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About Cleveland Memory

Cleveland Memory is...

...a Fascinating Look at Cleveland’s Past
A vast photo archive, a virtual reading room, a photographic reproduction service, and a showcase for our collections. Here serious researchers and casual browsers will find thousands of historical photographs, as well as a growing collection of ebooks documenting the history of greater Cleveland and the Western Reserve region of northeastern Ohio, its industries and its people. All this in a searchable database, updated daily and delivered via an award-winning interface. Explore Cleveland history through images and words.

...a Vast Photo Archive
Cleveland Memory’s major attraction is images. Our collected holdings include the Cleveland Press Collection, a newspaper archive of 500,000 photographs, spanning decades of local history and events, and the Cleveland Union Terminal Collection, including hundreds of photographs chronicling the construction of the Terminal Tower project in the 1920s. You'll find images of:

and much more. Look around - you're sure to find something of interest.

...a Photographic Reproduction Service
We share our collections! Our digital production unit provides digital and photographic reproductions of our images to help you polish your presentation, thesis, or other publication. We can scan photographs, clippings, and other media, print photo reproductions on glossy paper, or burn your selections to a CD. For more information or to place an online order, visit the Digital Production Unit.

...a Virtual Reading Room - E-Books & Other Digital Texts
Visitors will also find plenty here to read:

    Into political history? Check out the political autobiographies of Carl Stokes and Tom L. Johnson. Athough these two dynamic Cleveland Mayors served over 60 years apart, each man's administration was marked by progress and controversy, and both accounts make for fascinating reading.

    Our extensive journalism holdings are complemented by two books by two remarkable local newspapermen: Cleveland Press editor Louis Seltzer and Plain Dealer executive editor Philip Porter. Written by men who began their newspaper careers as teenagers, these are evocative portraits of another era.

    Want to learn more about the immigrant experience? Enjoy lively accounts from two perspectives: Cleveland’s Irish-American communities, or Ed D’Alessandro’s absorbing memories of growing up in Big Italy . We're adding more to this popular series - look for new books soon on the Hungarian, Polish, and Arab communities.

    Examine issues of racism from two different centuries, in John Stark Bellamy’s gruesome e-book on hangings in Cuyahoga County, and an account of the Hough Riots written only two years after the riots.

Visit our complete listing of ebooks available online at Cleveland Memory.

...a Showcase for Our Collections
The images and text used on this site are mostly taken from historical materials held in the Special Collections of the Cleveland State University Library. Special Collections provides a comprehensive facility for scholars, students and the general public. Our collections cover many topics within the field of Cleveland history, with special concentrations on the industrial history of Northeast Ohio, Cleveland journalism, and the infrastructure of the city. Major collections include:

  • The Cleveland Press Collection, a newspaper photo archive of 500,000 images, spanning decades of local history and events.

  • The Wilbur & Sara Ruth Watson Bridge Book Collection This archival collection includes over one hundred and seventy-five rare books, some dating from the eighteenth century, and fifteen albums of photographs on historic bridges. The collection is considered one of the best of its kind in the country.

  • The Cleveland Union Terminal Collection, 6,000 views of the construction of the Terminal Tower complex from the archives of the company that built it. This was a massive urban redevelopment project that foreshadowed the Rockefeller Center, in New York; gave Cleveland the second-tallest building in the world in 1930; and forever changed the face of Public Square and wide swaths of adjoining neighborhoods.

Other images, such as Professor Walter Leedy’s magnificent postcard collection, have been generously lent to us for digitization.

We are committed to preserving and sharing this wealth of information and material, and Cleveland Memory is our showcase.

...a Collaborative Effort
The scanning of the images and books is the work of the Library’s Digital Production Unit. As the supply source for all the great Cleveland Press images you'll find on Cleveland Memory, they're in the process of archiving some half a million photos. The award-winning design of the Cleveland Memory web site reflects the creativity of the Library’s Systems Division.

However, our most valuable collaborators are our donors. Cleveland Memory is all about content: digital resources that can help teachers, students, historians, house-hunters, genealogists, and casual visitors learn more about the history of northern Ohio.

To provide this content, we need access to individual items or entire collections of materials that are in private hands. If you have photographs or other historical items which you think might be of interest, and which you'd be willing to either donate or lend to the Library for digitizing, then we'd love to hear from you. Can you help us?

Visit often...our collections are constantly growing!
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Cleveland Memory is a collaborative effort of the
Special Collections Dept., Digital Processing Unit, Technical Services Dept. & Systems Division at the
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