Tag Archives: archives

To Shred or not to Shred! Records and Information Month at Warren County

It’s finally Records and Information Management Month! In celebration, we are highlighting Warren County’s behind the scenes efforts to keep our records and information management cycling. Today we are talking about the destruction process.

As mentioned in one of our blogs from last year, once a record has hit its retention cycle, it might need an RC-3 (certificate of destruction) or CO (court order) for destruction. This information is relayed to me (the Records Manager*), an RC-3 or CO is created, and then signed by the department head or elected official before destruction or disposal can take place.

rc3_warren county_court of common pleas_20180112_ah

At Warren County we conduct on-site destructions every three weeks and when needed in case of special requests.  Having our records destruction done on-site keeps the county accountable to ensure that any sensitive or confidential materials are disposed of in the most secure manner.

Already in 2019 we have conducted five on-site shreds and one special media shred. Special media means electronic, audiovisual media and over-sized books that cannot be shredded in the on-site truck.  These are taken off-site with our vendor and also disposed of confidentially. The on-site shreds alone have disposed of 30,000lbs of paper, helping keep the records and information cycle moving at Warren County.

 

*Guest blogger, Records Manager/Archivist Jen Haney Conover

Advertisements

Location of Origin: Ireland

In the past we have shared snip its of our collections of Naturalization Records in the form of celebrating various individuals who immigrated to the United States. For our Records Center, these records are extremely valuable but very difficult to research in because of their sporadic entries, lack of a major index, and the different media they appear in (paper & journal entries). Due to the hectic nature of these records we do not get many requests for them from the public, which is a shame because they could hold the missing piece in someone’s family history.

We are so very happy to announce that we have been able to upload an index to our Index Page where you can search these records by: Name, Type of Record, Court Recorded, Date, Location Recorded, Location of Origin, and Age/Birthdate. These records are so rich and full of amazing insights of the people they are about. Some include such information as: occupation, physical description, port of entry, etc.

Our top goal at the Records Center and Archives is to make our records as accessible as possible to the public and our online indexes are one of the ways we try to achieve this. We hope that these records help as many people as possible and we also hope to get digital images available to accompany these entries!3-17-2016, 3-17-2017 Naturalization - 13-15-2019 St. Patrick's Day

 

 


Cattle Running at Large…The He Said He Said Road Supervisor Story

Who knew that there was so much controversy surrounding the clearing of cattle from the roadway? Knowing that Warren County was primarily a rural county in the late 1800’s, it seems like this would be a very cut and dry instance where the cattle are rounded up and returned to their rightful owner. Well it appears that the cattle running at large on the roadway was the tip of the iceberg for a feud that had been ongoing between the Gustin family and Samuel R. Crane.

The first documented case we have found is The State of Ohio vs. Levi Gustin, where Levi is charged with  “Assault & Battery on Samuel R. Crane & Resisting/Obstructing officer Samuel R. Crane” dated January of 1876. The final case we have uncovered thus far is The State of Ohio vs. Jesse Gustin, where Jesse is charged with “Assault & Battery on Samuel R. Crane” dated September of 1886.

The instances that led to these Assault & Battery/Resisting charges? Cows. The case just before Jesse’s in 1886 is The State of Ohio vs. Samuel R. Crane in which he is charged with “Resisting Officer Jesse Gustin in execution of his duties as Road Supervisor from preventing him from taking up certain cattle running at large.

Although I do not think we will ever get to the heart of this story, it is clear that their feud goes much deeper than the removal and return of those free roaming cows.

2-6-2019 Weird Wednesday -0004

State of Ohio vs. Jesse Gustin – September 1886

2-6-2019 Weird Wednesday -0005

State of Ohio vs. Jesse Gustin – September 1886

2-6-2019 Weird Wednesday -0007

State of Ohio vs. Samuel R. Crane – September 1886

2-6-2019 Weird Wednesday -0008

State of Ohio vs. Samuel R. Crane – September 1886

 

 


The Award We Won – OHRAB Achievment Award

Today the Warren County Records Center & Archives had the pleasure of accepting the OHRAB Achievement Award, awarded by The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board. We won this award: for our work furthering the digital accessibility and archival preservation of Ohio’s public records, exemplified by the innovative use of its website to make its records easily available to researchers around the world.

We, as a department, have worked hard over the past few years to ensure the effort we put into digitizing, preserving, and indexing our historical records was not just for our use. It seems pointless to have these amazing records organized if they are not available to everyone. So thanks to our fearless leader, Jen Haney Conover, who made her vision for the Records Center & Archives a reality.

