The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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March 2003

Special Collections & Indexes—Posters, Charts, Maps, Scores, and Other Print Materials

Langstroth Lithograph Collection

Trade card

The Langstroth collection contains over 1,000 original lithographs, mounted on 800 large poster boards, collected by Theodore A. Langstroth, a local businessman and avid student of Cincinnati prints and printmaking techniques. His collection covers the entire history of lithography and printmaking, including woodcuts from the 1600s, Asian prints, and twentieth-century offset and photolithographs, with a strong central core of Cincinnati artists and lithographs.
Art & Music Department

The Strobridge Posters

In 1960 the Cincinnati Strobridge Lithography Company was sold, and a portion of the collection of posters was donated by the company to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Historic Society and the Library. A historic collection of 1,035 posters, varying in size, printed in the 1890s through the mid-1920s, this gift is a significant treasure in the Art & Music Department’s special collections.
Art & Music Department

Chart Collection

Hamilton County Park poster by Charles Harper

A select chart collection in the Science & Technology Department offers students and teachers visual aids covering scientific and technological subjects ranging from botany to anatomy to ornithology. There are approximately 250 charts and posters currently in this chart collection.
Science & Technology Department

Map Collections

The History and Genealogy Department’s map collection presently consists of about 10,000 flat maps, 2,500 atlases, 500 gazetteers and cartographic bibliographies, microfilm and microfiche sets, and 20 globes. It includes city and state maps from around the nation, recreational and tourist maps, international maps, and national atlases. For genealogists and historians, the department’s collection of historical and facsimile maps and atlases is especially valuable, including ward maps of all major U.S. cities before 1900 and many beautiful facsimile atlases. The collection is particularly strong in maps of the Cincinnati and Tristate area, from historic maps (dating back to 1792) to aerial photographs. In addition to this collection, the Public Documents & Patents Department houses a collection of U.S. Government-published maps.
History & Genealogy Department, Public Documents & Patents Department

Cadastral County Atlases

Over the years the History & Genealogy Department has acquired approximately 1,500 cadastral county atlases. Mainly published in the mid- to late 1800s, these atlases list landowners by name, a valuable tool for genealogy research.
History & Genealogy Department

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sanborn Map of downtown Cincinnati

From 1867 to 1970, the Sanborn Insurance Company produced nearly 700,000 large-scale, enormously detailed maps of American cities and towns. Each map gives street names, street and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers and They also include information such as the outline of each building, the size, shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors. The maps also. Originally designed to be used by insurance agents for underwriting purposes, these maps are also an invaluable resource for genealogists and historians. The History & Genealogy Department has laminated maps for the Cincinnati city limits, select areas of Hamilton County, and areas of Northern Kentucky. Also available on microfilm are maps for cities and towns in states traversed by the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
History & Genealogy Department

Music Score Collections

Major areas of the Music Score Collections include opera, musical comedies, operettas and other forms of theater and chamber music, both in score and performing parts. Works of Cincinnati composers are in a separate collection, although a number of published sheet music editions have been included as well. The hymnal collection is a valuable aid to researchers of American hymnology and a good composite of earlier American music consisting mostly of 19th century editions. A Libretto Collection includes chiefly opera, operetta and musical theatre texts.
Art & Music Department

Besides these general music collections, there are several specially funded and gift collections in the Art & Music Department.

Roedter Collection

In the 1930’s Miss Emma Roedter, founder of the now-defunct Bach Society, willed the library 531 music score titles. Most are orchestral and chamber works arranged for piano or pianos, and/or chamber music with performing parts. Also included are several hand-copied transcriptions, sets of instrumental parts and a set of the first edition of the Bach Gessellschaft Ausgabe.
Art & Music Department

Doane Collection

The William H. Doane (1832-1915) Collection contains part of his personal collection of books and scores. Mr. Doane was most noted for composing sacred music and as a student of religion.
Art & Music Department

Strauss Mayer Collection

Established in 1978 in memory of Jesse Strauss Mayer, Cincinnati violinist and founding member of the Matinee Musicals Club, the Strauss Mayer Collection consists of performing scores and parts of ensemble works for strings.
Art & Music Department

Sheet Music

Onward Cincinnati: Lyrics and Music by Tommie Milet. c. 1928.

The large Reference Sheet Music Collection of over 31,000 titles is useful and valuable not only for the music it contains, but for the art on the covers as well. Many of the 19th century titles offer excellent examples of early lithography, including such Cincinnati firms as Ehrgott and Forbriger, Strobridge Lithographer. This collection is an irreplaceable asset because of its historical value, especially those items with Cincinnati imprints and/or by Cincinnati composers. A need for choral, Christmas, wedding or popular titles is met by the Circulating Sheet Music Collection, which is a good aid in supplementing the cataloged score collection. The collection is kept up-to-date by frequent purchase in all areas, including popular, rock, country and folk songs.
Art & Music Department

The Exhibition Catalog File

In recent years the exhibition file has focused on Tristate artists. Most items in this uncataloged collection are very brief and were acquired mainly as gifts; a few items have been purchased, and duplicate copies of titles in the cataloged collection are sometimes added. Classified under artists’ name (if it is a one-man show) or under city and gallery (if it is a group show) this file is a useful research tool when a local artist cannot be found anywhere else.
Art & Music Department

Theater, Dance, and Music Programs

Over 25,000 dance, film, music and theater programs (some dating from the nineteenth century) from Cincinnati, and other American and foreign cities are contained in this collection. Minstrel show, vaudeville, and moving-picture programs give strength to the collection. The program file is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and reference librarians.
Art & Music Department