Cleveland Memory Newsletter

v.2, no. 2
February, 2005

  • Web Resources at Cleveland Memory
  • News from CSU Special Collections
  • News from Around the Region
  • People on the Move
  • Did You Know?
  • Recent Books
  • This Month in History
  • February Calendar

Web Resources at Cleveland Memory

Graphical icon of the Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office Photography Collection   Thanks to the cooperation of the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, County Archivist Dr. Judith Cetina and County Engineer Robert C. Klaiber Jr., a selection of some 1,200 images from the Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office Photography Collection were digitized and mounted here to the web for public access and use. Tom Oakley, retired from the Engineer's photography department, and CSU graduate student Ravi Suvarnakanti, were tremendous helps with this collection..

News from CSU Special Collections

The start of the Spring Semester witnesses the blossoming of a new group of incoming students from the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science, doing a professional internship ("practicum"), an independent studies project, or volunteering for the experience. This semester we are pleased to welcome Rebecca Bailey, Mike Boone, Daniel Jergovic, Aaron Mason and Rich Wisneski to Special Collections. Rebecca will be digitizing another of the Ethnic Women of Cleveland oral history tapes and transcriptions, as well as assessing a collection donated by famous Cleveland journalist Roldo Bartimole. Mike will be digitizing a pair of 16mm black & white films recently donated by a benefactor in New York, showing (we expect) the excavation work for the Terminal Tower, in the 1920s. Dan has been hard at work for several weeks now, cataloging electronic resources and digital images in Cleveland Memory. Aaron will be helping to digitize e-books, such as Cleveland: an inventory of historic engineering and industrial landmarks, by Daniel Bluestone. Finally, Rich will be working with our cataloging and processing staff to develop a template for Special Collections' finding aids, marked up in the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) metalanguage. We thank them all for their help, as we also thank the 15 wonderful SLIS students who have worked with us in Special Collections in past semesters!

Here is Ravi Suvarnakanti (far right), as a member of his brother's wedding party several years ago. Ravi, who worked so hard on the Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office Photography Collection project (above), was a civil engineering graduate assistant, working in Special Collections the 2002-2003 school year. We were happy to learn last month that now he is engaged to be wed, June 1st of this year, in India. Our best wishes go to him and his bride-to-be!

News from Around the Region

The Greater Cleveland History Digital Library consortium held its second full meeting on January 27th, 2:00 p.m., in Special Collections at CSU. Twenty-four representatives of major libraries and historical societies, as well as guests from OCLC and the community, heard committee reports, discussed issues and shared ideas on how the group should proceed in its goal of making local history information widely available over the web. In between these semi-annual plenary meetings, the group meets in active committees, studying what information about the history of greater Cleveland should be made available on the web and what means should be employed in this task. For more information, contact Bill Barrow. (More in Cleveland History Blog)

Plans to restore Doan's Brook, in Rockefeller Park, to a natural state have alarmed the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation who are concerned about the possible effects on the various ethnic gardens in the park, along Martin Luther King Drive north of University Circle. The city has agreed to remove portions of the historic stone retaining walls currently channeling the stream, as part of a mediation agreement with the FAA, in exchange for being allowed to destroy some wetlands in the course of expanding the Cleveland Hopkins Airport's runways. Preservationist argue that the channelization of Doan's Brook, done early in the twentieth century as part of the creation of Rockefeller Park, was beautifully done and is now a critical part of the park's historic fabric. To remove the walls and allow the stream to wander, they claim, would destroy that historic ambiance, undermine other portions of the park and damage some of the Cultural Gardens. CCGF press release.

Historic bridges and roads have been in the news lately:

  • On December 26th the Plain Dealer ran an article about the deteriorating lift span of the West 3rd Street Bridge ("Life of ups and downs ending for lift bridge," p. B-1). Reporter Rich Extner related plans by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to drop the two-million-pound, 217-foot, 64-year-old bridge onto a barge, float it along the river to a spot where it can be dismantled and a new span rebuilt. The bridge is now closed and not scheduled to reopen until May of 2006.
  • The same day that the W. 3rd St. bridge closed, January 3rd, Case Western Reserve University announced that the Adelbert Road Bridge had been closed by the City, for safety reasons. This bridge was originally erected as part of the Cleveland Union Terminal construction project (photos) in 1929-30.

  • The closing of these bridges occasioned letters of protest in the January 24th edition of the PD ("Failure to maintain bridges doesn't bode well"), one asking how the Adelbert Road Bridge could have been allowed to get in such deplorable condition, despite reported "regular inspections" by the City, and the other questioning how the City managed to let three bridges in the Flats -- W. 3rd, Carter Road and Eagle Avenue -- all be closed simultaneously, greatly impeding traffic.

  • Another transportation-related article appeared in the January 25th Plain Dealer, concerning the disposal of historic bricks by contractors working on the century-old Main Street in the Village of Chagrin Falls. Until a resident complained, the bricks being torn up in the repaving project were being dumped at the landfill instead of being cleaned and reused.

People on the Move

Brian Craig, until recently the Assistant Cataloger and Metadata Specialist for the Western Reserve Historical Society Library, has accepted a position with the Ursuline College Library. The WRHS appears to have a couple of other interesting job openings at present, as listed on their Employment page.

