond,” the university’s website reads.