Post about Cincinnati: The Nelson and Florence Hoffmann Cincinnati Postcard Collection

By Lauren Fink, Archives and Rare Books Library Intern

The Nelson and Florence Hoffmann Cincinnati Postcard Collection is now available for viewing in the Archives & Rare Books Library.  The 1,675 postcards in the collection were acquired by Nelson Hoffman over several decades, documenting Cincinnati’s history and culture from the late 1800s through the late 1900s.  Through their images and texts, the postcards in this collection provide fascinating reflections of life in Cincinnati, both recreationally and professionally.

Saturday on the Ohio RiverEden Park Band StandOver-the-Rhine CanalUnion Terminal

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Leigh Harline Brought Memorable Characters to Life

Pinocchio Recordings
Record Cover for Recordings of the Music from Pinocchio

Walt Disney Studios is known for their great animated films filled with memorable songs, songs that we remember from our childhood and that last with us through adulthood.  They are songs we share with our own children as they grow.  We usually remember the names of the actors who brought the characters to life, but not everyone pays attention to the names of those who wrote those songs that stay with us.  Leigh Harline, a prolific composer, was one of those people who brought the early Disney characters to life through his songs.

Harline was the son of Swedish immigrants who converted to Mormonism.  He was born in Utah on March 26, 1907, and was his parent’s thirteenth child.  His family recognized his musical talents early in his life, and he played the organ on Sundays at the Mormon Tabernacle when he was twelve years old.   He attended the Latter Day Saints High School and then the University of Utah, where he majored in music and studied piano and organ with J. Spencer Cornwall, the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Continue reading Leigh Harline Brought Memorable Characters to Life

City Reports Offer Wealth of Information for Cincinnati Researchers

Loan Sharks
In 1912 the Department of Charities and Correction launched a crusade against loan sharks who were targeting the poor of Cincinnati

By Janice Schulz

The Archives & Rare Books Library holds City of Cincinnati Annual Reports from 1853-1870, 1875-1876, 1905-1914, and 1926-1958. These reports contain valuable information for anyone researching the history of Cincinnati, its departments, its people, and its issues.

While reports included in each volume vary, the Mayor’s report is always available.  Also available may be various city financial reports and reports from City Council, schools, the Health Department and health care facilities, the House of Refuge, the Fire Department, the Police Department, Public Works, the City Engineer, jails, Civil Service Commission, City Solicitor, Parks Department, the University of Cincinnati, and other city commissions. Until 1914, each individual annual report is published in full, but after that time the reports take on more of a summarized format under the title Municipal Activities. Continue reading City Reports Offer Wealth of Information for Cincinnati Researchers

Documenting a Lifetime of Service: The Papers of Theodore M. Berry Now Available

Theodore M. BerryBy Kevin Grace, UC Archivist and Head of the Archives and Rare Books Library

Theodore M. Berry (1905-2000) was a key figure in American civil rights in the 20th century, a man who marked his life with a formidable sense of justice. From the 1930s, when he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with bachelor’s and law degrees, until his death just before a new century, Berry worked tirelessly to promote racial harmony and served with distinction in President Lyndon Johnson’s programs for civil rights during the 1960s.

Three decades ago, Berry donated his papers to the University of Cincinnati where they are housed in the Archives and Rare Books Library.

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T. M. Berry Project: A Fond Farewell

By Laura Laugle

It’s been just over a year since I began working with the Theodore M. Berry papers and in that time this collection has become a part of me in a way I never guessed it would. I have learned about 20th century American history and the black experience in a way that no history book or classroom setting could ever duplicate; I have gotten an insider’s look at the US government during the civil rights movement; and I have come to know a man whom I never had the opportunity to meet but whom I greatly admire. This will be my last blog post for this project and, though I am sad to be leaving, I know that this collection will always be with me in its contribution to my education and understanding of the world. Continue reading T. M. Berry Project: A Fond Farewell

Speaking of Lotspeich. . .

By Lauren Fink

Seven Hills School LogoA new, 11-box installment has been added to the Seven Hills School collection which is housed at the Archives and Rare Books Library.

In 2002, the library processed a collection of archival materials belonging to the Seven Hills School. This collection contains photographs, yearbooks, and other memorabilia documenting the school’s history and evolution from 1908-1999 and can be viewed by visiting the following link The new accession of materials is a continuation of the 2002 collection. However, it spans the years 1953-2011 and pertains mainly to the Lotspeich School.

Print materials – self-studies of the Seven Hills School, mailings, newsletters, class lists, directories, and annual reports – are included, as are photographic materials. Professional school pictures, principals’ albums, yearbooks (right), faculty photos, and candids all document the myriad of people and happenings at the Lotspeich School throughout the years. Events like Halloween, “Shearing ‘Lot Sheep’ at Lotspeich, and May Fete, are certainly of interest and nostalgia to alumni of the Lotspeich School. Continue reading Speaking of Lotspeich. . .

T. M. Berry Project: Fred Shuttlesworth

Rev. Shuttlesworth

By Laura Laugle

For many people familiar with the American Civil Rights Movement, the recent death of Fred Shuttlesworth marks the end of an era. Shuttlesworth was the last surviving member of “The Big Three” a descriptor for the three founding members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

Though Shuttlesworth is predominately known for his work in Birmingham, Alabama, he actually lived much of his life right here in Cincinnati. He moved here in 1961 to take a position as pastor at Revelation Baptist Church and met the Berry family when he moved into their former home on North Crescent Ave. Although he continued his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement mostly through his work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Alabama, he did have a few special projects going in the which city he called home until his retirement in 2007 which would have been important to Ted Berry, particularly later in their careers. Continue reading T. M. Berry Project: Fred Shuttlesworth

T. M. Berry Project: The New Horizon

Cover of New Horizon

By Laura Laugle

Now that the physical processing of the Berry collection is complete and I’ve begun arranging materials, I’ve come across some items which, when I processed them months and months ago, I was too ignorant of their context to fully appreciate. Chief among those items are three copies of The New Horizon. I had no idea when I pulled out the rusty staples, pried off the bits of rapidly disintegrating paperclips and filed them temporarily (read: labeled with a removable sticky note) as “Misc. Copies of New Horizon” how incredibly important these school papers really are. Continue reading T. M. Berry Project: The New Horizon

T. M. Berry Project: Progress Report

By Laura Laugle

A total of 223 boxes of the Theodore M. Berry Manuscript Collection have now been processed, leaving just six remaining.  In the final collection there will be approximately 180 linear feet with around 475,000 total documents and about 1,000 photographs dating from the 1910s though 2000. The inventory in progress includes a detailed list of the titles and contents of folders, along with series and sub-series for the boxes in which each of the folders is stored. This list will be used for a final Encoded Archival Description finding aid that will be available on OhioLINK and the Internet for researchers using the collection.  The completion date for the project is set for February 2012. Continue reading T. M. Berry Project: Progress Report

T. M. Berry Project: Proportional Representation in Cincinnati

By Laura Laugle

A large part of Theodore M. Berry’s work in obtaining equality for African Americans in Ohio and especially in Cincinnati centered on the electoral process. The “Berry Backers” frequently ran “Get out the Vote” type events throughout the 1940s and 1950s, using the lure of bowling tournaments and visiting speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to encourage blacks to work with the systems in place and become involved in the political process. It should then come as no surprise that Berry spent many years fighting for what he believed to be the fairest system of voting – proportional representation.

Bowling Team
The “Berry Backers” bowling team at one of their many events

Continue reading T. M. Berry Project: Proportional Representation in Cincinnati