By: Suzanne Maggard
Some of our regular blog followers may have noticed that both the Archives and Rare Books Library and the Winkler Center are active contributors to the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository. This repository was designed to help researchers find special collections, manuscripts, and archival material throughout the state of Ohio. A total of 60 institutions are currently participating and the repository now holds more than 4000 finding aids. Researchers can find 330 of the Archives and Rare Books Library’s finding aids on the site. Although the repository is not yet comprehensive, it does allow researchers to find an important avenue to find collections within the state of Ohio.
What makes this repository unique among the services provided by OhioLINK is that an institution does not have to be a member of OhioLINK to submit their material. Forty-four of the participants are OhioLINK institutions and the remainder includes public libraries, historical societies, museums, and even schools. Contributors include large public institutions like Kent State University and the University of Akron, private colleges like Case Western University, community colleges such as Cincinnati State, museums including the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Akron Art Museum, public libraries like Akron-Summit County Public Library, historical societies like the Ohio Historical Society, and special libraries include the Center for the History of Psychology. Within the finding aid repository researchers can find both large, highly publicized collections and small, more obscure collections in one place. For example, did you know that the Ohio State University holds an extensive collection on burlesque and exotic dance? Or you may be interested in knowing that the Marietta College Special Collections holds the papers of Rufus Putnam, founder of Marietta, Ohio and a Revolutionary War soldier.
The OhioLINK EAD Repository also participates in the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Project along with 13 other finding aid consortia and over 30 research institutions in the United States, UK, and France. SNAC seeks to find connections between archival collections throughout the world. A prototype of the project is now available on the SNAC website.
The OhioLINK EAD Task Force which created the guidelines and standards for the repository and continues to coordinate maintenance with OhioLINK along with providing training and outreach, recently completed their annual report for 2012. The report highlights new developments, training and presentations offered, and plans for future enhancements. The 2012 annual report is available here: EAD Task Force Annual Report. You can find past reports on the task force’s website.