Kevin Grace

Grave Robbers Rampant In 19th Century Cincinnati

Aug 1, 2017
Public Domain

An illicit body trade proliferated in 19th century Cincinnati, but this business wasn't in the red-light district, it was in local cemeteries. Medical schools in Ohio and nationwide needed cadavers for study but no laws allowed for body donation. Doctors turned to grave robbers to do the dirty work. Grave robbing was so rampant that inventors created unusual contraptions for protecting the dead. A high-profile case of body snatching finally led to legalized body donation in Ohio.

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Cincinnati’s first movie superstar – silent screen actress Theda Bara – will be celebrated with a panel discussion and rare film clips and photos at the Main Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County downtown Sunday.

Between 1915 and 1920, when she made 40 silent films, Bara's popularity was "second only to Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, according to The Guardian. She died of stomach cancer in 1955, at age 69.

Her breakthrough role was the sultry femme fatale in “A Fool There Was,” a 1915 silent film inspired by Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Vampire." Her performance inspired the expression "vamp" -- a woman who could entice and exploit honorable men, bringing their ruin – and made her one of the first film sex stars.

  From 1984 and Brave New World to The Hunger Games and The Walking Dead, stories of totalitarian societies and plague or environmentally ravaged worlds serve as both entertainment and as warnings of what could be. A recent international conference, “His Masters Voice,” held in Kraków, Poland, explored the latest representations of utopian and dystopian worlds in today'’s culture.

UC

UC is helping to spearhead an effort to digitize rare library collections worldwide.

Archivist and historian Kevin Grace is just back from Vancouver where he spoke to representatives from 26 countries. More and more people want to access special collections without having to go to remote places to look at them.

Grace says lots of U.S. universities are putting rare photos and books online but many other countries lack the resources to put the necessary background information to go with them.