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Athenaeum/OSHER records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0086

Scope and Contents

The Athenaeum records contains materials related to the organization and its activities. The collection contains administrative documents, documentation of courses offered, compiled historical information, course catalogs, publications, promotional materials such as brochures, as well as course schedules.


  • Creation: 1987-2013

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The Athenaeum was formed in 1987 with the support of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Training and Professional Development office. The organization was named in honor of RIT's predecessor, the Rochester Athenaeum, one of the first institutes of higher learning in the city of Rochester. Like the original Athenaeum, this new group was to be run entirely by its members. Interested individuals over the age of 50, could join the group to participate in intellectual and social activities. Other than the age requirement, the only other requirement to join was an interest in intellectual growth; a certain level of education or an affiliation with RIT was not required.

According to one brochure, the primary idea behind The Athenaeum was "peer learning and active participation." Members were expected to share their knowledge and experiences with other members of the group. Although programs were structured to mimic a classroom setting, exams were not given and students did not receive a grade.

Members of The Athenaeum received several benefits. In addition to being able to take and lead classes in the group's facilities, members could attend brown bag lunch series, partake in social events such as luncheons and picnics, and enjoy various travel opportunities arranged by the group. Additionally, members of The Athenaeum were issued RIT student identification cards, enabling them to use campus resources such as the library, and had the option of sitting in on a select few liberal arts courses offered at the university.

In June 2006 The Athenaeum received a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation to continue its mission. As a result, the group was renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT (OLLI at RIT) that same year.


4.75 Linear Feet (9 document boxes and 1 half document box)




Materials related to The Athenaeum/OSHER, a continuing education program for retirees at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The collection includes promotional material, course schedules, newsletters, and clippings, committee reports, correspondence.


Items are arranged by type and ordered chronologically.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Atheneaum OSHER records


This collection is housed in 3 boxes with the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT records, the current name of the organization.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in February 2011.

Athenaeum/OSHER records
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
16 February 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 14 April 2021: Merged 0087 into this collection, updated arrangement in inventory, description not yet updated - EvH

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA