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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.

Adding Local History

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, April 29, 2012

Several times per year, our library works on items of local history, and prepares them to be added to our Local History and Genealogy Collection.

 

These aren’t the new books that you purchase and add to a collection; rather they are items donated to the library that need digitized and processed to permit the public to use them as part of the library collection.

 

The condition of the item may be the issue, or it is something that we have to photocopy as the donor wishes to retain the original copy.

 

So far this year, we have restored a dozen local high school yearbooks to supplement our existing collection in the Local History Dept.

 

They are wonderful resources for genealogy, as well as local history as some yearbooks have long article about area businesses and the communities in which the schools are/were located.

 

School yearbooks are often relegated to basements and attics, garages and barns; so they must be repaired and restored to be usable.

 

We have had yearbooks that were molded to the point, the only way to retain them was to digitize the pages and bind the copied pages into a new book.

 

The last set to go to be digitized included a yearbook for Buckeye West High School, Warren Consolidated High School, and the Reunion Committee for the Class of 1939 of Wells High School in Steubenville.

 

One interesting item that is nearing completion, but is not on-the-shelf at this time is titled “Jefferson County Veterans Burial Information” for the time period of 1957-2001.

 

It is certainly an effort of cooperation from several sources to honor county veterans who died within that time period.

 

Russ Pollitt of the Columbus Metropolitan Library copied all of the Jefferson County names from the “Roster of Ohio War Dead” that is held in their library collection.

 

The late Paul Immel, who worked at the State Library of Ohio copied pages from the “Ohio Veteran’s Burial Information” files, also held in Columbus.

 

The third piece includes information from the Ohio Memorial Shrine located in Mohican State Park, a project of the Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources as a Memorial to Ohio’s war dead.

 

Former GFWC/Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs President, and local resident Shirley Mitchell, assisted by providing the history of the Shrine and updates bringing the information up-to-date.

 

Our librarian Sandy Day coordinated the effort, and completed missing information; and also developed the 65 page index to the volume.

Also at the bindery at this time is a book of those taking the Oath of Office within the City of Steubenville from 1914-1928.

 

It is interesting to see the people serving on various city commissions and committees during that time period, and the family members who attended the swearing in ceremonies.

 

These items will be available in print format, as well as online for all to use for research.

 

The library system is pleased to develop this information, because once it is lost, the information would be gone forever.

 

It is always interesting to see the inquiries that our Local History and Genealogy Dept. receive from across the nation (and world) wanting local information.