Ohio receives national archives award

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COLUMBUS – Ohio Historical Society has received the Society of American Archivists’ 2001 Distinguished Service Award.

The award recognizes the society’s public service and contributions to the archives profession, particularly in the area of pioneering services on the Internet.

Web initiatives. In announcing the award, Hal Keiner, chair of the award subcommittee and archives chief at the Biltmore Estate, said George Parkinson, chief of the OHS Archives/Library Division, and his staff “have shown that it is possible to increase access to historical records via the Internet and to launch major initiatives to manage electronic records of historical value from a variety of government departments.”

The number of visitor sessions on the society’s Web site, www.ohiohistory.org, is now more than 3 million per year. The majority are archives/library patrons, who may access more than 200,000 documents on the site.

Visitors to the Web site find an online collections catalog, a variety of finding aids and, increasingly, visual representations of original documents, photographs, newspaper articles and pamphlets.

Fight for the Colors at www.ohiohistory.org/battleflags, hosts a virtual display of 500 Ohio military flags from five wars with detailed information and a feature section relating stories from the flags’ individual histories. Ohio Pix showcases 500 archival images on Ohio women, settlement and early statehood at www.ohiohistory.org/exhibits/ohiopix.

Online library. Through the Ohio Vital Information for Libraries Center, the society placed online approximately 100,000 pages of historical documents such as the Ohio Constitution and public records such as Ohio Civil War military rosters.

Other documents and records converted for online use include Northwest Territory ordinances; the Ohio Newspaper Index, which contains 66,000 entries of historical and modern newspapers; the roster of Ohio troops who fought in the War of 1812; and, of special importance to genealogists, the Index to Ohio death records for 1908 through 1937.

For more information on the society’s archives/library see ohiohistory.org/resources or call 614/297-2510. Archives/Library hours at the Ohio Historical Center, Interstate 71 and 17th Avenue, are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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