Main Library · Government and Business Department

The Government & Business Department service desk closed in October as part of the Main Library for the 21st Century reorganization. The collection is now part of the Information & Reference Department.

Second Floor—South Building
513-369-6930 (telephone directory desk)

Manager: Angela Farmer

About the Department

From student to scholar, the Government and Business Department has something for everyone. The department originated in 1949 when appropriate materials were culled from existing departments to create a collection specifically for the business community, investors, research workers and students. It became independent in 1952 as the Business, Law and Administration Department and later assumed its current name. The collection provides information and materials on business, government, computers, international relations, politics, finance, employment, military science, real estate, and investments. Whether a customer is trying to locate a taxidermist in Tulsa, an article on the Magellan Fund, a copy of the newest adoption laws, an Internet directory, or a familiar name on the unclaimed funds list, the variety of resources and able staff in this department offer likely success in the search.

The Collection

Because timeliness is crucial in the delivery of information in the fields of government and business, the department maintains a large array of resources in a variety of formats. Materials in the department include over 187,000 volumes, 1,050 telephone directories, a collection of Phonefiche, and nearly 900,000 microform items. The department subscribes to many loose-leaf services and investment newsletters. It is also a depository for official public documents in its subject area from the United Nations, State of Ohio, Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati.

Special Collections

The Murray Seasongood Collection of Government, Law and Public Administration
is a collection of works devoted to the study of municipal government. The collection contains over 1,500 volumes focused on urban reform. Topics include traffic, parking and public transportation, police and fire departments, and city pension funds. Related subjects in the collection comprise various Cincinnati neighborhood planning studies, theories of urban politics, policy analysis in local government and municipal administration. Financial support of the collection comes from the Martha S. Stern Fund.
Lenke Collection for Insurance Industry Reference and Research
provides a wide scope of information to anyone interacting with the insurance industry from professional agents to first-time buyers.
is devoted to all facets of job and career information resources. All books about job searching, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and career information are located in Jobsp@ce. Additionally, all examination preparation books for the armed services, civil service, law school and business graduate school, among others, are located in the collection. Classes in the areas of career development, resume writing, and other relevant topics are offered regularly.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Collection
strives to compile a comprehensive universe of writings and speeches by and about the life, times and society of Martin Luther King, Jr. The collection has been funded by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition trust fund since 1999.
The Railroad Research Collection
offers social, economic, political, geographic and historic perspectives on local, national and foreign railroads. For example, did you know Cincinnati is the only municipality in the United States that owns a railroad line? The first Chattanooga Choo Choo was Cincinnati Southern Railroad’s small wood burning steam locomotive that started its journey from Cincinnati on March 5, 1880. Subjects covered in the collection range from tips on diner car etiquette, to issues of federal regulation, to the environmental impact of the Chunnel. The focus and scope of this collection offers substantial access to the topics of trains and railroads for all levels of interest.
The Civil Rights Research Collection
on microfilm provides documentation on the history of organizations working for civil rights including the Papers of the NAACP 1909–1970; Records of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters 1925–1969 and Records of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1954–1970. Combined with additional titles in our Civil Rights microfilm collection—such as Federal Surveillance of Afro-Americans, FBI files on the Black Panther Party, Jessie Jackson, Paul Robeson and Martin Luther King, Jr.; President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights; Civil Rights During the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations—these shed a wealth of information on the evolution of race relations and civil rights in America.
The Small Business Reference and Research Collection
is devoted to providing businesses—nonprofit or commercial—with information needed to overcome the obstacles of starting a new enterprise. Information on the management, planning, finance and legal aspects of starting a small business, as well as information on industry and market analysis is provided. The collection is partly financed with a trust fund established by the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Chapter 34, since 1999.
The Directory Services Collection
offers access to virtually every current telephone book available in the United States. Business and residential listings, as well as “Yellow Page” listings are available in either print or microform copies. The collection also has selected foreign directories from around the world. Most parts of the collection can be searched by name, address or phone number.

Reference Service

Requests for assistance are welcome by phone, by mail or in person at the desk. The Government and Business Department has the largest subject department staff and is the busiest reference point in the library. Its staff handles the largest portion of reference work for the library, about one-third of the total number of reference requests. To aid searching, the OCLC FirstSearch systems offer a number of business and government online databases. Upon request staff can also conduct searches through the DART service, which gives quick and efficient access to hundreds of computer databases covering all fields of knowledge worldwide. A separate telephone directory desk assists customers in locating persons and businesses throughout the United States and in major foreign cities. Staff and customers are helped in their searches by a large number of indexes, in paper, on CD-ROM and via the Internet. Special files and indexes on local business, politics, and government are also maintained.


The department has compiled a number of brochures that describe the collection and services. Current publications are available on job searching resources, women in the military, investment resources, and tax resources. Inquire at the department for copies.


Government and Business offers monthly one-hour tours that highlight the department’s collection and services. Other programs on topics such as investing and job searching are also offered. Program and tour dates and times are available by calling the department desk at 513-369-6932.

Internet Sites by Subject

The staff of the Department researches the Internet for Websites containing comprehensive coverage of timely government and business related topics.