UC Libraries Awarded a LSTA Grant to Digitize Cincinnati Birth and Death Records

One of the many filing cabinets filled with birth and death records.

One of the many filing cabinets filled with birth and death records.

Genealogists, social historians, epidemiologists, and public health historians will soon have a new extensive, online resource to assist them in learning about birth and deaths in the City of Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati Libraries have been awarded a $140,437 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the State Library of Ohio to digitize 340,000 birth and death records of the City of Cincinnati prior 1908.  The records will be available on OhioLINK’s Digital Resource Commons beginning in August of 2010.

The City of Cincinnati began keeping death records in 1865 and birth records in 1874.  Each birth record contains the name of the individual along with birth date, race, gender, name and birthplace of father and mother, occupation of father, doctor or midwife in attendance, and hospital.  Each death record includes the name of the deceased, age, date and cause of death, address, occupation, race, gender, attending physician, funeral home, and place of burial.  These particular records only include births and deaths that occurred in the areas that were part of the City of Cincinnati at that time.  Records for people who were born or died in areas that were annexed into the city later are not included in these records.

The birth and death records are among the most heavily used research materials in the Archives and Rare Books Library. In the last year, the Archives and Rare Books Library received 3,000 requests for information from the birth and death records, representing 75% of genealogy reference service provided to the general public.  These records, however, will be useful to many scholars.  The database will allow historians, epidemiologists, and other researchers to examine the numbers of births and deaths per year, and track diseases and causes of death, among many other uses.

For more details see the University of Cincinnati Libraries’ press release at:  http://libraries.uc.edu/information/news/pressrelease/0910/lstagrant09.html To view samples of these cards, click on the images below.

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