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Archives & Library at the Ohio History Center

Research. Learn. Explore.

Whether you're a genealogist, researcher, student or simply have questions about Ohio history, our Archives & Library are here to help.

You'll find an extensive collection of newspapers, photos, manuscripts, books, maps and government records available in our Research Room at the Ohio History Center in Columbus and through our online collections catalog.

We also offer research services, genealogy workshops and help in answering your research questions by email or phone. Our experienced reference staff can help bring history to life by connecting you with original sources in our collection.


General Information

The Ohio History Connection Archives & Library is now open by appointment only. As of September 1, 2021, we require everyone to wear masks at our indoor locations, in the Ohio History Center & Ohio Village, to help limit the spread of the more infectious variants of COVID-19.

 

Library Hours

Wednesdays 12:30 pm - 3 pm

Thursdays  10 am - 3 pm

Fridays 10 am - 3 pm 

 

Holiday Closures

The Research and Microfilm rooms will be closed:

November 24 - 26, 2021

December 22 - 24, 2021

December 29 - 31, 2021



 

The online catalog for our archaeology, history and natural history museum objects is currently is under construction. We will be launching a new site to search these collections soon.


Visit our new Archives & Library FAQ's, find a faster answer than email!


Archives & Library - By Appointment Only

The Archives & Library Research Room is available to all researchers Wednesdays 12:30 pm - 3 pm, Thursdays and Fridays, 10 am – 3 pm by appointment only. To make a reservation once the reservation system is activated, select a date, answer questions about your visit, and submit. After submitting a reservation request please check your email inbox and possibly clutter/spam folder for a confirmation email. If you request a reference interview, please allow up to five business days for us to reply. We consider each request carefully and respond as quickly as possible.

If you are having difficulties making a reservation, please send an email to researchreservations@ohiohistory.org or call 614.297.2510.

We look forward to being of service and enabling everyone to access Ohio's history.


Safety Guidelines

As of September 1, we require everyone to wear masks at our indoor locations, in the Ohio History Center & Ohio Village, to help limit the spread of the more infectious variants of COVID-19

We are continuing our enhanced cleaning protocols, providing hand sanitizing stations, and encouraging good hand hygiene such as proper hand washing. If you are not feeling well on the day of your visit, we ask that you reschedule and visit when you are feeling well again.

We will continue to follow guidelines provided by our local, county and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reopening plans are subject to change based on the evolving COVID status of Ohio and Franklin County. 


Preparing For Your Reservation

We ask that researchers be registered for a free Archives & Library card. If you do not have a library card - separate from an Ohio History Connection membership card - please download, print and complete the forms below. Our Front Desk team at the Ohio History Center can register and print library cards. 

Collection materials will be paged before your reservation, so please be sure to request all material before your visit.

Wi-Fi is available, and there are electrical outlets at each library table for your use. No handheld or personal scanners are permitted.

You are welcome to bring a laptop or other device into the library, as well as notebooks, paper and pencils. Bags and purses must be stored in lockers, available in the third-floor lobby area outside the library entrance. (Lockers require a refundable quarter to release the key.) 

We do allow digital cameras for personal research purposes. Before using one, you will be asked to read and sign a Digital Camera Policy form to indicate that you understand our policies. We also have three personal overhead digital scanners available (i.e. Hovercams) available for reserve.

Local government records microfilm and newspapers on microfilm are available in our self-service microfilm room. You may print images from our microfilm reader/printers for 25 cents per page or save them to a flash drive. 

Please note, requests for scans or photocopies by staff exceeding ten pages will not be completed on the same day. Due to limited on-site staff, please allow two to four weeks to receive requested copies, maximum of twenty-five pages, which will be sent to you electronically. The cost is 25 cents per page scanned. For large copy orders, exceeding 25 pages, please visit our Photocopy Requests page for more information.

We ask that you use pencils, no pens. We do provide pencils for our visitors.


Library Guidelines

Notebooks, computers, and pencils are permitted in the library. No food or drink is allowed in the library. No bags are permitted in the library. Lockers are provided for the safety of personal items. Digital cameras may be used for personal research purposes. Our staff completes all other photocopying needs. Extreme care is necessary for handling our unique materials. Defacing any collection in any way is not permitted.


Donations

The Archives & Library benefits from the generosity of our donors to strengthen the printed materials collection. We acquire materials with a strong relationship to Ohio's history that will be useful to our researchers. Selection is guided by our Printed Materials Policy. Consideration is given to materials that are bound, indexed and sensibly arranged. Donors will be asked to provide the title, author, publication date and condition when offering any items.

 

We DO NOT accept the following:

  • Photocopies of original materials,

  • Yearbooks,

  • Single issues of newspapers (unless historically significant to Ohio),

  • Materials that are dirty or in extreme disrepair,

  • Electronic publications.

 

Current Collecting Priorities for Print Materials

While we will give consideration to all print materials related to Ohio’s history, limitations on storage space and staff time for processing and cataloging requires us to focus on collecting print materials that are not currently well represented or enhance the strengths of existing collections.

Current areas of interest include:

  • Under Represented Communities, such as the LGBTQ plus community and New American communities
  • American Indian nations that have historical connections to the land we now call Ohio
  • Women's activism from the 1800s and 1900s through the present day
  • Ohio artists, including visual artists, writers and musicians
  • Ohio’s natural history and archaeology
  • New scholarship that utilizes Ohio History Connection collections
  • Ohio government publications lacking in the current collection
  • Ohio newspapers on microfilm lacking in the current collection
  • Ephemeral items that illustrate the life and work of Ohioans
  • Ohio-related print materials for children and young adults

To make a financial contribution to support the collection, click here.