Local History Services dates back to the state's sesquicentennial in 1953, which generated avid interest in Ohio history. To provide assistance to blossoming local history groups, the Ohio History Connection created the job of "Field Representative" and in 1955 began publishing Ohio Local History News. The first statewide conferences for local historians were also held in the 1950s, and the first Ohio Historical Marker was dedicated in 1957, commemorating the history of Akron's Portage Path.
In 1960, the statewide conference featured the first business meeting of the Association of Historical Societies of Ohio, which was later known as the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums, and is today known as the Ohio Local History Alliance. Local History Services provides administration, programmatic support, and coordination for this association that serves over 600 local history member institutions.
Today, more than 50 years later, Local History Services continues to work with history organizations across the state to help Ohioans connect with their own local history.
If You Don't Know Who to Ask, Ask Us
If you or your organization has a question about any aspect of doing local history, contact the Local History Office. Staff respond to hundreds of inquires from local history organizations each year. These questions cover a wide variety of areas: collections care, governance, priority setting, attracting more people to an organization, and much more.
In most cases, if staff don't know the answer, they are happy to put you in contact with somebody who does. Your organization doesn't have to "reinvent the wheel." The Local History Office can help find someone who invented it in the first place!
Local History Services is located in the Ohio History Center, within 10 minutes of downtown Columbus at the intersection of Interstate 71 and 17th Avenue
Ohio History Connection
Local History Services
800 E. 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: (614) 297-2343 or (800) 576-0381
To contact a specific staff member, see Local History Services Staff