Ohio Memory

Ohio Memory’s Lily Birkhimer, Jenni Salamon, Kristen Newby and Jillian Ramage

Q: Where can you find the largest collection of Ohio newspapers, images of WWI black infantry soldiers and photographs of early 20th Century daily life…online…in one place?

A: Ohio Memory

This month, we had the pleasure of meeting members of the Ohio Memory team. Ohio Memory is managed collaboratively between Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio. The dynamic online resource helps communities share, discover and connect to Ohio’s rich history.

Located in the Ohio History Center, Ohio Memory supports a variety of projects. They partner with 365 institutions across 88 counties in the state and provide a subscription program for 35 members (including many libraries), supporting those organizations in digitizing and sharing historical photos, yearbooks, local newspapers, ephemera and more. In fact, Ohio Memory contains over 700,000 digital images!


Grants fund important digitization projects. Little Stories of the Great War: Ohioans in World War I was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Through prestigious NEH grant funding, Ohio Memory gives greater awareness to Ohio’s contributions, features content from fifteen cultural heritage institutions across Ohio and provides lesson plans for teachers. Kristen Newby coordinates efforts for this project and told fascinating stories about what she’s learned. She digitized images from Ross County’s Camp Sherman, including images of an all-black military band as well as the camp’s library, the only non-segregated area of the camp. Kristen also uncovered incredible letters from the soldiers, including one that revealed the discovery of a German spy!


Newspaper collections are reviewed (and sometimes ironed) before they are sent for digitization

The team is working in partnership with Chronicling America to digitize Ohio newspapers as part of a national initiative and have contributed over 400,000 pages to that website by the end of 2018. Jenni Salamon leads the effort and explained reading newspapers from Ohio’s early days gives readers an interesting perspective. Researchers and the curious can learn what the political climate was like then and how much things have and have not changed today. In addition to Chronicling America, Ohio Memory’s newspaper collection contains over 360,000 pages of free-to-access content, many of which came from the Ohio History Connection’s hardcopy and microfilm holdings, which comprise the largest collection of Ohio newspapers in the world!


Glass plate photo negatives from an Ohio Memory collection

Lily Birkhimer manages content and outreach for Ohio Memory. She is responsible for training institutional partners, managing metadata, public inquiries and online selection. Lily is currently digitizing glass plate negatives from the Albert J. Ewing Collection. These delicate materials provide a detailed glimpse into our past. Lily records written information on the plates and their sleeves, and she leverages census information to fill in the gaps and create connections that may have otherwise been lost.

Other Ohio Memory projects include preservation of materials from the Zoar community, LGBTQ collections and information for a World Heritage project. The team contributes weekly to their blog, where you can learn more about special items from the collection and read about topics relevant to current events.

There’s so much to explore and discover. As they are always adding new resources, we’ll be taking a closer look at Ohio Memory, and we hope you do too!

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Learn more about the State Library of Ohio and Ohio Memory’s Shannon Kupfer at our 2014 feature here.

Franklin County Law Library

A bust of Christopher Columbus welcomes visitors to the Franklin County Law Library

A bust of Christopher Columbus welcomes visitors to the Franklin County Law Library

The Franklin County Law Library is an incredible resource for Central Ohioans seeking legal information.  The library, seated in a beautifully renovated space on the 10th floor of 369 S. High Street, provides services for county and state employees, attorneys and those representing themselves (pro se). Everyone is welcome to access the library, but only attorneys can hold library cards and check out items.


The lounge area provides a place for visitors to relax and lots of natural light

Each day, the library serves about 60 visitors in person, over the phone and via email. Requests include information about legal processes and forms, historic state law and issues pertaining to cases. Sometimes staff find themselves in delicate situations where they help both sides of the same case in the same day! Attorneys often visit on breaks and during recess to access information within the library’s collection and online Westlaw, LexisNexis and HeinOnline accounts.  The library also hosts depositions and client/attorney meetings in its private meeting room.


Angela Baldree, Executive Director

Director Angela Baldree enjoys the opportunities each new day presents and appreciates a great staff and board who share a culture of collegiality.  She works in collaboration with the Bar Association to promote library services and awareness and sends monthly newsletters to inform members about events and opportunities.  The library also hosts a successful series of lunch and learn sessions covering a variety of useful topics like this month’s Hidden Gems.  Select sessions have provided continuing legal education credits, furthering attendees’ professional development. For National Library Week, the library has partnered with Columbus Legal Aid and will collect and donate gently used children’s books to the organization. Bonus! Patrons who donate will receive $5 off any accrued fines for each book donated.


