The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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March 2003

Special Collections & Indexes

This month, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding. The oldest public library west of the Alleghenies, the Library traces its beginnings to an 1853 initiative for an adjunct public school library system. From that small start, it has grown to become one of the largest and finest public libraries in the nation.

Generations of staff have worked to build the Library’s collections and to make them accessible to our customers. Over the past century and a half, staff have gathered, created, and indexed many extraordinary resources, some of them unique to this library system. The generosity of generations of local citizens has supported these efforts, through gifts, bequests, and trusts, many designated to fund specific collections.

So in celebration of 150 years of this collective work, join us for a brief tour of the Library’s special collections and indexes. Discover some of the treasures that await you at the Library. This list highlights only a fraction of the resources available both at the Library’s agencies and through the networks, subscriptions, and Internet access points the Library offers. As information technology changes, staff continue to gather, organize, and arrange for ready use a rich variety of resources for the Library’s users.

For more information, contact the Main Library departments listed after each collection.

If you’d like to know more about the Library’s 150 years, check out the Free and Public anniversary book by John Fleischman, or the many programs and celebrations scheduled for our anniversary year. Or take a moment to read about our most recent accomplishments!

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