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Grant helps library go global with archives
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Friday, 04 December 2009 11:36

Armed with a grant from the Ottawa County Community Foundation, Jennifer Fording, is preparing to take the Harris-Elmore Public Library’s historical materials on the road for viewing by the public.
The library is using the grant to help pay for a laptop computer and projector that will enable Fording, the local history librarian, to display digitized archival records on location for interested organizations.
 The Harris-Elmore library is one of 12 public libraries in Northwest Ohio participating in a regional document digitization project under the auspices of the Ohio Historical Society.
Georgiana Huizenga, director of the Harris-Elmore library, said the goal of the project is to make an array of important but often deteriorating local history records available to a wider audience, including researchers throughout the U.S. and world, through the historical society’s Ohio Memory Project.

A grant from the county community foundation last year helped the library start on the project, she said.
At present, materials available on the library’s Website include 123 marriage records, 213 newspapers articles, 1,136 photographs, 1,262 obituaries, and several journals and military records.
With the installation of new equipment last month, the library hopes to add records from schools, courts, churches, and birth and census records as well as maps, Huizenga said.
“All of these materials are available in the library’s local history room,” she said. “But making them available online also makes them available globally.”
Funding for the regional grant comes from the State Library of Ohio.
The goal of the Ohio Memory Project is to provide access to historical documents and records of the state by brining together primary sources in an online scrapbook.
A March, 2002 ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse officially opened the Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook.
Huizenga said groups or organizations interested in a presentation about the Elmore library’s digitization project should contact Fording.
The phone number is (419) 862-2482.

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