The University of Cincinnati Libraries have been awarded a $15,900 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Minigrant from the State Library of Ohio to digitize copies of The Cincinnatian, UC’s yearbook, for the period of 1951-2006.
A previous LSTA grant provided for the digitization of The Cincinnatian from 1894-1950, viewable on the Web at http://digitalprojects.libraries.uc.edu/cincinnatian/. This second project will complete access to all issues of the yearbook via the Web.
In partnership with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH), the remaining 29 volumes of The Cincinnatian containing 10,600 pages will be scanned and made available to the public online via OhioLINK’s Digital Resource Commons (DRC) at http://drc.libraries.uc.edu/. The yearbooks should be available in fall 2010. The collection will be discoverable through Internet search engines. The full text of the yearbooks and the assigned metadata will be fully indexed and searchable.
“The digitizing of The Cincinnatian is of great interest not only to the University of Cincinnati community, but to Ohioans researching family histories, as well as genealogists, urban historians, and social historians worldwide who will have free access to the complete set of UC’s yearbook on the Web,” said Victoria A. Montavon, dean and university librarian. In addition, the project will increase use of the yearbooks and preserve the original print volumes.
“The Cincinnatian reflected the lives of both Cincinnatians and Ohioans while at the same time illustrating the triumphs and concerns in higher education,” said Kevin Grace, university archivist and head of the Archives and Rare Books Library where the yearbooks are held.
Students published their first yearbook in 1894, documenting the activities and achievements of the University of Cincinnati, as well as a pictorial history of the city. In the 1950s, the transitions in American higher education are apparent through the images and text of The Cincinnatian. Campus activities expanded to accompany a more diverse student body. UC became a more residential university with the rapid growth of fraternity life and residence halls documented in the pages of the yearbooks. Like most American colleges and universities in the 1960s and 1970s, UC reflected the cultural upheaval of the times. Politically-charged speeches on campus, from George Wallace to Ralph Nader, were recorded in the yearbook, as were protests both for and against the war in Southeast Asia. African Americans on campus became enfranchised academically and socially, events that were also well-chronicled. The Cincinnatian was published annually from 1894 to 1972 (except 1906), and occasionally since.
The LSTA program is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and administered through the State Library of Ohio.
More information about The Cincinnatian is available online via an Archives and Rare Books Library exhibit, “Yearbooks: Turning the Pages of UC History,” at www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/exhibits/yearbooks/index.html.