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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

The Digital Shoebox - new books

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, March 4, 2007


Our Digital Shoebox online database of local history information has just expanded to include 19 more titles.


This addition brings the Shoebox to over 49,000 pages of digitized information about our area and southeastern Ohio.


Newly digitized items are loaded into the Shoebox a couple times a year, and are immediately available for browsing or search by word or phrase.


The largest addition is our Veteran's series, covering Jefferson County veterans who served in the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.


Sandy Day has been spearheading the collection of these materials for some time, and organizing it into a usable format.


Supplementing that series is the grave registration cards for our county from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War.


Korean War veterans are covered in a previously completed series.


The 32-page publication published as part of the 1911 unveiling of the Edwin M. Stanton statue is now online on the Shoebox.


Interestingly, they call it a monument; today we think of it as a statue.


The printed title says, "Official programme" noting a different spelling of the era.


The History of the Ohio Society of New York, 1885-1905, was digitized as the paper copy was literally falling apart.


Ohio natives who had moved to New York had their own "club" and this 663-page book outlines writings and history by famous Ohioans.


Three county churches have been added to the Shoebox in this new load of documents.


The First Methodist Protestant Church of Toronto, now Riverview United Methodist Church published a history in 1923.


It is now online and has been indexed.


The 1927 100th anniversary of the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church has been added to the Shoebox, and indexed.


Today, the community is called Bloomingdale.


Membership roles for the Two Ridges Presbyterian Church, 1838-1946 have been added online for easier research.


Sandy Day, our local history and genealogy librarian, has continued her indexing of the Herald-Star, and associated newspapers, to include 1867-1874.


She also assembled all the odds and ends of the history of baseball in our area, and produced a volume dating back to the 1870s.


A final book is African-American families in Jefferson County, primarily living in Wayne and Smithfield Townships, researched by Frances Michele Freeman, and indexed by the library staff.


A librarian once told me, "You can't buy local history out of a book catalog, and you have to develop it."


In most cases, she was correct.  We add things to our collection by the generosity of others, and the work of the library staff.


The Digital Shoebox can be found at