About the Greater Cincinnati Memory Project
The Greater Cincinnati Memory Project is currently in the second phase of development. While the first stages of the project successfully established the online database and made an initial 5,884 images available, new content is also being made available. Continuing with the theme of pre-1940 photos, postcards, and slides of area landmarks and events, the Project has been expanded to include images of Cincinnati area people.
Libraries store an abundance of images that detail the Greater Cincinnati area's past. Along with other databases such as the Ohio Memory Project and American Memory, the Greater Cincinnati Memory Project is providing a way for these libraries to profile and preserve their collections and make them more accessible to the public. Many of the institutions that originally contributed images to the Memory Project are again adding new materials. New institutions are also digitizing portions of their collections for inclusion in the Project.
In Spring 2000, the Greater Cincinnati Library Consortium (now SWON Libraries) successfully completed a year-long pilot project, making nearly 6,000 local history images available on the World Wide Web. Seven participating libraries and museums (providing collections and local funds) and five co-sponsors (providing local funds) were involved in the development of an electronic database of local history materials, presented in Web format. Funding was also provided via a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. Pre-1940 photos, postcards and slides relating to landmarks and events of local interest (with limited text) are now accessible on this Web site for use by Greater Cincinnati Area researchers, students, and the general public. Each institution selected items representing "highlights" of its local history collection.
Three objectives were addressed within the framework of the Project:
- OBJECTIVE (Historic Preservation)
OBJECTIVE (Public Access)
- To preserve local history materials within the Cincinnati area by digitizing and storing in electronic media 6,000 pre-1940 photos, postcards and slides.
OBJECTIVE (Promotion of User Awareness)
- To promote the availability of local history materials by providing Web-based access to 6,000 pre-1940 photos and postcards.
- To promote user awareness concerning the availability of local history materials, through Web site and electronic discussion list postings, brochures, and public service announcements.
A Project Team, comprised of technology, local history, and cataloging experts from the SWON libraries membership, has overseen the Project since its earliest stages of development. The data entry work was done by staff members from the contributing libraries. The SWON Libraries staff has served as facilitators, compiling the original Project proposal, overseeing the fiscal operations, distributing the RFP, and handling the service provider contract details. The Project Web server was previously housed at the SWON Libraries office.
The Project is now hosted by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.