Ohio Digital Network logo
March 2, 2018

The State Library of Ohio is pleased to announce the launch of the Ohio Digital Network. Today, over 90,000 new materials from Ohio Digital Network are now discoverable in Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Led by the State Library of Ohio and in partnership with Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK), Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), and Ohio History Connection, the Ohio Digital Network builds on strong digital collection efforts across the state including Ohio Memory and the Ohio Digitization Hubs project. The State Library is one of the eleven Ohio libraries and cultural institutions members with collections in the initial launch of the Ohio Digital Network. As a part of DPLA, students and teachers, researchers, and history buffs can now explore all of these rich collections from across the state in one place alongside millions of resources from the growing DPLA network of partners.

“The State Library of Ohio is very proud to have led the Ohio Digital Network to this important point.  We are very appreciative of the tremendous amount of work done by the many dedicated people in our partner institutions across the state,” expressed State Librarian Beverly Cain.  “We look forward to working with them, and with our partners at DPLA, to continue developing Ohio’s contributions to this culturally and historically significant collection of resources.”

The collections shared by members of the Ohio Digital Network represent stories that are both unique to Ohioans and part of our shared national story. Materials such as the Fishes of the Great Lakes poster, wartime propaganda posters and oral histories about the May 4, 1970 Kent State shooting shed light on turning point moments in twentieth century history. Collections such as Kenyon College’s Latino-American experiences in rural Knox County and  Ohio’s LGBT communities from the Ohio History Connection, represent the lives, work, and relationships of local Ohioans, and ensure that the stories, voices, and experiences of these communities are captured as part of our national heritage. Ohio Digital Network also brings unique materials for gaming (old school, that is) and ornithology enthusiasts too—the Cleveland Public Library’s collection on the history of chess and checkers and John James Audubon’s beautiful bird illustrations from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are not to be missed.

“OhioLINK and its member libraries are extremely pleased to participate in the initial launch of the Ohio Digital Network collections in the DPLA. Ohio has a long history of collaboration among its library and cultural heritage organizations,” stated Gwen Evans, Executive Director of OhioLINK. “The breadth of digital collections contributed by our partners in Ohio and the connections between those collections make the whole much more than the sum of its parts.”

“OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network, was created when Ohio’s public library community came together in a spirit of collaboration and innovation, and I’ve seen this same energy and excitement invested in the Ohio Digital Network,” said Don Yarman, Executive Director of OPLIN. “We have built so many, amazing digital treasures over the past few decades, and I am eager for Ohio’s libraries and cultural institutions to reach this important milestone of contributing collection data to DPLA, and sharing their wealth through this portal.”

Preview highlights from these collections below or dive right in to explore Ohio’s collections!

Poster - Women of Britain : Come Into the Factories
Women of Britain : Come Into the Factories
Fishes of the Great Lakes Poster
Fishes of the Great Lakes

The State Library of Ohio’s federal and state documents collections add to the vast selection of government posters, reports, maps, and other documents in DPLA. The Fishes of the Great Lakes illustrates 52 species which have been important in the food and recreational fisheries or have had special ecologic significance in the 20th century.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s World War II poster collection joins a rich body of wartime posters in DPLA. One of the strengths of this collection is its international posters, like the Come Into the Factories poster designed to recruit women for factory work. The poster was published in London during World War II.

Shared in partnership with Ohio History Connection, the Gay Ohio History Initiative collection documents organizing and activism within Ohio’s gay and lesbian communities during the 1980s and 1990s. In the photograph below, members of the Stonewall Union Columbus chapter participate in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987.

Ornithologists and nature art fans will want to explore the John James Audubon Birds of America collection from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The collection includes 435 plates from Audubon’s landmark publication, The Birds of America, which was published between 1827 and 1838, and documents the bird species of North America, including the Carolina Turtle Dove.

Carolina Turtle Dove - Audubon illustration in Cincinnati and Hamilton County Digital Library
Carolina Turtle Dove
Stonewall Union at the National March on Washington - Photofrom Ohio Memory
Stonewall Union at the National March on Washington

The Ohio Digital Network will continue to work with libraries, archives, and cultural heritage organizations to grow Ohio content in DPLA. Additional collections from the original eleven participating institutions as well as collections from other institutions will be added over time.

The work of Ohio Digital Network is generously supported in part by LSTA funds awarded to the State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN).

DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format. The cultural institutions participating in DPLA represent the richness and diversity of America itself, from the smallest local history museum to our nation’s largest cultural institutions. The core work includes bringing new collections and partners into DPLA, building our technology, and managing projects that further our mission through curation, education, and community building. DPLA launched in April 2013 as the result of a multiyear grassroots planning initiative involving thousands of volunteers dedicated to the vision of building a national digital library for all.

Established in 1817, the State Library of Ohio is a state agency that serves state government and all types of libraries. The vision for the State Library is a Smarter Ohio where every Ohioan can access the necessary resources to be engaged citizens, excel at their jobs, participate in the workforce, and pursue their passions and interests. The State Library of Ohio ensures a smarter Ohio by managing the delivery of services through three channels: Directly, by building and managing quality collections and providing hands-on service to state government; Cooperatively, through collaborative efforts and information sharing networks within the library community; Virtually, through online and on-the-go access to expert assistance, digitized resources, and a vast selection of electronic materials.

The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) provides broadband Internet connections and related information services to Ohio public libraries. Their primary mission is to ensure that all Ohio residents have fast, free public Internet access through the 251 independent local public library systems in Ohio, as well as the use of high-quality research databases not freely available on the World Wide Web. Though the eventual consumers of their services are often members of the general public, their actual customers are in fact limited to the public library systems of Ohio.

Established in 1992, the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) is Ohio’s statewide academic library consortium and serves more than 600,000 end users, with 120 libraries as full members. These libraries are distributed among 92 different Ohio colleges and universities. OhioLINK membership includes the State Library of Ohio, 16 public university libraries, 50 independent college libraries, 23 two-year college libraries, 16 regional campus libraries, 8 law school libraries and 5 medical school libraries.  A member of the Ohio Technology Consortium of the Ohio Department of Higher EducationOhioLINK provides a competitive advantage for Ohio’s higher education community by cooperatively and cost-effectively acquiring, providing access to and preserving an expanding array of print and digital resources, and by centrally hosting digital content.

The Ohio History Connection is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. Embrace the present, share the past and transform the future. As a nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, local history office and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio.

Established in 2000, Ohio Memory is the collaborative statewide digital library program of the Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio. On this free website, you can explore digital content from over 360 cultural heritage institutions representing all 88 of Ohio’s counties! Ohio Memory contains over 700,000 digital images from a variety of primary source image types, including:

  • Photographs, maps, drawings and paintings
  • Manuscripts, letters, diaries and journals
  • Archaeological, natural history and historical objects
  • Newspapers, books and e-publications
  • Videos and more!

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov