Explore Online Resources from the Cincinnati History Library & Archives
Posted On: 01/17/2018 - 12:57pm, Posted By: Anne Kling: Manager, Collections Databases
The website of the Cincinnati History Library and Archives offers a wealth of online resources for anyone interested in the history of Greater Cincinnati. These online resources cover a wide range of information and fall into four main categories: databases, research guides, online exhibits, and information about the library and about Union Terminal. Today we’ll take a brief look at the six databases available for you to search.
The Library Catalog is a database of over 34,000 records with information primarily about our Printed Works, such as books, pamphlets, maps, and journals. If you remember using an old-fashioned card catalog in your local library, you will see that our online catalog contains similar information: the title, author, date of publication, number of pages, call number, subject headings, etc. Both the physical card catalog and the online catalog can be used to search for a specific item. One advantage of the card catalog is that it's better for browsing through a group of cards, but the drawback is that you have to visit the library to do that. The online catalog, on the other hand, can be accessed over the Internet, and you can print out the records that interest you.
Catalog card for Stockades in the Wilderness by Richard Scamyhorn
Online catalog record for Stockades in the Wilderness
Our second database, the Digital Journals database, is an excellent place for you to start any Cincinnati research project because it has articles on so many topics. You'll find articles on steamboats, immigrants, politics, Native American burial mounds, the Ice Age, inclines, schools, businesses, and so on. The database contains seven different journals published by Cincinnati Museum Center and its predecessor institutions: the Cincinnati Historical Society and the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. The journals have been completely scanned and are fully searchable.
Cover of Queen City Heritage, Winter 1983. (GENERAL f906 H673B)
The Archives database contains finding aids for our manuscripts and archival collections. These collections contain unpublished documents like personal letters, diaries, and business records. The General Protestant Orphan Home Records and the John Shillito Company Records are just two examples of collections listed in this database. Today, over 200 finding aids are searchable online, and that number continues to grow. For more information about using the archival finding aids, please see Sarah Staples’ blog post, “Breaking Down a Finding Aid.”
The Photographs database documents the history of Greater Cincinnati through the visual medium. Would you be interested in seeing historic images of Fountain Square or the Suspension Bridge? Or perhaps, you would like to see aerial views or views of the 1937 flood? In addition to these images, the Photo database contains photos of groups and individuals. Jim DaMico’s blog post, “How to Search for Photographs in the Cincinnati History Library and Archives Digital Library” will walk you through the steps for using this database.
The 1940 Elder High School Football Team from the Rombach & Groene Photo Collection (SC#296).
Aerial View of Cooper Subdivision and Erie Avenue from the Andrew Lodder-M. Parks Watson Photo Collection (SC#318).
The Index to Local History Resources is another useful resource on the library's website. Decades ago, a number of Cincinnati history reference books were carefully indexed, and the names of people, places and organizations were typed on thousands of 3 x 5 inch index cards, filling a 55-drawer card file. Twelve years ago, our dedicated volunteers entered all of these cards into our online system. Like an index in the back of a book, the records in this database list the pages where the name or term can be found in the history books. Where possible, we've added a link from these records to the digitized book on Google Books, so you can read the pertinent pages online. Today, our index contains entries from 21 reference works.
Our last database, the Ohio Civil War Monument database, went online in 2003 in advance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Staff and volunteers traveled throughout the state of Ohio locating and photographing nearly 300 monuments erected in memory of the war. The database includes information about each monument, such as the name of the sculptor, the cost of the monument, the inscription, and the materials used in the monument. An introductory essay by Ruby Rogers, “Civil War Monuments in Ohio”, gives an interesting overview of the various types of Civil War monuments located in our state.
Left: Monument in the Union Lawn Cemetery, Navarre, Ohio. Right: Monument in the town square of McConnelsville, Ohio.
I hope this brief overview inspires you to take a closer look at these six databases and to learn more about the fascinating history of Greater Cincinnati.