Kevin Grace

Head and University Archivist
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University Honors Program

805 Carl Blegen Library

A drawing of a man surrounded by books

Mr. Grace is head of the Archives & Rare Books Library, the University Archivist, and a Senior Librarian. He has been with the University of Cincinnati since 1979, where he also teaches in the University Honors Program. Mr. Grace is responsible for collection development for the rare books and archival collections, and serves as the primary reference contact and the liaison for instruction, services, and university history.

His current research focuses on marginalized urban culture; utility of digital surrogates of rare books and archives; Celtic and Scandinavian myth & legend; transglobal folklore commonalities; Irish literature; publishing and reading during the Enlightenment; the culture of reading; the social history of the book; and Shakespeare and graphic iconography.

A full c.v. is available on request.

Selected Courses

Mad Gods and Marvelous Worlds: Celtic and Scandinavian Myth and Legend
World Folklore and Traditions
Rare Books and Manuscripts
The Irish in America
Culture of Books and Reading
Envisioning the City
The Bard Abides: Shakespeare in the Everyday World

Most Recent Papers and Publications

A street sign with the word "Emmetsburg" with a windmill in the background.

“Lafcadio Hearn in the Irish Public Eye.”  Presented at the Lafcadio Hearn Anniversary Symposium, The Hearn Society/USA and the Japan Research Center of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2019.

“Positioning the Facts: The Archivist’s Duty and the University of Cincinnati’s Racial Heritage.”  Presented at the Conference on Universities and Their Contested Pasts, University of Manchester, UK, 2019.

“Shakespeare As Local History.”  Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference, Marietta College, Marietta, OH, 2019

“The 1883 Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival: Defining A City’s Interpretation of the Plays.”  Biennial Shakespeare Theatre Conference, University of Waterloo, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 2019.

“The Urban Life Essay, Global Commonalities, and the Memoir Response.” Presented at Conference on The Essay: Present Histories, Present Futures, L-Università ta' Malta, Valleta, Malta, 2019.

"Books, Bricks, and ‘Potencie.’”  Essay in From the Temple of Zeus to the Hyperloop: University of Cincinnati Stories, ed. by Greg Hand.  Cincinnati: University of Cincinnati Press, 2018.

“’I Am Dying, Egypt, Dying!’: General William H. Lytle’s Visions of Battlefields in His Poetry and Letters.”  Presented at the Annual Conference, Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Philadelphia, PA, 2018

“The Fate of the ‘Book’ in Contemporary Dystopian Literature.”  Presented at the  Drew University Transatlantic Conference 5, Bundoran, Donegal, Ireland, 2018.

"Ancient Law, A Free Ireland, and Global Neutrality: Seeking Utopia in a World War II Irish Novel.”  Presented at the 18th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Uniwersytet Gdański, Gdansk, Poland, 2017.

“The Power of Symbols/Le Pouvoir des Symboles.”  Essay in Illusions: The Art of Magic-Posters from the Golden Age of Magic, ed. by Suzanne Sauvage, Christian Vachom, and Marc H. Choko.  Montreal: McCord Museum and Milan: 5 Continents Press, 2017.

“Finnish Folklore and Architectural Commemoration of Cultural Identity: Helsinki’s Pohjola Building.”  Presented at the Annual Conference, Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Charleston, SC, 2017.

“Storytelling With the Cincinnati Dead.”  Presented as the Keynote Paper at the 39th Annual Meeting and Conference, Association for Gravestone Studies, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, 2016.

A Historic Bookplate from the University of Cincinnati

“Exploring Working Class Urban Life Through Digitized Vital Records of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries: The Cincinnati Irish Example.”  Presented at the 16th Biennial Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference, Helsingin Yliopisto, Helsinki, Finland, 2016.

The University of Cincinnati: Soaring Into Our Third Century by Kevin Grace, Robert Flischel, Greg Hand, and Marianne Kunnen-Jones. Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati Press, 2016.

“Digital Surrogates of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Their Efficacy in Teaching.”  Presented at the 12th International Conference on Technology, Society, and Culture,  Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016.

“The Literary Commonweal: Building Books, Reading, and Libraries into a Sustainable Urban Presence.”  Presented at the 13th International Conference on Books, Publishing, & Libraries, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 2015.

