Recent weather events in Oklahoma remind us again how devastating tornadoes can be. Like Oklahoma, we also have a history of severe tornadoes in Ohio. Channel 4 meteorologist Ben Gelber came to the Research Room on the third floor of the Ohio History Center to see historic newspaper headlines about and photographs of tornado damage in Ohio. Two newspapers that Ben looked at were the June 13, 1814 edition of the Chillicothe Supporter, and the May 10, 1973 edition of the Columbus Citizen-Journal. Click here to watch Ben’s report online.
If you would like to see learn more about tornadoes in Ohio you can visit the Historical Society’s online exhibit, Severe Weather in Ohio, or search our digital library, Ohio Memory. A keyword search for ‘tornado’ will retrieve photographs, newspaper articles, personal accounts, and information about tornado preparedness.
This Blog is an introduction and a welcome to the Ohio Historical Society for our new curator of natural history, David L. Dyer. Dave brings to our museum an enthusiasm and energy for natural history, museums and wild, natural landscapes such as the natural history sites OHS operates.
Most recently, Dave was curator of the zoology collections and herbarium at the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at the University of Montana in Missoula, where he worked with their collections for twenty years. He has a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska in museum studies, with an emphasis in natural history. Prior to working on his MS, Dave spent four years working as a museum preparator for the Ice Age Exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Somewhat serendipitously, prior to that Dave spent 12 years right here at the Ohio Historical Society, first as a high school student intern and part-time while working on his BS at Ohio State, then full time as our Collections Manager. While Dave, his wife and two sons loved the wilderness hiking opportunities of Montana, roots in Ohio and family still living here motivated Dave to apply for the position here at OHS. I am excited about “turning over the reins” to such a passionate and dedicated natural history museum person. You’ll get a small sense of Dave’s commitment to this sort of work as you read his own introduction below. As you get the opportunity, welcome Dave back to Ohio and to the Ohio Historical Society.
Bob Glotzhober, Senior Curator of Natural History
David Dyer: In His Own Words
As a school child I loved museums. The most anticipated days of the year were the annual spring tours to various Columbus museums. It was a chance to get out of the classroom, to see exciting objects on exhibit, and to have new experiences. Most memorable were the trips to COSI, when they were at their old location on East Broadway, and of course the “Ohio State Museum” in Sullivant Hall at 15th Avenue and High St. That, as you may know, was the home of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society before it changed its name to the Ohio Historical Society and then moved to 800 E. 17th Avenue.
The exhibits were fascinating of course. Who doesn’t want get out of school and get to see the huge swinging Foucault’s Pendulum at COSI or the grizzly bear diorama and rooms full of artifacts at OHS!? Yet it was the doors from the exhibit halls to the unknown back rooms that fascinated me. What was going on behind those doors?! What were those people doing who came and went through those “Staff Only” doors? What amazing things were back there that we could not see? I knew there were large rooms that we could not access and that they MUST have held the coolest stuff in the world! I would stray from my group and sneak a look through the crack between the doors…what would I see? Dinosaur bones? Mummies? All manner of stuffed animals peering back at me? You guessed it; I saw filing cabinets, cinder block walls, and cement floors!
Fast-forward about a decade. As a junior in high school I had the chance to get a behind-the-scenes tour at one of my favorite museums: the Ohio Historical Society! (I still like that phrase: “behind-the scenes”! Who doesn’t want to get to see behind the scenes of almost anything!? I still enjoy watching the how-it’s-made short videos that come with feature film DVDs, usually more than the actual films themselves!). Finally, I was going to see what went on in those long halls and rooms behind the exhibits. As the door swung open from the exhibit hall it was just a little disappointing at first; indeed it was a typical office environment… filing cabinets and all. However I held out hope for more when I saw the endless rooms that lined the long hallway. Our small group met with Dr. Carl Albrecht, the Curator of Natural History at the time. After a short orientation we started off down the hall (and as it were, toward my future). We approached a set of dark wooden doors with the intriguing room title on the wall “Synoptic Room”*! I had NO idea what that meant, but with a title like that –sounding all scientific yet a bit mysterious – it HAD to be awesome! Sure enough it was a jaw-dropping experience: row after row of cabinets with signs that hinted at amazing things within: Minerals, Insects, Birds, Mammals, Skeletons, and Fossils. And on top of the cabinets large, fascinating objects loomed overhead… huge skulls, giant bones, and long tusks that I knew must be from Ice Age mastodons or mammoths.
