Ohio Digital Resource Commons: University of Cincinnati





Name: Ohio Digital Resource Commons (DRC)

URL: drc.libraries.uc.edu


The Ohio Digital Resource Commons is a network of centrally hosted repositories that enables institutions to save, discover and share, free of charge, the instructional, research, historic and creative materials produced by the University System of Ohio and Ohio’s liberal arts colleges. – About DRC

Audience: Anyone who wishes to access the digital collection may search and view results. In some cases, some access to some materials is restricted to faculty or staff of a particular institution.

The OhioLINK Digital Resource Commons (DRC) uncovers this hidden knowledge and makes it freely available to scholars statewide and beyond. – DRC FAQ


Digital Information Sources:

The Ohio Digital Resource Commons supports virtually all types and quantities of content including documents, such as articles, preprints, working papers, technical reports, conference papers, theses, dissertations, images and data sets. It also supports a virtually unlimited variety of digital file types and formats including audio, video, streaming video, multimedia presentations, animations, simulations, learning objects and Web pages. A large storage area network allows for virtually unlimited storage space.
Content in the DRC may or may not be peer-reviewed. Communities will determine the criteria contributions to their DRC must meet and the type of review those contributions receive. There will be no central review or approval of materials being submitted unless there is an exceptional situation. –DRC FAQ Content Contributions


Digital Information Services:

Regular offsite tape and disk backup will ensure the long-term safety, security and preservation of content contributed to the commons. DRC servers are located close to the center of OARnet, ensuring maximum availability and speed. The DRC offers not only a promise of high availability for today’s needs, but also the commitment to long-term preservation of your content. Ohio’s academic libraries have come together to create this preservation solution for digital content, because we believe that acting in concert is the best way to successfully safeguard Ohio’s digital research.



Also, The Preservation Lab, project launched by the University of Cincinnati in collaboration with the Public Libraries of Hamilton county Ohio and the Cincinnati Public Library, offers preservation services to other cultural heritage institutions. Private clients are not accepted but the Preservation Lab can direct individuals to private preservation services providers.


Three Interesting Features:

  • The Hamilton County Morgue Records (1887 -1930)
  • House of Refuge Records
  • The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Hamilton County Morgue Records

The Hamilton County Morgue Records (1887-1930) are absolutely fascinating and engrossing, as well as sometimes disturbing. This collection immediately inspired many research questions as I perused the variety of non-natural death causes. For instance, what would an examination of the record of  “criminal abortions,” suspicious  infant deaths and abandonments tell us about the responses of women forced to carry unwanted pregnancies in the era of the Comstock Laws, that prohibited birth control information dissemination and abortion was not safe or legal? Also, the number of suicides in the records is shocking, as are the methods. One record identified the cause of death as, “suicide by rough rat”. A quick Google search revealed this to be a common form of rodent control, or rat poison. How many cases of domestic violence led to women’s deaths? This data raised many questions about this bustling midwestern riverside city during this time period.




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Lizzie Rutherford, “colored”, age 29 yeas as the victim of murder. Her husband stabbed her in the back with a pair of scissors,

House of Refuge Records

This collection offers insights into the plight of vulnerable children and young people. The reasons for commitment to this apparent combination of juvenile delinquent center and orphanage include: vagrancy, incorrigibility, playing cards on Sunday, burglary, loitering, disorderly conduct, arson, and sadly “for a home.”


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The collection includes transcripts in excel files.



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The ledger provides valuable data about the households and backgrounds of the inmates, as well as the reason for their commitment to the facility.




National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The Digital Resource Commons Ohio Link home page led to the exploration of various communities that participate. By searching History & Archives, I discovered the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Then, I discovered a letter cancelling the sale and an agreement of repurchase of a three year old girl. After reading it, I realized I’d overlooked an important detail.The sender was Thomas Jefferson.





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“Repurchase agreement dated July 30, 1817, between Thomas Jefferson and Jeremiah Goodman, Jefferson’s former plantation overseer at Poplar Forest. Apparently this repurchase agreement was made to keep Sally, the daughter of a slave named Aggy, from being separated from her mother. The document has also been docketed by other people, regarding payment.”-Document Description