A Tribute


to Those Who Helped Make The Public Book a Reality

A project of this size and scope does become a reality without the help of many remarkable and generous people.  Some jumped on board as soon as they heard of the Book;

others were recruited; still others asked to join the effort along the way--

all were indispensable.

Among the many too numerous to name individually,

Joanne Welsh--my other right arm--who rescued many a page from abandonment

by her prowess with a needle and a new Bernini from her adoring husband, Bill,

Vicki Shaffer, who masterfully bound the pages as fast as they came in,

Janice Danley, who translated participant letters into

transparent Braille overlays for the full-page display labels,

Libby Gregory, for insisting that the project had to be done,

Jennifer Johnson, who regularly turned my tears into laughing and my frustrations into insights,

and Catherine Willis, Director, Friends of Art for Community Enrichment (FACE),

for unwavering support at the roughest times.

Their skill, diligence, indestructible good humor, and unfailing confidence

in the project and in me supplied courage

when energy and nerve flagged.  

      But it was evident to me that other heads were needed for new emerging challenges,

and so, in December, 1989, interested community members

convened as the Public Book Committee.

Over the next several years, they freely shared their

time, knowledge, and expertise to meet each of those challenges.

At one end of the project’s history was identifying a wider range of potential donors

and compiling the formidable mailing list of as many individuals and constituencies

in the Greater Columbus/Franklin County area

as could be identified as potential participants--

a list of lists that eventually grew to over 10,000.

At the other end, as the basis of a fifth grant funded in 2001,

was devising a truly archival and still reasonably portable system

to both store and transport as needed the book’s nearly 150 pages. 

In humility and gratitude, I can only confirm that the insights of these individuals,

listed below with their affiliations, absolutely saved the project

from several grave and likely irreversible errors.

Larry Allen, Director of Communications, Columbus Metropolitan Libraries

Mary Bornstein, Art Educator, Duxberry Park ARTS Impact School

Barbara Fellows, Assistant Director, Columbus Metropolitan Libraries

Joseph Fowler, Coordinator, Adult Services, Columbus Metropolitan Libraries

Ann Gurley, retired Art Teacher, Columbus Public Schools

Linda Haas, Teacher, St. Matthias School
Judith Claire Hagan, Artist, Art Educator and Gallery Director at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, and Co-Founder, Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative

Jo Hutchison, Teacher, Maize Elementary School

Jennifer Johnson, Director, Columbus Cultural Arts Center

Russell McKnight, Logan Elm Press at The Ohio State University

Helen Williams, Grandparents Living Theatre

Ann Yezzi, Upper Arlington Community Involvement Program

Barbara Chavous (advisor), Artist and Educator, Artists in Schools

Eliza Schulte Holiday (advisor), Calligraphic Artist and Educator, Letterist Design

Carol Kimball, ex officio, Calligraphy Guild of Columbus


for their invaluable production advice and assistance:

Ruth Leonard, Ruth Leonard Designs (poster and brochure)

Lithokraft II (typesetting, poster and brochure)

West-Camp Printing (poster and brochure)

Shing Mei Kelly, Ohio State Upholstery & Bedding (binding design)

Jerry Anthony (photographic documentation)

To address the preservation issue In 2000, the Committee was greatly expanded

to gain the special technical assistance of:

Rod Bouc, Registrar, Conservation Consultant, Columbus Museum of Art

Kim Feinknopf, Archivist, The Ohio Historical Society

Brooke Hannan, Chair, Fashion design Department, Columbus College of Art & Design

Kathryn Jakes, Textile Scientist, OSU Consumer and Textile Sciences

Charles Kleibacker, Fabric Preservation Consultant, founder and retired Curator

of the Ohio State University Historic Costume Collection

Ellice Ronsheim, Design Interpretation and Capital Projects Coordinator,

Textile Preservation Specialist at The Ohio Historical Society

Donna Seeger and Paul Clevenger, Eastech Plastics

Gail Strege, Curator, OSU Historic Costume Collection

I can never thank them enough for their energy and enthusiasm,

and for making sure it happened.

Ann Alaia Woods


The Public Book: Letters to Our Great-Great-Grandchildren

© 1991 The Public Book

The project has not come to an end, of course.

Work is still in progress on the oral history archive,

funds are needed to launch The Public Book’s website on its own,

we are always looking for new spaces to exhibit pages

as well as ways to take this “no-other-in-the-world book” beyond Ohio’s borders to audiences throughout the United States

and perhaps even to our sister cities abroad,

and the search continues for an appropriate permanent home.

If you can help make any of these wishes come true,

please contact me at aimiaart@yahoo.com.