With the opening of the spring exhibit, “Rediscovering Miles Rock,” students and visitors will have the unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of one of Lehigh’s earliest graduates. The exhibit will provide insight into the intriguing life of Miles Rock, who, much like today’s students, reacted to the world around, pursued an education, and subsequently a career that took him around the globe. It will include photographs and correspondence from the archive, telling first-hand the story of the life of Miles Rock, the only Lehigh student to have served in the American Civil War. The exhibit will also include maps drawn by him, letters written between his family members, and examples of Miles’ work as both an astronomer and a surveyor displayed in Linderman Library with selected reproductions in Fairchild-Martindale Library.

Miles Rock completed his engineering education at Lehigh at which time the university hired him as an instructor. One of his earliest assignments was to create a map of the Friedensville Zinc Mine, a property now owned by the university. Among Miles Rock’s most significant professional accomplishments was delineating the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

Read more about the Miles Rock Collection and its path to Lehigh, in the Lehigh Alumni Bulletin.

Lehigh Libraries acknowledges the work of doctoral candidate Casey Kies, Department of History, who is serving as guest curator for “Rediscovering Miles Rock,” as well as the gift of this remarkable collection from Christopher Grace and David Grace, great-great grandsons of Miles Rock, who so generously provided support for Casey’s work cataloging and describing the archive. We are also grateful to the University Communications team, Beth Murphy and Christina Tatu, who helped the world to “rediscover” Miles Rock and bring him to life through the use of creative designs.

Through partnerships with faculty, clubs, and the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries, Lehigh Libraries Special Collections, will be offering a number of related programs this spring. Please follow Special Collections on social media and check the Library and Technology Services new website for updates and details. A Friends of the Libraries talk featuring Casey Kies as well as other community engagement programs are in the works for later in the semester.

The exhibit will be on display in Lehigh’s Linderman and Fairchild-Martindale Libraries through July 12, 2024 during regular building hours and online. For more information please contact Special Collections.