The East Cleveland Public Library is advertising for a part-time Project Archivist to process the historical collection donated by the late Icabod Flewellen. Application period closes February 1st!

If you don't already know of it, the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Library System (CAMLS) maintains a comprehensive jobs listing. Worth watching!

Did You Know?

The folks at the Kelvin Smith Library, at Case, have been hard at work digitizing works on Cleveland history and mounting them to a new web site, "Digitized Books on Cleveland”. The work of the library's Preservation Department, the site is an important part of their Philanthropic Families of Case Western Reserve University website and was funded by a generous, long-time contributor. It offers full-text, PDF images of the pages of 50 important books on Cleveland history and includes links to other full text e-books, including many titles from Cleveland State's Cleveland Memory Project. Watch for more digital Cleveland titles at this site, as they move into phase two of their project.

Recent Books, Current Exhibits, etc.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History. "Balto and the 80th anniversary of the Alaskan Serum Run.". An exhibit, opening January 29th, 2005.

Harper, Constance. Who's Who in Black Cleveland. Call and Post. 2004. $25.

Pfingsten, Ralph. From Rockport to West Park. John Marshall Alumni Association. 2004.

(For more selections, view our previous issues and visit the publishers' websites. You might also wish to check the Northeast Ohio Journal of History's book reviews.)

This Month in History

1869 - Cleveland Public Library opens for the first time, housed in the Harrington Block. (2/17)

1925 - Frantic call from doctor in Nome, Alaska, begins the saga of Balto, the Sled Dog. (2/2).
[80th anniversary] (More in Cleveland History Blog)

1931 - Severance Hall dedicated as the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. (2/5)

1933 - The worst bank run in Cleveland history begins. Two of the city's largest, Union Trust and Guardian Trust, loose half their deposits in one day and never reopen after the National Bank Holiday. (2/25)

1970 - Nick Mileti awarded NBA franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers. (2/5)

February Calendar

First, we should all remember that February is Black History Month, so there will be many events celebrating that going on all around town.

February 20th to the 27th is National Engineers Week, so watch for events around those dates, too.

Thursday, February 10th, 7:00 p.m.
Sally Hemings, a presentation by Women in Cleveland, at the Cuyahoga County Public Library's Fairview Park Regional Office.

Saturday, February 12th, 2:00 p.m.
Tour of the Telling Mansion, the home of the Cuyahoga County Public Library's South Euclid/Lyndhurst Branch.

Sunday, February 13th, seatings at 1:00 and 3:30 p.m.
Lorain County Historical Society's Valentine Tea at the Hickories, $12/$15

Sunday, February 13th, 3:00 p.m.
"Shaker Square: Past and Present, an Overview," by Ted Sande, at the Shaker Historical Society and Museum. $2/$3

Monday, February 14th, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
"Ohio's Digital Library Resources", a presentation by Sheila Benedum, of Bay Village High School, and Bill Barrow, of the CSU Library, for the Ohio SchoolNet State Technology Conference, in Columbus, February 14-16.

Wednesday, February 16th, 7:00
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History presents "From Euclid Bluestone to Grindstone Grit: The Stones That Built Northeastern Ohio", a Curator's Forum talk by Dr. Joe Hannibal.

Monday, February 21st, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Lake County Historical Society's President's Day Dinner Gala, at Hellriegel's Inn, Mentor. $30/$35

Saturday, February 26th, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Lakewood Historical Society's "Lakewood Memorabilia Day". This fun event is a great way for community members and organizations to share their neat Lakewood stuff. For more information or to reserve a table, contact Mazie M. Adams, at the Lakewood Historical Society, at (216) 221-7343, or Melissa Garrett, of the Office of Community Relations, at (216) 529-6650.


March 5th, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
"The Social Sciences in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Opportunities" will be the theme of the Intercollegiate Social Science Association Conference at the Cuyahoga Community College. It will cover those issues that touch particularly upon distance learning and local history. For details contact Jennifer Forster, or Dave Bernatowicz.

Sunday, March 20th, 2:00 p.m.
Hiram College will present a symposium titled "The Idea of the Map." Come see the beautiful maps of North American, Ohio and the Western Reserve in the school's Maurice Fox Collection and hear speakers discuss how that collection was formed and brought to Hiram and learn more about the maps themselves. For more information, contact Dr. Robert W. Sawyer, and watch next month's edition of this News from Cleveland Memory.



Balto the Sled Dog with the photogenic Quackenbush Twins   After leading the sled that delivered the diphtheria serum to Nome, in 1925, Balto became a canine celebrity in America and toured the county. Here he poses with the photogenic Quackenbush Twins, of Seattle.more...


(from the Cleveland Press Collection)

News from Cleveland Memory is a monthly e-newsletter to announce new on-line products in our Cleveland Memory Project, ( and to share other news about events and people relevant to local history and resources in the Western Reserve region of northeastern Ohio. A largely extracurricular effort, NCM goes out free to a list of approximately 1,000 librarians, historians, educators, media professionals and members of the general public. You may subscribe below for free. As always, we thank the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History for allowing us to link to their articles, where relevant.

Please share your thoughts with us on how we can improve this newsletter and what you would like us to cover.

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