- I can’t come in to use your archives in person. How can I use your resources?
Depending on what you need, you may be able to have copies made or have microfilm sent to a nearby library through interlibrary loan. Due to copyright and conservation issues, restrictions may apply. Please see http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/fees/ for information on copies and http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/ill.html for information on interlibrary loan.
- I don’t know what you have to even request copies. How do I find out?
Information on our holdings is available through our online catalog at http://www.ohiohistory.org/occ/menu.htm. Many of the manuscript collections also have finding aids available at http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/aids that will give a more detailed breakdown of what is included in them to help you figure out what you need.
- Why don’t you have everything available online?
Although we have scanned some items from our collections into the following online databases (see links below), this represents a small fraction of the collection contents in our archives. We are continually working to make items available in digital format, but there is a cost in money, time, and staffing that makes it unlikely that all of our holdings will be accessible electronically.
African American Experience in Ohio 1850-1920: http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
Fight For the Colors: The Ohio Battle Flag Collection: http://www.ohiohistory.org/etcetera/exhibits/fftc/index.cfm
Kilroy Was Here: The 1940s Revisited: http://www.ohiohistory.org/etcetera/exhibits/kilroy/index.html
Ohio Memory: http://www.ohiomemory.org/
Remarkable Ohio: http://www.ohiochannel.org/your_state/remarkable_ohio/index.cfm?mh=ohs
Significant Government Documents in Ohio’s History http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/
Virtual First Ohioans: http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=25/
- Can you do the research for me?
We are happy to answer reference questions without charge if the answer is something that we can find out relatively quickly. Due to our limited staffing, we have to charge a research fee for more complex questions. Please see http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/fees/rr.html for more details. For very complex, time consuming research requests, we will need to refer you to a professional researcher. There is a list of them available at http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/resrchrs.html
- How can I learn more about doing research myself?
We offer genealogy workshops every month on a variety of subjects. Please see http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/genworkshops.html for more details.
- I want a copy of my great-grandfather’s obituary. Can you send that to me?
Due to the labor intensive nature of newspaper research, we do not have the manpower to be able to provide that service. However, you can have that roll of film sent to your local library through interlibrary loan and make a copy of it yourself.
- How do I request something through interlibrary loan?
We can only make loans to others libraries for use within their facilities. Please contact your local library and have them make arrangements. More information about out interlibrary loan policies is available at /collections--archives/archives-library/interlibrary-loan
- I tried calling you on the phone with a reference question. Why was I told to send an email or letter with my question instead?
While our staff members are on phone duty, they are unable to leave the small office area where the phone is. This limits them on how much access they have to our resources to be able to check on things for you. For example, if you wanted to know what town in your county was the original county seat, they cannot get up, go into the Reading Room, and look at the county history to find that information for you.
Another issue is that many of the questions we get are very complicated. We may need more information than you have readily available to be able to help you, or the question may be so complex that it is subject to a research fee.
Finally, our individual staff members have different areas of specialty. The one who knows land records inside and out may not know all the intricacies of military history, and the military history expert won’t necessarily know everything about mental health records. Getting your question in writing allows us to direct your inquiry to the person who is best able to answer it. Due to issues with people forgetting to leave their contact information and with playing telephone tag, having you send an email has proven to be far more efficient than having you leave a voice mail message.