Library circulation items include models for attorneys to use in court

Each of the 88 counties in the state has its own law library which range greatly in size and scope of service. The law libraries are funded by revenue from speeding tickets and the Franklin County Law Library supplements their budget through activities like used book sales.  The library is a member of Consortium of Ohio County Law Libraries, which allows the libraries to leverage their buying power, share resources and offers grants and consultation services to all of the county law libraries in the state.  In turn, the Franklin County Law Library can share savings with Franklin’s other county agencies, building both good rapport and good will.


Book inspired art

The Franklin County Law Libary is a bright and vibrant space and an obvious asset to the community.

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Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library

Reading Room Panorama

Ohio Supreme Court Library Reading Room and mural depicting the evolution of the printed book

The Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library is a gorgeous example of art deco style located in the heart of downtown Columbus, Ohio.

A veranda, reflecting pool and the world's largest gavel stainless steel sculpture are adjacent to the Ohio Supreme Court building

A veranda, reflecting pool and the world’s largest stainless steel sculptured gavel are adjacent to the Ohio Supreme Court’s building

The library is open to the public and serves Ohio citizens, judges, attorneys, legal researchers and all state agencies located in Columbus.  Before entering the Supreme Court of Ohio building, visitors are treated with a reflection pool, public art and veranda for informal gatherings, lunching or solitude.

Ohio Supreme Court First Floor

A side entrance on the first floor of the Ohio Supreme Court

Inside, the Supreme Court of Ohio building exudes craftsmanship.  Erected in 1931 and restored in 2004, the building is a testament to time with refined details like travertine floors, marble-lined walls and bronze bas-reliefs.

“Lady Justice Leading the People” by Ron Anderson

The library is located on the 11th floor and three floors of the penthouse.  After passing the reference and circulation desk, walls are lined with large, original oil paintings from Ron Anderson’s series titled “History of the Rule of Law.”

Case Law Stacks

Case law stacks

The Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library houses nearly a half-million volumes and is one of the largest state supreme court law libraries in the nation.  The library’s collection includes legal documentation throughout the history of the state and before statehood.  Rare volumes include a number of English books from the 1500s as well as the 1632 “Law’s Resolutions of Women’s Rights.”

Erin Waltz and the bust of President William Howard Taft

Erin Waltz standing next to a bronze bust of President William Howard Taft.

Public Services Manager Erin Waltz collaborates with a team of nearly 10 professionals and loves combining her passion for history and law.  She enjoys engaging the general public and the wide spectrum of legal professionals, from solo practitioners to supreme court judges.  She has implemented process improvements to better serve library patrons and takes great pride in providing original research.  Recently, she was part of a team that brought forth findings on criminal sentencing trends as well as identifying trailblazing female attorneys.

Circulation Desk

Trailblazers: Judge Florence E. Allen and Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library’s award for excellent service

The Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library is an amazing resource located within a stunning downtown Columbus edifice.  We highly encourage visiting.  The library and building are an inspiring mixture of magnificent beauty and knowledge.

Ohio Supreme Court Exterior Dedication

Ohio Supreme Court Exterior Dedication

Reading Room Dictionary

Reading Room

Ohio Supreme Court Entrance

Supreme Court of Ohio Entrance

Top Three Floors

Top three penthouse floors

Ohio Supreme Court First Floor Ceres

First floor Ceres mosaic

Display Case

Library display

View from the Reading Room 1

View from the reading room with Scioto Mile construction

View from the Reading Room 2

View from the reading room with Scioto Mile construction and COSI in the background

View from the Reading Room 3

View from the reading room with the LeVeque Tower

Dethroning the Monarchy by Ron Anderson

“Dethroning the Monarchy” by Ron Anderson

Reading Room Sculpture by Dale Chihuly 2

“Gilded Coral Red Ikebana with Prism Frog Foot” by Dale Chihuly with Lino Tagliapietra and Ben Moore

Reading Room Sculpture by Dale Chihuly

“Mottled Citron Green Ikebana with Blue and Teal Flowers” by Dale Chihuly with Lino Tagliapietra and Ben Moore

Reading Room

Reading room