Safety First? Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

By:  Angela Vanderbilt

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the collection’s photographer (whose identity continues to elude us) did not hesitate to include scenes of everyday life in his images that document the subway and street improvement projects. As he photographed the progress of the construction, which included images of the workers, engineers and commissioners in charge of the projects, he also captured the curiosity of the city surrounding these projects.

Photo of Surveyor showing bystanders

Continue reading Safety First? Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

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German-American Places & Events and Other Updates on ARB Website

By:  Suzanne Maggard

The Archives and Rare Books Library has added some new links on our website for Cincinnati German-American places and events.  Have you seen the Sausage Queen at Bockfest?  Have you danced the Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest?  If not, learn more about these German-influenced events in the Cincinnati area.  We’ve also updated other links on ARB’s website for research resources, exhibits, and websites related to our collections.  Take a look and see if there is anything that interests you.  For more information, contact the Archives and Rare Books Library staff directly at 513.556.1959 or archives@ucmail.uc.edu

Screen Shot from German-Americana website

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Progress on the Folklore Collection

By:  Molly Gullett

Edgar SlotkinOver winter break, a good deal of progress was made on the Southwest Ohio Folklore Collection (SWOFC) web exhibit. Work on the exhibit is almost complete and it should be available online within the next couple of weeks. This exhibit will feature brief glimpses into the various genres of the collection, as well as a link to the finding aid.  All the research materials in the SWOFC were donated by professor emeritus Edgar Slotkin who collected them over the span of his four decades of teaching folklore in the Department of English at UC. He saved the years’ worth of student work which now makes up the collection. Continue reading Progress on the Folklore Collection

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OhioLINK EAD Task Force Annual Report Now Available

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.

OhioLINK EAD Finding Aid Repository website

Continue reading OhioLINK EAD Task Force Annual Report Now Available

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Consumerism in 1920s Cincinnati: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

By:  Angela Vanderbilt

In addition to the scenes of everyday life that are found in the photographs of Cincinnati’s subway and street improvement projects, our photographer also captured a glimpse at the consumer side of this growing city. Images of billboard advertisements, as well as shots of shops and markets, gas stations and factories are found within the photographs, providing a backdrop to the construction and repair work that were the intended subject matter.

Found among the images of neighborhood drugstores and shops are shots of companies such as Cincinnati’s own The Kroger Company. In the images below, early Kroger storefronts are seen, one located at the corner of Mohawk and Central Parkway, and the other (to the right of Linwood Drug Store) at the corner of Eastern and Linwood Avenues.

Kroger Storefront

Kroger Grocery Store Continue reading Consumerism in 1920s Cincinnati: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

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Supply In Demand-Acquiring Construction Resources in Post-WWI Cincinnati: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

By: Angela Vanderbilt

In the spring of 1916, the citizens of Cincinnati voted in favor of the $6 million bond issue approved by City Council for construction of the “Pearl Street Belt Line,” a rapid transit loop that was to provide a solution to the congested traffic patterns in-and-out of downtown Cincinnati at the turn of the 20th century.

Map of Subway Construction area
March 1, 1921 – Photograph of a map of Cincinnati showing rapid transit loop & interurbans

Continue reading Supply In Demand-Acquiring Construction Resources in Post-WWI Cincinnati: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

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New Addition to the Cincinnati Ballet Records

By:  Lauren Fink, ARB Student Assistant

Billboard advertising NutcrackerThe Archives and Rare Books Library has recently processed a collection from the Cincinnati Ballet spanning the years 1970-2008.  This collection, full of photographs, contact sheets, sketches, and notes, makes an excellent addition to our already extensive Cincinnati Ballet Records.

The new collection mainly includes visual materials related to The Nutcracker.  Professional photographs, advertising campaigns, and community outreach programs are all documented. Above is a billboard advertisement, “One Size Fits All: This Year Give The Nutcracker.”  Below is “Nut Man” who was very active in the Cincinnati community circa 1988.  Contact sheets and action prints, as seen below, comprise an entire box of the collection. Continue reading New Addition to the Cincinnati Ballet Records

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Accidents Happen: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

By Angela Vanderbilt

Sometimes, in order to build up you must tear down. Sometimes, progress comes with a price. In the case of the Cincinnati subway construction project, that price was the removal of several homes and businesses located along the proposed subway route. The razing of these buildings was due in part to their location, some lay in the direct path of the subway route, but also due to structural damage caused by the construction process.

All buildings were photographed as part of the subway project, including those which sustained damage due to construction of the subway. In some locations, vibration from blasting and digging resulted in cracked walls and ceilings. Below are images from 1921, the beginning of construction, that show cracks in foundations of structures located along the old canal bed, the new Central Parkway. Such photographs would be used to support property owner damage claims made to the city. It is reported that the city paid out over a quarter-million dollars in property damage reparations. Continue reading Accidents Happen: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

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Urban Appalachian Council Records Available in ARB

By Suzanne Maggard

Appalachian Festival
Music at an Appalachian Festival

After World War II and through the 1960s and 1970s, millions of people fled Appalachia in search of jobs and a better life.  Cincinnati’s proximity to Appalachian counties in Kentucky and Ohio and its industries encouraged many migrants to settle in this area.  The migrants brought unique music, cultural traditions, and stories.  The experiences of Cincinnati’s Appalachian migrants varied. Continue reading Urban Appalachian Council Records Available in ARB

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Pairing Prints with Negatives: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

By:  Angela Vanderbilt

The Cincinnati (Ohio) City Engineer – Rapid Transit Records collection includes both negatives and prints of subway construction and street improvement projects conducted by the City of Cincinnati between 1917 and 1957. While we are fortunate to have over 2000 printed copies from negatives included in the collection, not every negative has a matching print, and the digitization project does not extend to producing archival prints of the negatives. Because the prints and negatives have been separated into folders, with the negative folders organized by date and the print folders organized by street name, it is quite a task to match a print with a negative.

Like a game of Concentration, I compare prints to scanned images, hoping to match a print with its negative, spurred on by the challenge of turning over the right combination of cards! Fortunately, having gone through each folder to prepare the materials for scanning has made me familiar enough with the contents to have a general idea of where I might locate an image of Elm Street or Ludlow Avenue. Most helpful is the information being transcribed from the negatives and prints as they are scanned, which provides dates and street names in a spreadsheet that I compare and also match to the finding aid. As the project moves into the online collection building phase, each print will be matched with its negative in a database, so that ultimately researchers viewing the images on screen may quickly determine if a physical print is available. Continue reading Pairing Prints with Negatives: Adventures in the Subway and Street Improvements Digitization Project

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