Ohio Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Ohio sil.png
the Ohio Family History Research series.
History of Ohio
Ohio Vital Records
Census Records for Ohio
Background Sources for Ohio
Ohio Maps
Ohio Land Records
Ohio Probate Records
Ohio Court Records
Ohio Tax Records
Ohio Cemetery Records
Ohio Church Records
Ohio Military Records
Ohio Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Ohio Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Ethnic Groups of Ohio
Ohio County Resources
Map of Ohio


Ohio History has been published by the Ohio Historical Society since 1887. It was previously called Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly and Ohio Historical Quarterly. An online version through 2002 is available free at http://publications.ohiohistory.org.

The Report, Ohio Records and Pioneer Families, and Civil War Genealogy Journal are published by the Ohio Genealogical Society with excellent local history, problem-solving techniques, and original source material.

Also see:

  • Bell, Carol Willsey. Ohio Genealogical Periodical Index: A County Guide. Youngstown, Ohio: the author, 1987. Subject index to publications of genealogical and historical societies.


The Centinel of the North-Western Territory was published in Cincinnati ten years before Ohio became a state. Its first issue was dated 9 November 1793. This newspaper, and some issues of the Chillicothe Gazette, the oldest paper in continuous publication west of the Alleghenies, are available at the Ohio Historical Society, along with a limited number of newspaper indexes.

Many local historical societies and public libraries have obituary files. The German Immigrant Society of Cincinnati has a clipping collection of 1,700 obituaries.

There have been several projects for the compilation and indexing of newspapers in Ohio. These are primarily done on an individual newspaper or county basis. Some may be obtained by contacting county historical or genealogical societies. A microfiche catalog of newspapers available at the Ohio Historical Society, published in 1990, may be purchased from the society.

Also consult Karen Mauer Green, Pioneer Ohio Newspapers, 1802'1818 (Galveston, Tex.: Frontier Press, 1988), which is a compilation of abstracts of genealogical data and 'mentions' of people from six Ohio newspapers. It includes articles from newly formed settlements in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. The book has an every-name, place-name, and subject index. Green has also published Pioneer Ohio Newspapers, 1793'1810 (Galveston, Tex.: Frontier Press, 1986), which covers five early Ohio newspapers. The cities most prevalent in these indexes are Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Marietta, and Steubenville. Further information is in Stephen Gutgesell, Guide to Ohio Newspapers, 1793'1973, Union Bibliography of Ohio Newspapers Available in Ohio Libraries (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Historical Society, 1974). The Ohio Historical Society provides microfilmed newspapers on an interlibrary loan basis. A catalog of available newspapers may be ordered from the society, and bibliographic information is available on its website.


The manuscript division of the Ohio Historical Society includes as primary subjects: Northwest Territory and early statehood, the Civil War, religion, African Americans, women, labor, politics, and mass communication. Particularly notable are the Wilbur Siebert Collection, which includes American Loyalists and the Underground Railroad; land grants signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; Henry O. Dwight's watercolor drawings of the Civil War; and Ohio AFL-CIO records. For details see Andrew D. Lentz, ed., A Guide to Manuscripts at the Ohio Historical Society (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Historical Society, 1972).

Kermit J. Pike, A Guide to the Manuscripts and Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, Ohio: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1972) surveys this excellent collection including oral histories of Western Reserve women.

The Ohio Genealogical Society's manuscript collection includes Bible records and First Family of Ohio applications, the latter proving ancestry in Ohio prior to 1820.

See also Draper Manuscripts under Wisconsin'Manuscripts.

Ohio Network Centers (see Ohio Archives, Libraries, and Societies)should be contacted for their pertinent manuscript collections.