The purpose of making sure we share our work with anyone with internet access is because these records are typically hard to get a hold of. Many people aren’t comfortable trying to navigate public records, we are only open normal business hours so access can sometimes be an issue, and it can be extremely disheartening to reach out to us only to find out we do not have what you are looking for. Our end game result would ultimately be for as many people as possible to use our website for research and for each individual to find something truly unique to their story. By receiving distinguished awards such as this it helps put us in the eye of the County Officials and the eye of the public to help spread the word and for that we are truly thankful!

We hope you have had the chance to browse the indexes and images available on our website so far. If you haven’t please feel free to check out The Warren County Records Center & Archives County Index page.

warren county archives staff ohrab award 1-15-2019 (1)

Warren County Archives Staff left to right: Jana Wells, Shayla Wheat, Jen Haney Conover, Jenifer Baker, Tori Roberts, and Ted Hitchens

warren county commissioners and archives staff + tina ratcliff - ohrab award - 1-15-2019

OHRAB Award Acceptance, Warren County Commissioners Meeting – January 15, 2019

img_0941

Warren County OHRAB Achievement Award – Accepted January 15, 2019

 


Spanish Influenza as Reported in Warren County

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War II, it also marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Flu. There was a great article written by Megan Huang on National Archives: Pieces of History Blog regarding the specifics of the Spanish Flu, including just how deadly it was overall.

We are going to focus on the peak of the outbreak and present how it was reported in Warren County in The Western Star. While searching through the papers ranging from 1917-1919 the majority of the articles span from October 10, 1918, through November 7, 1918. The articles include an order from the Mayor of Lebanon closing all public gathering places at the height of the pandemic, obituaries of Warren County citizens, and advertisements from local businesses capitalizing on the flu. Many of the deaths reported in The Western Star followed along the trend of this flu, which targeted middle aged and healthy individuals.

The surprising factor of our research is that, despite the deadliness of the Spanish Flu, there just was not a lot of coverage. Even the short time that the flu was covered, the headlines were minimal and were primarily focused locally. This fact does not seem to be unique to Warren County, this seems to be the norm for many news outlets.

Western Star - October 10, 1918 - Spanish Flu - 1

The Western Star, October 10, 1918

Western Star - October 17, 1918 - Spanish Flu (1)

The Western Star, October 17, 1918

Western Star - October 17, 1918 - Spanish Flu (2)

The Western Star, October 17, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (1)

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (2) - 1

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (2) - 2

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (2) - 3

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - November 7, 1918 - Spanish Flu - 1

The Western Star, November 7, 1918

Western Star - November 7, 1918 - Spanish Flu - 2

The Western Star, November 7, 1918

Western Star - November 20, 1919 - Spanish Flu

The Western Star, November 20, 1919


Guest Blogger Series: Words From Our Intern, Lauren – Post 1

Lauren's 1st Blog Pic

Since starting my internship at the Warren County Records Center and Archives early May, I have already been involved in a few projects. I have alphabetically organized over seventy boxes from Child’s Services with the other intern, Autumn; cleaned documents and placed them into folders; read through various ledgers and documents from the early 1800s and mid-1900s; indexed information from the ledgers (one of which is the Black and Mulatto Record Book that is now online); also researching and looking through microfilm reels of the Western Star while preparing for two upcoming exhibits. Yet, I know this is just the beginning of what it means to work in an archive.

This internship is not my first experience in an archive. I have also worked at Wright State University’s Special Collection and Archives, back in 2016. Having completed my first year in the Public History program at Wright State, I already had an idea of what skills I would need to be an effective archival intern. Getting to apply those skills at the Warren County Records Center and Archives has been a completely amazing experience! It is a very humbling experience to work with such important documents, such as the Black and Mulatto Records Book. This is because I am learning about people who lived in a very different world than what we live in today.

Also, we are currently researching the Board of Elections and Foster, Ohio for upcoming display cases. I have lived in Greene County all my life and have never heard of Foster, Ohio. Learning about the history of that town from its beginning as Foster’s Crossing in the 1800s to what it is today, even actually taking a field trip there, is incredible. Foster is not a place that, with a simple Google search, people can learn everything about. Therefore, after looking through old newspapers, like the Western Star, and finding something fascinating about Foster’s history is a very rewarding feeling and I am so excited for this exhibit!

I am very thrilled to have my internship here and I cannot wait to see what else I will be able to work on and where this experience takes me in the future!

*Guest blogger: Archival Intern, Lauren Lyon


#ThankfulThursday at the Archives

Today is #thankfulthursday at the Warren County Records Center and Archives.
 
