Remember the television commercial where a guy’s peanut butter ends up on someone’s chocolate bar and vice versa? “Hey,” he said, “you got peanut butter on my chocolate!” The other responded “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!” This was the way Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup™ was introduced to the public.

Similarly, a new paradigm is being developed that contains two well-known ingredients resulting in what the University of Dayton is calling The Plethoreum (pronounced: ple · tho’ · ree · um). The Plethoreum has something for people who hunger for scholarly activity either as a learner or as an educator. For a more relaxing educational experience, The Plethoreum offers its interactive virtual museum.


Latest News

Modern technology catches up at last with Erma Bombeck
In 1964, when Erma Bombeck began knocking out a column for the Kettering-Oakwood Times, the makeshift desk in her bedroom consisted of a rough plank of lumber raised to typing level with cement blocks. (Mike Harden, Columbus Dispatch, March 8, 2002) Read More (registration required)…
For Fans Of Erma Bombeck

Although Erma Bombeck had about 31 million readers, she seemed to speak to each of us separately. She was funny. Consistently, reliably funny for 30 years. (Laura Pulfer, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Feb. 28, 2002)
‘Now I Am Miserable’: Erma Bombeck’s University Of Dayton Essay Launches Career

In 1948, Erma Bombeck quietly slipped a humorous essay under the office door of Brother Tom Price, S.M., a University of Dayton English professor who served as faculty adviser to the literary magazine, The Exponent. Thus began the career of one the world’s best-loved humorists. (Feb. 21, 2002)
Famous Neighbors: Phil Returns To Dayton To Reminisce, Pay Tribute To Erma

Phil Donahue lived diagonally across the street from the Bombecks on Cushwa Drive in Centerville. Four decades later he is returning to Dayton to share stories about their friendship and reminisce about the spirit of those times at University of Dayton events paying tribute to humorist and 1949 graduate Erma Bombeck. (Feb. 14, 2002)
University Of Dayton Researchers Are Building A Museum Without Walls

Broadcast June 15, 2001 on WYSO (91.3 FM) of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Available here with permission. [ MP3 format (3.2 MB) | Media Player format (2.6 MB) ]
University Of Dayton Researchers Hoping To Educate, Preserve History, Make Collectibles Accessible With Virtual Museum

Calling all collectors: Building from an existing online exhibit of medical antiques, two University of Dayton researchers hope to create an extensive and comprehensive Internet museum of collectibles, treasures, antiques and other stuff. (May 8, 2001)
Data-Rich, Fan-Friendly New HOOPSTUFF.COM Crafted To Please College Basketball Fans

Racking your brain to remember the Dayton Flyers’ top five three-point shooters? Ever wonder what kind of success Dick Vitale had as coach of the Detroit Titans? has these and and many more answers to your college basketball questions. (Feb. 6, 2001)


“The Plethoreum is an educational paradigm that fosters disciplined scholarship, multidisciplinary collaboration, and experiential learning. The fruits of this academic paradigm will include new exhibits, collections, and galleries for a multimedia virtual museum. This virtual museum will add value to traditional museums and provide a venue for private collectors to safely share their treasures with the world.”


The Plethoreum will be a venue for discovery and learning and will support many of the University of Dayton’s academic, social, and scientific objectives. Plethoreum objectives include the following:
Education – Museum visitors will learn from the dynamic and rich multimedia content. Students and other scholars will learn as they develop the exhibits and supporting technology.
Research – Our university’s entire academic and research communities will become a laboratory of historical, cultural, educational, and information technology research. Participating programs will include the following: Education, Computer Science, Science and Engineering, Law, History, English, Visual Communications Design, Photography, and Business.
Collaboration – The opportunities for intra- and interuniversity exchanges will be both plentiful and valuable.
Accessibility – The virtual museum will remove time, distance, and economic barriers by creating 24x7 access to anyone in the world, rich or poor, using a personal or public desktop computer.
Culture – Like many traditional museums, the exhibits in our virtual museum will inspire greater cultural awareness and foster cultural exchanges.
Preservation – The virtual museum will be an electronic archive of historical artifacts.


Here are some of the benefits we believe we can offer our visitors and academic participants through The Plethoreum’s virtual museum:

  1. Provide a venue for innovative educational opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for scholars outside the University of Dayton.
  2. Conduct information technology research resulting in ideas, processes, systems, applications, algorithms, and software components that can be deployed in new ways for new disciplines.
  3. Bring obscure and remote collections directly into homes, schools, community centers, senior citizen centers, churches, offices, and libraries.
  4. Showcase interesting and significant private collections in a low-cost, low-risk forum to an international audience.
  5. Permanently display large collections and many exhibits because a virtual museum is not constrained by physical space.
  6. Maximize accessibility; virtual museums are not constrained by economic, geographic, and time barriers.
  7. Draw attention to obscure subjects resulting in increased interest in traditional museums.
  8. Assume the role of a digital archive and preserve valuable historical artifacts.

Virtual Museum

“Imagine a museum that is always open, doesn’t charge admission, is as close as the nearest computer, and has unlimited floor space for displaying its exhibits. This is possible using today’s information and Internet technologies.” Before it was built, The Plethoreum was introduced in this way. But now, we simply say, check it out. So, instead of explaining in words what the museum can demonstrate by itself, we’ll use this space to tell you about some of the multimedia galleries, exhibits, and collections we have on the drawing board:
Gallery of Science – The future home for inventions and scientific discoveries.
Gallery of Flight – Collections related to the history of powered flight.
Gallery of Transportation – Exhibits showing how mankind has moved people and goods throughout the centuries.
Gallery of Faith – Several extensive collections of Roman Catholic relics will form the basis of this gallery.
Gallery of Creativity – Our home for the performing and visual arts. A collection of player piano music could be the first exhibit.


Whether you are a university student, a faculty member, a private collector, or a historian, there is a place for you as a scholar at The Plethoreum. Before long, you will find instructions on this Web site explaining how you can pursue your scholarly ambitions and contribute to the larger body of knowledge displayed in The Plethoreum’s virtual museum. In the meantime, review the following project concepts, which are provided to stimulate your imagination:


The ideals that inspired The Plethoreum concept are the advancement of knowledge and the improvement of scholarship. The focus of these ideals is not simply on works produced by scholars, but also on the importance of the learning process and how this alone can lead to a greater depth of understanding for everyone involved. These ideals lead to the creation of an educational paradigm which includes a pedagogy that features a disciplined approach to scholarship and fosters multidisciplinary, collaborative research.

Contact Us

If you have an interesting collection that you would like to share online, we’d like to hear from you. If you are a scholar or an educator, we’re interested in your response to this concept called The Plethoreum. And of course, if you would like to make a donation to The Plethoreum, we would greatly appreciate your support.

The Plethoreum
c/o Clancy Cross
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH 45469-0191
937-229-3433 (fax)