Library director Ann Williams’ excitement is palpable. Never one to miss an opportunity to help students access Timken Library’s 20,000 volumes and extensive online resources, she is also a serious history buff—especially when it comes to the history of Blair Academy. Gesturing to the room full of artifacts, her palms open wide as she points to each object. She is standing next to a Civil War drum once used to rally men in battle. Gleaming with polished wood, it is an impressive piece. “This drum was carried in the Civil War by a forebearer of [Blair Academy Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus] Dr. J. Brooks Hoffman ’36,” she says proudly.
The drum is one of many pieces owned by Blair Academy that the Timken Library staff displayed recently as part of a “new” museum. A work in progress, the museum is not yet complete, but Ms. Williams wants to share her vision and some fun artifacts with the Blair community even at this early stage. “Our inspiration comes from multiple requests from students, faculty and visitors to see the archives and from Timken Library’s rich appreciation for the contents after our years of toil behind the scenes,” she notes.
In addition to the Civil War snare drum, artifacts on exhibit currently include a nineteenth-century Blair uniform patch and buttons, a class ring from Charles W. Millard ’22 and Cum Laude Scholarship cups from the 1950s. Also displayed is a photo from the 1934 ACTA, showing an earlier incarnation of a museum at Blair.
The Timken staff invites all Blair students, faculty and friends to view the museum’s rotating exhibit of items from School history. The display room is located inside Blair’s Timken Library.