Photo archives

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 12/29/2007 - 12:06.

I have been so impressed with the photos at RealNEO.  How will these photos be archived for future use?  A consortium of libraries has started to digitize and archive photos-click on the photo to learn more- (update 4/13/2020 - GONE *pouf

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This image carries some poignancy for me.  I grew up adjacent to a tomato farm on Grayton Rd. in Cleveland.  In the fall, we made forts from the dried up tomato vines and hurled tomato grenades at each other.  Our gang of kids also started a fire once that roared across the tomato fields and took six fire trucks to extinguish.  Later, when we moved to Rocky River, as an angry teen, I remember riding my bike for miles until I reached the farm fields of Westlake and Avon.  I would lie in the rows of cornfields until my hate subsided.  All gone now.


.....yes, susan, the people who work at libraries are resources in themselves and at the risk of offending anyone by omission, I won't rattle off more library names (and some of the names I could name are not necessarily "librarians.") 

Let me put out this little fable, instead, and I will let you figure out my concern and hopefully, cover my butt: 

Picture an old woman, maybe the spinster who has stockpiled her whole life.  The greedy children, who have moved away, don't want to take care of her or her house, but they want her antiques and valuables.  They are waiting for her to die, and maybe, even helping to speed it up by neglecting her.

This is Cleveland's idea of regionalism.  As soon as the dust settles from the Euclid Corridor project, I suspect we will hear more.  Universities and libraries will need to redefine.  I hope they don't kill their old aunt and split her valuables in the process.


Photos are often an untapped resource

I was impressed by a story in the New York Times this past Sunday about a collection of photographs that recorded an important trip to Phillipines made by William Howard Taft. The photographs had collected dust somewhere for almost a century until someone took a closer look and realized they were important historcal records. How easily photos can be forgotten and lost. I see a great opportunity for archiving photographs digitally online, making them available for anyone to learn and share their knowledge. Historical societies and libraries should make an effort to do this.

Digital libraries of photographs

Actually, libraries, historical societies and others HAVE banded together to make resources (including photographs) of NEO history available on the Web.  As mentioned in the original post, the Ohio's Heritage Northeast collaboration of six area libraries will provide access to tens of thousands of images from their collections with a single search.  Visit to perform searches.  One member of this collaboration is Cleveland State University's library, home of our Cleveland Memory Project (  Beyond both is the Greater Cleveland History Digital Library Consortium, an informal gathering of dozens of major academic and public libraries, historical societies, historians and others interested in making even more materials available. So there's a lot going on!

Bill Barrow

Who doesn't know that he is one of my local heroes, because over 10 years ago, he helped me uncover some dusty old maps with information about a creek that helped to start a little environmental uprising in Parma, Ohio, of all places...thanks Bill!

Margaret Baughman

When searching for images of past Cleveland Arts Prize winner for our online archive, Margaret Baughman at the downtown branch of the CPL was very very helpful.

I love Cleveland Memory and spent hours there reading about the history of my neighborhood - by Bill Barrow!

This is also where I found great images of the Huletts, I think...

I wish there were photos from Visions of a City with a Soul I could post here... especially the ones by Jasper Wood. I saw them when I was in the Library last summer. Those would be great to have online to share...

Euclid Heights

You would have been well-served by Margaret, I'm sure!  As for your old neighborhood, Euclid Heights, stay tuned for more information as we put Kara O'Donnell's masters thesis up in Cleveland Memory before long.  And, yes, there are shots of the Huletts in the Cleveland Digital Library, reachable through Cleveland Memory.  Thanks for the kind words!  Bill

Photo archives

For a respite from the monster, I stumbled upon these images from the Smithsonian's collection:

As a SI alum, I am so proud of the work done by this amazing national institution - please consider them in your estate planning.  See fair use, copyright terms.