The Nan Johnson Collection and Archival Research Award

The Nan Johnson Collection and Archival Research Award

Peitho Volume 22 Issue 1 Fall/Winter 2019

The Nan Johnson Collection on Elocution and Rhetoric

In anticipation of her retirement, Nan arranged to donate her extensive collection of rhetorical texts, Americana, and other ephemera to the Ohio State University Libraries’ Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. Once all of these materials have been fully processed, the Nan Johnson Collection on Elocution and Rhetoric will contain more than 450 rhetoric volumes and numerous pieces of ephemera related to rhetorical education, rhetorical culture, and American life. Its artifacts include elocution booklets, miniature books of popular literature, and magazines with stories used for recitations and elocution purposes. There are also a large number of postcards and ephemera related to Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, specifically focused on their speeches and rhetoric.

Materials in this collection are available for use, but they may only be used in Ohio State’s Thompson Library Special Collections reading room. Although a preliminary finding aid is available, the collection is still being processed; thus, the current version represents only a fraction of the collection. It will be updated once the collection is fully processed. If the link to the finding aid (above) ever ceases to work, the best way to find information about the collection will be to visit and search for either “Nan Johnson Collection” or SPEC.RARE.0258.

The Nan Johnson Archival Research Fund and Award

On the occasion of Nan’s retirement, the Ohio State Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies program created the Nan Johnson Archival Research Fund to support access and use of the Nan Johnson Collection as well as other Ohio State archives and special collections related to the history of rhetoric and composition. In addition to Nan’s collection, Ohio State’s Rare Books Library hosts the Jerry Tarver Collection of Elocution, Rhetoric and Oratory Ephemera; the Ohio State University Archives stores numerous artifacts representing more than 150 years of higher education and rhetorical culture. To promote access to these and other resources in central Ohio, the Nan Johnson Archival Research Award will subsidize travel costs for researchers wishing to use them.

We will begin accepting applications once complete inventories of the collection are available and online. Applications from graduate students and junior faculty will be given highest priority. More information, including application instructions, will be available soon at

Donations to support the Nan Johnson Archival Research Fund can be made at

Please send any inquiries about the collection or the fund to Ohio State’s Vice Chair of Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies. At this time, that person is Jonathan Buehl (