Editor, Looking East: William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Asia, The Photographs of Harry Fowler Woods by Margo Taft Stever, James Taft Stever and Hong Shen.  Cincinnati and Wilmington, OH: University of Cincinnati Press and Orange Frazer Press, 2015.

"Planning, Flipping, Teaching, and Reflecting: Becoming Integrated With University Pedagogy."  Presented at the Annual Meeting, Society of Ohio Archivists, Columbus, OH, 2015.

"In the Service of the Eye: A 16th Century Moveable Flap Ophthalmology Text." Presented at the Annual Meeting, Ohio Academy of Medical History, Cincinnati, OH, 2015.

A photo of a European city with trees in the foreground.

"Imprinted: What We Mean When We Talk About Storytelling." Keynote Paper, Ohioana Library, Hamilton County Chapter, 2015.

"The Fear of Libraries and Reading in Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Culture." Presented at the 2nd International Conference, His Master's Voice: Utopia and Dystopia in Audiovisual Culture, Collegium Maius, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, 2015.

"Evolution of the Bearcat." In UC: University of Cincinnati Magazine, Vol. 45, No. 1, March 2015, pp. 18-23.

"Why Students Should Eat Haggis: Experiential Learning and Cost Collaboration with Undergraduates." Presented at the Eighth World Universities Forum, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, Georgia, 2015.

"Hitting the Ground Running: the Faculty Mentor' Perspective of the Mentee Role in Study Abroad." Teaching Showcase, Academy of Fellows of Teaching and learning, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2015.

"Seattle's Bid to Become a 'City of Literature.'" In Fine Books and Collections, Issue 12, No. 2, Autumn 2014, pgs. 11-12.

 “The Bryce Qur’an in the First World War.”  In Post-Lib, No. 73, September 2014, pgs. 2-4.  London, England: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Retired Members Guild.

An historic postcard showing a coffee shop

 “Building a Research Repository of Street Artists and Performers: The Zozimus Project.”  Presented at the 3rd International Biennial Conference, Art in Translation-the Art of In-Between, Háskóli Íslands, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2014.

“Boxing and Religion: Faith and Heritage in the Sweet Science.”  Chapter in Fighting: Intellectualising Combat Sports, ed. by Keith Gilbert.  Champaign, IL and University of East London: Common Ground Publishing, 2014.

“Building an Oral History and Folklore Collection with Experiential Learning.”  Presented at the Annual Meeting, Midwest Archives Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, 2014.

“An Ottoman Odyssey.” In Fine Books & Collections, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring 2014, pgs. 36-40.

“Globalizing the Classroom: From Special Collections to On-the-Ground Experience.” Teaching Showcase, Academy of Fellows of Teaching and Learning, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2014.

“Democratizing Access to Archival Resources: The University of Cincinnati Experience.” Presented at the Seventh World Universities Forum, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, 2014.

“Cigarettes,” “Moerlein (Christian) Family,”, and “St. Patrick’s Day.” Essays in Alcohol and Drugs in North America: A Historical Encyclopedia, ed. by David M. Fahey and Jon S. Miller. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013.

“Cincinnati’s Urban Evolution: Digitizing the Photographic Archive of the City’s Subway and Streets,” with Angela Vanderbilt and Linda Newman. In Ohio Libraries Quarterly, Vol. 2, Issue 2, pgs. 9-13. 2013.

"Of Leisure, Masculinity, and Community: Sporting Prints From the 18th-19th Centuries." Annual Meeting, American Historical Print Collectors Society, Cincinnati, OH, 2013.

Drawing of a person rowing a boat.

“Gathering from the Storm: Primary Sources on the American Civil War in the Archives & Rare Books Library.” Annual Meeting, Midwest Archives Conference, Indianapolis, IN, 2013.

“Pot of Gold Closer Than You Think.” In UC: University of Cincinnati Magazine. April, 2013, pp. 22-23.

"University Special Collections from a Global Vantage Point: Access, Documentation, and Reference.” Presented at the Sixth World Universities Forum, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 2013.

Irish Cincinnati. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2012.

"Irish Identity, Sustained Memory, and Cultural Politics in Cincinnati Urban History." Presented at the International Conference on Urban History, European Association for Urban History, Prague, Czech Republic, 2012. Also published in the Proceedings.

“Building a Research Network in Irish Theatre History Notebooks: William J. Lawrence and the University of Cincinnati Project.”  Presented at the International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries, Limerick, Ireland, 2012.

