Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Western Reserve Historical Society Library

It looks like my career of driving through Cleveland without stopping may soon come to an end. Reviewing Ann Sindelar's article on the Western Reserve Historical Society for last week's post on Ohio Genealogy News led me to just books, periodicals, and manuscripts galore, but also online databases. For instance:

an index to Cleveland's 1907 voter registration records, from a time when registration was required by law. Note that the online index serves as a pointer to additional information at WRHS that is not indexed, such as the registrant's age, length of residence, and signature.

an index to marriage and death notices in the Jewish Independent and Jewish Review and Observer 1889-1964.

an index to nine volumes of Bible records copied in nine volumes at WRHS.

an index to northeast Ohio servicemen's photographs (and sometimes articles) from the Plain Dealer, 1940-1955.

There's much more, including a listing of WRHS's holdings of obsolete Ohio paper money, including "demand notes, scrip, post notes, certificates of deposit, counterfeits, capital stock and fractional currency from over 100 Ohio cities." This is statewide: I found items described from Granville, Marietta, and Kenton. (The originals are in the Vault.)

If you start digging for the really good stuff in their manuscript lists, be aware of peculiarities in the search functions. For instance, title searches are for the first word in the title; names that appear later on are not indexed. Bulldog searching will be called for.

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