The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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June 2008

What’s New · The Hunt Is on in Greater Cincinnati: Share Your Collection Without Jeopardizing Its Security

Examing the logbook of the Alliance Patricia Van Skaik, Manager of the Genealogy & Local History Department,
and Jason Buydos, Director of Technical Services,
examine the latest digitized treasure—a late 1700s logbook of the whaling ship Alliance

The Public Library is on a treasure hunt. The goal: to find unique or rare books, documents, or photos in private hands so that they can be digitized to share with the world via the Library's Web site. Perhaps you have a tintype of Ulysses S. Grant’s family, an album of Victorian watercolors, a handwritten cookbook from Colonial times, or a page from a medieval manuscript. This is your chance to showcase your treasure to the global community either as the acknowledged collector or anonymously if you prefer. With the process of digitization, it’s possible to make a high quality electronic image of your materials—even very fragile items—without any damage to your original. Once digitized, these collectibles can be posted online to be available around the globe and would be full text searchable. What a way to expand access to your valuable and otherwise unknown resources.

Digitization is costly, however, and it’s time consuming to set up and maintain a Web site. So the Library is having a contest to select three to five special items of regional, national, and possibly international importance. The winning items will be made available online in order to demonstrate the potential of digitization technology to make locally-held treasures accessible to a worldwide audience. A panel of judges for the competition will review only the entry forms submitted. No original materials will be needed in order to enter the contest. To be considered for digitization, collectors need only complete a simple form by September 21. The contest winners will be announced on October 1. For further information, please contact Jason Buydos at 513-369-3193.