Legendary Locals of Cincinnati. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2011.

Adaptation and Notes on the Song Text for “Lament of the Lost Books” – Amhran na Leabhar by Tomas Roa O’Suilleabhain.  Cincinnati, OH: Flying Pig Press, 2011.

A busker playing an instrument on a street.

“Born Here, Died Here: Preservation Awareness Makes Possible the Digitization of Vital Records by the University of Cincinnati Library.”  In American Libraries: The Magazine of the American Libraries Association, April 26, 2011.

“What Ring Lardner Learned Me to Read: The Imaginary Library of Jack Keefe.”  Presented at the 16th Annual Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture, Middle Tennessee State University, 2011.

Review of Body Politic: The Great American Sports Machine by David Shields (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007) in Journal of Sport History, Vol. 37, No. 3, Fall 2010, pgs. 483-484.

“Townships, Sport, and Competing Philanthropies in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.”  Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, Charleston, SC, 2011.

“Drinking Songs”; “Gin’; “Hair of the Dog”; “Last Call”; “Ritual Drinking”; and “Skid Row”.  Essays in Cultural Encyclopedia of Alcohol, ed. by Rachel Black.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2010.

“Building Rare Book Collections for the 21st Century University Curriculum.”  Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on the Book, Universitat Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2010.

“The Lost Cincinnati German Village of Bethlehem.”  Paper presented at the Society for German American Studies Annual Symposium, New Harmony, Indiana, 2010.

“Cubans, Class Perceptions, and Cincinnati Baseball.”  Paper presented at the 15th Annual Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture, Middle Tennessee State University, 2010.

“Boxing and Religion: Faith and Heritage in the Sweet Science.”   Paper presented at the International Conference on Sport and Society, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 2010.

“’Blasphemous Youths’ and Sunday Baseball: A Cincinnati Tale From 1885.”  In Baseball/Literature/Culture: Essays 2008-2009, ed. by Warren Twomey and Ronald Kates.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing, 2010.

A Woman Selling Bagels on the street.

“The Sensual Text.”  In If You Think So, ed. by Isaac Hand.  Cincinnati, OH: CS13, 2009.

“Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine and the Community Extension of Ethnic German Memory.”  Paper presented at the Conference on Local Memories in a Nationalizing and Globalizing World, Antwerp, Belgium, 2009.

“Let Them Smell Something.”  In ProfPost: 21st Century Teaching and Learning.  Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, April 6, 2009.

“ ‘Blasphemous Youths Who Play Base-Ball’: A Cincinnati Sunday Baseball Tale From 1885.”  Paper presented at the 14th Annual Conference on Baseball in Literature and Culture, Middle Tennessee State University, 2009.

“Lost Souls and Mean Streets: Transglobal Urban Life in the Graphic Novel.”  Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, Las Vegas, 2009.

“Caught in the Shadow of Joe Louis: Ezzard Charles, the Press, and African Americans.”  Paper presented at the Ohio Valley History Conference, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN, 2008.

"Editing for Digitization: The Ambrose Bierce Letters at the University of Cincinnati." Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Making Books, Shaping Readers, Cork, Ireland, 2008.

"An Analysis of Cross-Cultural Assimilation in the Contemporary Graphic Novel." Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, New Orleans, 2008.

"Emanuel Steward." Essay in the African American National Biography, ed. by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008.

A stamp from the Republic of Mali

"Blues;" "Boxing;" "Cigarettes and Tobacco;" and "Jack Dempsey." Essays in Encyclopedia of the Jazz Age: From the End of World War I to the Great Crash, ed. by James Ciment. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2007.

The University of Cincinnati: Architectural Transformation, Tradition, and Innovation (with Robert Flischel and Jayne Merkel). Cincinnati, OH: RAF Press, 2007.

“The William J. Lawrence Notebooks on the History of the Dublin Stage,” in Celebrating Research: Rare and Special Collections from the Membership of the Association of Research Libraries, ed. by Philip Cronenwett,  Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 2007.

“Hands On and Minds Open: Using Rare Books to Understand the Culture of Reading.”  Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on the Book. Madrid, Spain, 2007.

“Readers at Ringside: How Boxing Literature Reflects the Urban Cultural Environments of the 19th and 20th Centuries.”  Paper presented at the International Conference on Making Books, Shaping Readers. Cork, Ireland, 2007.