How to Search for Photographs in the Cincinnati History Library and Archives Digital Library
Posted On: 11/10/2017 - 11:23am, Posted By: Jim DaMico, Curator of Audio-Visual Collection
The Cincinnati History Library and Archives (CHLA) have approximately one million photographic images in its holdings, a fraction of which are available to view in our on-line Photographs catalog. Currently, the photograph collections found on-line are cataloged at the item level and at this time do not have corresponding finding aids. For more information on finding aids, please see Breaking Down a Finding Aid by Sarah Staples.
A note about the call numbers; the Photograph Department uses SC, an abbreviation for Special Collection when cataloging distinct groups of photographs while the Archives and Manuscripts Department uses MSS, an abbreviation for Manuscripts, when cataloging personal, business and organizational records.
To search for digitized photographic images, start at the CHLA’s homepage: http://library.cincymuseum.org/
Scroll down the page to Search – Photographs.
Click on the link for Photographs and this page will return:
You can do multiple types of searches in this window but Keyword searching is the best place to start. We will enter Ohio River into the Keyword search box as an example.
Click on Search and you will see this page:
The top right corner shows how many pages have returned results; in this case there are 11 pages out of 78 displaying with 10 records per page. The right hand side of the page displays thumbnail images and the left a brief catalog record.
Zooming in, we can see that below the Brief Report is the total number of items (772) found by searching on the term Ohio River. This results comes from searching broadly across all 13 collections.
The above capture is a close-up of a brief catalog record that includes Title, Date, Collection Name, Image Number and thumbnail image.
Click on a hyperlinked Title and you will get the full catalog record for that photograph. To go back to all results, click on the Previous Page link found in the upper left hand column.
The Full Report displays the basic catalog data plus the Item Type, Description, Subject Headings, Dimensions, Rights and Location. If you click on any of the hyperlinked Subject headings, in this case Ohio River, all photographs with that heading across the 13 collections will be returned as seen here:
This example shows that two collections, Andrew Lodder-M.Parks Collection (SC#318) and Harry L. Flesher (SC#110), have images with the Ohio River subject heading.
The Collection search box will reveal the 13 collections currently available to search. In this view we see the Rombach and Groene Collection (SC#296) is selected. Much like browsing the stacks at your local library, you can browse each collection by selecting a collection name in the dropdown menu.
Click on search and you will get this page:
As you can see under Brief Report, the Rombach and Groene Collection is made up of 1,709 photographs and span from 1888 to 1950.
If you are interested in searching on Photo Types, a much smaller subset of search terms, such as glass negatives or Carte De Visite, choose the box labeled List of Photo Types:
Check the box next to Carte De Visite and click on Select Items to get the next screen.
Click the Search box to get the next screen:
This screen captures shows the result of searching Photo Type - Carte De Visite that there are 292 items in the Digital Photographs Catalog.
You can also search by Subjects which will pull images from all 13 collections. The Subject headings adhere to Library of Congress Authority files and are another example of browsing to see the breadth of the collections.
Next, click on the box List of Subjects and this window will open:
Make a selection (Aeronautics) and click the box Select Items.
Click Search and you will get this screen which shows that there are 21 images with the subject heading of Aeronautics:
As time and resources allow, we will slowly add new images to Digital Library. At the time of writing, the digitized collections available on-line are as follows:
Ball and Thomas Photograph Collection (SC#17): 294 items
Paul Briol Collection (SC#21): 243 items
Cason Collection (SC#320): 274 items
Cincinnati Union Terminal Progress Photographs Collection (SC#319): 464 items
Harry L. Flesher Collection (SC#110): 303 items
James T. Hatfield Collection (SC#136): 80 items
Kenyon Barr Collection (SC#115): 1008
Andrew Lodder-M. Parks Watson Collection (SC#318): 323 items
Muster Collection (SC#240): 422 items
The Ohio River (SC#125): 68 items
Rombach & Groene Collection (SC#296): 1709 items
Samuel Hannaford & Sons Collection (SC#150): 260 items
U.S. Marine Ways Collection (SC#321): 100 items
While we have a moratorium on new scanning orders, we can provide images that are found in the Digital Library Catalog for a fee based on your project and use by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org