We are thankful today for having our Common Pleas Record of Black and Mulatto Persons (1804-1840) index and images available to researchers online and House Bill 139 passed the house!
 
Recently the Warren County Historical Society was kind enough to loan us the original Common Pleas Record of Black & Mulatto Persons book to scan. Because Ohio was never a slave holding state, freed people of color were required to register, which is the origin of this book. Their registration would have been of extreme importance due to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and 1850. We want to make researching these historic, and often difficult to find, records as easy as possible. Please go over and check out the index and images, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us directly.
 
 
House Bill 139 will help our Archives and other county Archives to make historic records available to the public, whereas now they are closed. For more reading be sure to go over and check out The Ohio Legislature website for the most recent version as passed by the house.
 

Unsolved Mysteries from the Archives

While processing miscellaneous Clerk of Court State cases, our Archives Technician Tori Roberts came across these beautiful house drawings. We wanted to see if we could locate this house within Warren County, so we put the information out to our Facebook page to see if the community might know. Unfortunately no one recognized the house but we did get some great feedback about where to share the image and a suggestion about the fact that the house may have never been built!

Upon further review of the case of Hartman vs. Lindsay we determined that Charles Hartman was contracted to perform work to the foundation and cistern on the property to be paid by the architect Joseph R. Lindsay. There  was a dispute of whether the work was completed and money still owed to the plaintiff. Unfortunately the case went on for almost 2 years and there is no mention of the property address or owner. We are looking for any clues or suggestions for where this house could have been. The case dates from November 1910 through 1912.

 


Broken Down: Our Biggest Preservation Project

Continuing our discussion of preservation during Preservation Week 2018, we would like to highlight the biggest preservation project we’ve taken on to date, our Estate Records. This is an ongoing project that includes multiple step rehousing, removing materials that will further deteriorate the records, and finally scanning what we can so that we no longer have to physically access the oldest records.

What we’ve done is broken down each step in the images below:

Step #1 – Rehouse the files from wooden shelving units to cardboard boxes. This step was done years ago. It is always best to store like items together, so moving paper records from lacquered wood boxes was the first step of preserving them in their current condition.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Step #2 – Refile the records from their original accordion style non archival quality folder to new flat archival quality folders. This doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference but the ideal way to store paper is flattened and in paper based folders that are designed to absorb some of the acidity of the paper to keep it from deteriorating further. While we are transitioning the documents we are also flattening them as best we can, we let time and the environment they are stored in do the rest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Step #3 – Digitize as many of these records and make them available to search online. This is the final and most time intensive step in the process because of the fragility of the records and we don’t want to expose them to more light than necessary. This step helps people who are unable to visit the archives access these historic records and if they are needing copies of the record all we have to do is hit print, as opposed to copying it and exposing it to light multiple times.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I refer to this as the largest project based on the sheer volume of records we have. We are duplicating these efforts for many of the other records we house including our historic court records and smaller collections within each county department.

If you would like to view the digitized images we have uploaded thus far, go over and check out our website. We will be uploading additional images as they become available, so if there is a record you would like to view and there are no images please contact us direct. Warren County Old Common Pleas Estate Packets Index

 

 


Preservation vs. Conservation

These words are often used interchangeably. Here at the archives we use these two methods together to provide the best future for the records that we maintain. To preserve would be to keep the records in their current state and prevent them from further deterioration, which is the primary method of maintenance that we use. To conserve many of these items to their original state is unfortunately just not time conducive and it’s costly. Our department, along with other county departments have taken on some large scale preservation and conservation projects.

I wanted to provide you with examples of both so you can see how the two can be different.

Preservation Efforts to Protect Original Volumes

Here are examples of original volumes that we have that have had no preservation efforts vs. volumes that have had a cover applied to them. Unlike conserving a book and taking it back to its original form, the cover simply preserves the book so that no further harm comes to it.

IMG_6328IMG_6329

Conservation Efforts to Restore 1856 & 1867 Historic Warren County Maps

The Records Center received the two wall maps pictured below in deplorable condition. Had we tried to utilize them for any purpose we would only have done further damage. Due to their historic significance, it was important to hire a conservator to come in and try to restore the maps to their original condition (or as close as the damage would allow). Unfortunately we do not have any images of what they looked like prior to work being done, but we have been told that they were filthy, folded up, and falling apart in pieces. All of the work done on them meets archival standards, including the framing.

IMG_6330

1856 Warren County Wall map

IMG_6331

1867 Warren County Wall map