The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County : The Digital Library

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Name:The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

URL: (The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County)

URL: (The Digital Library)

Purpose and Audience:

Connecting people with the world of ideas and information. –About page

The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County’s collection of nearly 9 million items is one of the nation’s oldest and largest. To provide greater access to our rare print materials, especially those of local significance, the Public Library continues to expand its digitization project. Using state-of-the art equipment purchased thanks to grants from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awarded by the State Library of Ohio and additional matching donations, the Library is continually digitizing items and adding them to the Digital Library, thus making them more accessible to the community and to researchers worldwide. –About The Digital Library Page


Information Sources: 59 Collections with local and tri-state area public libraries, college libraries, museums and other cultural heritage institutions, private collectors collaborate as contributors to the digital library.

Information Services: Finding aids and inventories


Three Features: As a genealogy buff, I am always looking for clues. These three collections are goldmines for adding “meat to the bones” of family trees in order to transform them into family histories. Concentrating on the mid-1880’s, I want to learn more about life in Covington Kentucky.

Ohio River Flood Collection





This faceted breakdown of materials in this collection by location, date and featured collection made me aware of major events that took place in the period I’m interested in.




The Report of the Relief Committee


City Directories & County Directories: Covington and Newport 1886-1887


The city directories can contain valuable genealogical information about the Ballard family. Here, I have identified members of my family living in Covington Kentucky, a big move from the rural area of Owen county. I’ve also located two institutions that are important to the family, the Baptist churches in town, and the Masonic lodges. Now that I know about them, I can follow up with further research and possibly find more clues.




Advertisements in the city and county directory from 1886-1887 provide a window onto daily life in 1886. People travel by carriages and buggies orby train. Stoves are made of iron and undertakers look like Victorian undertakers and pull horse drawn hearses. Typewriters  are the height of technology, as is the “paper box” file drawer. Breweries, factories, business schools, cigar box factories, and other industries make it clear that the cities by the river have a lot of industry and commerce, businesses, and drinking halls. The advertisement for the extension shoe to treat club foot is interesting!