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.
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.
3 Linear Feet
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.
C.S. North, Shelf 143
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.
Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in February 2011.
- Adult education -- New York (State) -- Rochester
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Continuing education -- New York (State) -- Rochester
- Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT
- Promotional materials
- Retirees -- Education -- New York (State) -- Rochester
- Rochester Institute of Technology. The Athenaeum
- 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
- 14 April 2021: Merged 0087 into this collection, updated arrangement in inventory, description not yet updated - EvH