March 25, 2011
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Longtime director of Cincinnati Historical Society Library and community history, Ruby Rogers, retires after 23 years of service
CINCINNATI- Ruby Rogers has worked to protect Cincinnati’s rich and diverse cultural history for 23 years. This keeper of history and local legacy retired March 18 after over 40 years of service to the history field.
Rogers has long been dedicated to documenting and sharing our community history. She began her work locally in 1988 as founding museum director for the Cincinnati Historical Society. In this role, she helped to transform the way the Society approached the preservation and telling of our community history. As a founding director, she facilitated the planning, installation and opening of our Cincinnati History Museum.
Six years after our Cincinnati History Museum found its home in Union Terminal, Rogers took the position of director of education. In 1999, she was named director of Cincinnati Historical Society Library and Community History. Along with this title, she also became the official curator of Union Terminal. As director and curator, Rogers has shared her expertise on topics such as Civil War monuments and Theodore Roosevelt, and worked to organize exhibitions and historical tours.
However, Rogers’ legacy in the museum and history field began long before her days at Union Terminal. Ruby received her bachelor’s in American history from Earlham College in 1967 and her master’s in history museum studies from State University College at Oneonta in 1972.
She began her work in the field as assistant curator at the New York State Historical Association. Since then, she’s served as curator of Winona County Historical Society, curator of collections at Michigan State Historical Museum, chief of Lansing Museum programs, and chief of Museums and Historical Proprieties Section at the Bureau of History at the Michigan Department of State.
Rogers is not only a curator and director, but also a scholar. She is the managing editor of the largest circulating Midwest historical journal, Ohio Valley History Journal, and has contributed to various history publications, including the Journal of American History.
Last fall, Rogers received The Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.
Rogers has been an inspiration to not only Museum Center, but also to the Cincinnati community. Mayor Mark Mallory recently proclaimed the day of Rogers’ retirement, March 18, as Ruby Rogers Day in the city of Cincinnati.
“For over 40 years, Ruby Rogers has served her community and the history field with a commitment to the principles that made the Cincinnati History Museum and Cincinnati Historical Society Library relevant to our community,” said Doug McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “Through care and stewardship of historical resources, to preserving community stories and historical scholarship, Ruby has advanced the museum and library field with her personal and professional dedication. As Dr. Tonya Matthews, vice president of museums at Museum Center, often says, it will take four people to replace the variety of tasks that Ruby accomplished in her distinguished career.”
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration. As one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest, Cincinnati Museum Center has served as an educational, research and entertainment resource to millions of visitors from around the world. Organizations within Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. These organizations combine to serve more than one million visitors annually, reaching out to nearly 400,000 young people through hands-on exhibits and programs. Originally built in 1933 as a train station, Union Terminal stands as one of the last remaining grand-scale Art Deco style railroad terminals. The building is a National Historic Landmark and was renovated and reopened as Cincinnati Museum Center in 1990. For information, call 1-800-733-2077 or visit www.cincymuseum.org.