The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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September 2002

The Public Documents & Patents Department

Drawing together materials previously distributed throughout the collections of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the Public Documents & Patents Department opened for business on July 6, 1997, in the new North Building of the Main Library in downtown Cincinnati. This centralized collection is the largest documents depository in the Greater Cincinnati area and is a major source of information—on all subjects and in a variety of formats—published by the United States Federal Government. The department provides in-depth, specialized service for people downtown, throughout the Tri-State and across the country.

The document collection represents the entire span of American history. From the Northwest Ordinance to the Starr Report, from the Nuremberg War Crimes trials to reports on September 11th terrorism, the department contains primary sources on which many news and research analyses are based.

The department is visited by people seeking information for a wide range of purposes. They may include:

  • a nursing student who needs community demographics for a class project
  • a single mother seeking loan information to start a small business
  • an inventor searching the patent collection to see whether his invention is already patented
  • a hip-hop artist picking up copyright forms for his new songs on CD
  • a taxpayer needing forms for a federal or state income tax return
  • a student studying historical census data for the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood
  • a genealogist who would like a copy of her grandfather’s patent

Read on to find out what the Public Documents & Patents Department can do for you!