Former U.S. Senator and astronaut John Glenn was the keynote speaker at the Statehood Day celebration hosted by the Ohio Historical Society. During his speech he mentioned the Coonskin Library as an example of Ohio’s educational history. Founded in 1804 in Ames, Ohio, the library was one of the first circulating libraries in the state. It was called the “Coonskin Library” because it was the sale of furs that provided funds to purchase the books.
It happens that some of the books from the Coonskin Library are housed in the Archives/Library at the Ohio History Center. Ten of the 51 books originally purchased for the library are stored in our rare book vault. The Coonskin Library continued circulating for decades and more books were added. All together OHS has 287 books that were part of the Library.
After his speech, Sharon Dean, director of Museum and Library Services, invited Senator Glenn and his wife Annie, to the Research Room to view the books. Research Services manager, Liz Plummer, and circulation coordinator, Carla Zikursh, quickly pulled the material for the Glenns. If you would like to see the Coonskin Library books, they are available for use in the Research Room, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM-5 PM. Unfortunately, we can not guarantee that John and Annie Glenn will be here when you come.