Ohio Archives, Libraries, and Societies

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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 Historical Society

Archives-Library Division
1985 Velma Ave.
Columbus, OH 43211

The society's library collections document the history of Ohio and its people, including 125,000 books and pamphlets, 40,000 reels of newspaper microfilm, and 20,000 volumes of original newspapers. The newspaper collection is one of the nation's largest. The audiovisual collections are outstanding, including nearly 7,500 photographs of locomotives and railroad subjects in the G. Hayes Coleman series. Major works on the settlement and government of Northwest Territory are in the rare books division.

The society houses (at the above address) the State Archives of Ohio, with more than 30,000 cubic feet of state and local government records. The society's website contains a number of online databases, including the Ohio Death Certificate Index (1913'37), a searchable database of Ohio Civil War flags, and an Ohio newspaper bibliography. The society also serves the central Ohio counties as part of the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers. The academic journal Ohio History is published by the society and has been indexed from 1887 to 2000. The Directory of Historical Organizations in Ohio can be obtained from the society as well.

State Library of Ohio

Genealogy Division
274 E. First St.
Columbus OH 43201

The State Library of Ohio's genealogy collection was moved to the Columbus Metropolitan Library in 2007. The collection includes microfilm; printed, typescript, and manuscript collections, including family and local histories; atlases; cemetery records; city directories; military records; censuses and census indexes from many states. It also includes the transcribed records provided by the Ohio chapters of the DAR. For more information regarding this collection and the National Palatines to America Society's Library Collection contact the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Genealogy, History & Travel Division.

Ohio Genealogical Society

713 S. Main St.
Mansfield, OH 44907

Membership includes a quarterly, The Report, and the monthly OGS Newsletter. The society also publishes two additional quarterlies: Ohio Records and Pioneer Families, and the Ohio Civil War Genealogy Journal, available through a separate subscription. The society has annual meetings, 100 county chapters, the Families of Ohio lineage society, and publishes various items of genealogical and historical interest. This library contains over 15,000 volumes, family vertical files, Bible records, ancestors cards, manuscript files, census microfilm, and a broad variety of other valuable resources for research in Ohio. A response to a written request for general and specific information is answered promptly, cordially, and very thoroughly.

Western Reserve Historical Society

10825 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106

Its extensive manuscript collection (published guide available by mail) is supplemented by an equally extensive microfilm collection of federal census returns, Shaker records, and the National Archives Revolutionary War pension records. The society also has an extensive collection of printed Ohio material. The society serves as the network center (see below) for its area and charges a per-day fee for nonmembers.

Ohio Network of American History Research Centers

Established in 1970 to aid in the collection, preservation, and accessibility of research materials related to Ohio history, the network is composed of seven institutions'Ohio's two largest historical societies and five state universities. A central feature of the network is the division of the entire state into seven distinct geographical areas for research. Each center also collects county records for its area, but the amount of material available may vary greatly from county to county.

Archives Services

University of Akron Libraries
Polsky Bldg.
Akron, OH 44325-1702
Serves Region 1'East Central Ohio
Center for Archival Collections

Jerome Library

Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0175
Serves Region 2'Northwest Ohio

Archives and Rare Books Department

Blegen Library'8th Floor
University Libraries
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0113
Serves Region 3'Southwest Ohio

Archives'Library Division

Ohio Historical Society
1985 Velma Ave.
Columbus, OH 43211
Serves Region 4'Central Ohio

Archives and Special Collections

Alden Library
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2978
Serves Region 5'Southeast Ohio

Western Reserve Historical Society

10825 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Serves Region 6'Northeast Ohio

Special Collections and Archives

Paul Laurence Dunbar Library
Wright State University Library
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
Serves Region 7'West Central Ohio

For information about the network and service of its centers, contact either the specific center or headquarters at the Ohio Historical Society.