Established in 2000, Ohio Memory is the collaborative statewide digital library program of the Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio. On this free website, you can explore digital content from over 390 cultural heritage institutions representing all 88 of Ohio’s counties covering a wide range of topics from prehistory to present day.
Ohio Memory contains over 1,600,000 digital images from a variety of primary and secondary source image types, including:
- Photographs, maps, drawings and paintings
- Manuscripts, letters, diaries and journals
- Archaeological artifacts, natural history specimens and historical objects
- Newspapers, books and e-publications
- Audio and video
Materials are selected for inclusion on Ohio Memory based on their historical significance, scanning potential, complementary value, and ownership and copyright.
Ohio Memory’s mission is to help communities share, discover and connect to Ohio’s rich past through dynamic online resources.
History of the Program
Phase I: The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB) conceived the idea for Ohio Memory in 1995. Between 1995 and 2000, the Ohio History Connection worked with OHRAB, the State Library of Ohio, the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), and the Ohio Library Council to refine the concept and secure funding for the project, and in February 2000, OPLIN approved a grant of $500,000 to the Ohio History Connection to launch the first phase which concluded in June 2002. During the two-year effort, over 13,400 items were digitized from over 1,000 collections representing over 250 institutions and made available via ohiomemory.org.
Phase II: The Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio continued Ohio Memory through Ohio’s bicentennial year in 2003 with support from the Ohio Bicentennial Commission and the State Library of Ohio, which administers the Library Services and Technology Act Grant program.
Ohio Memory Today
Ohio Memory continues to be an ongoing partnership between the Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio, and remains an important part of the Ohio History Connection strategic plan. The project offers subscription-based opportunities for partners around the state to submit their own material to the digital collection, which allows Ohio Memory to be largely self-sustaining and increase other institutions’ opportunities to share their unique materials with their communities, state and beyond. Through website features like our blog, and our transcription tool, Ohio Memory further highlights its digital content, allowing users to more easily access and learn about the exciting historical materials available through the website.
Ohio Memory is made possible with funds from the Ohio History Connection, the State Library of Ohio, participating institutions, and grants and donations from:
- Elizabeth Graves Foundation
- Ingram-White Castle Foundation
- Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
- Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
- National Endowment for the Humanities
- Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN)
- SBC Ameritech (now AT&T)