One glimpse into a museum collection and I knew then and there that this was to be my life’s work. Growing up I had always collected various natural history objects, and my brothers and I even operated a small “museum” in our basement for the neighborhood kids. So on this day, when I realized that working in a museum was an actual career possibility, I knew that I had to do it. I quickly begged to be allowed to work on any task that needed doing, and ended up volunteering in natural history during my senior year of high school. I was then privileged to continue part-time during my college years.
I am now honored to be given the opportunity to follow the previous natural history curators; Carl Albrecht, William Schultz, and Bob Glotzhober. They had faith in me when I started in museum work, shared their amazing knowledge, and opened those doors for me, both literally and figuratively.
*Want to know what Synoptic Room means!? Email me!
David Dyer. Ddyer@ohiohistory.org
The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB) announces it has awarded grants to eight institutions to support archival projects. The funded projects include organizing and preserving historical records and cataloging and digitizing records for improved access. The grants are funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), an arm of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
- Delaware County Historical Society: Delaware County Historical Records Cataloging and Preservation Project ($720.00)
- German Township (Fulton County): Historic German Township Records Processing and Preservation Project ($2,000.00)
- Historical Society of Mount Pleasant: Arrangement and Preservation of Genealogical Records ($954.00)
- Hudson Library and Historical Society: Preserving and Improving Access to Hudson, Ohio Historic Photographs ($1,838.00)
- Shaker Historical Society: Elizabeth Nord Research Library & Archives Map and Stereoview Collections Preservation and Reorganization ($888.00)
- University of Akron: Digitization of the Daniel Guggenheim Airship Institute Technical Reports ($1,980.00)
- Welsh American Heritage Museum: Access and Preservation of Historical Records at the Welsh-American Heritage Museum ($1,967.00)
- Wyandot County Historical Society: Wyandot County Historical Society Photographic Collection Storage Project ($653.00)
The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board is the central body for historical records planning in the state. Board members are appointed by the governor and represent Ohio’s public and private archives, records offices, and research institutions. Administrative responsibility for the board rests with the Ohio Historical Society Museum and Library Services Division. The board also acts as the state-level review body for grants submitted to the NHPRC, in accordance with that commission’s guidelines.
The Manuscripts and Visual Resources Team at the Ohio Historical Society is pleased to announce that a variety of collections are now cataloged and available to researchers. These original manuscript and photographic collections are housed at the Ohio History Center. They are available for use in the Research Room during open hours.
To find out more about the collections on the list, please go to the Manuscripts, Audiovisual and State Archives database in our Online Collections Catalog. You can search for collections by the call number or keywords in the title.
AP 1981 George W. Hildt Ambrotype
AV 260 Marguerite Reilley Collection
MSS 632 AV Robert D. Greer Papers Audiovisual Series
MSS 833 Martha Wheatcraft Papers
MSS 833 AV Martha Wheatcraft Papers Photograph Series
MSS 943 St. John’s Church Records
MSS 943 AV St. John’s Church Records Photograph Series
MSS 1514 Buckeye Steel Castings Records
MSS 1515 Jane Wood Jones Diaries
OVS 7431 Retirement Card
OVS 7435 Grant Boyhood Home Photograph
OVS 7436 Crosley Automobile Advertisement
SC 1445 Shelby, Ohio
VFM 5920 Teaching Certificate
VFM 5921 Hulda Wilhemina Schoenke Confirmation Certificate
VOL 1567 Fanny M. Smith Diary
There is still time to register for Cemeteries and the Family Historian
Cemeteries are thought of as very peaceful places. It is easy to go in, snap a couple of pictures, and leave. Like any other record, tombstones require evaluation; further, they can give clues when taken in context with the neighboring grave markers around them. Come find out how to collect biographical details that go beyond birth and death dates carved into stone.
Date: May 11, 2013
Time: 10 AM – 12 PM
Location: Ohio History Center
Register online here or call 614-297-2510.
Check out the new Ohio History Central, the online encyclopedia of Ohio history!
Ohio History Central includes information about Ohio’s natural history, prehistory, and history. We (as in our hard working web manager) recently migrated the encyclopedia to our new web site platform. Articles are researched and written by Historical Society staff. We are really excited because moving the site will make it much easier for our educators and curators to update content and add new articles.
You can search by keyword or browse by topic using the alphabetical index. For fun there is a feature called ‘Random Page.’ Click on the ‘Navigation’ bar, then ‘Random Page’ and see what comes up. My first ‘Random Page’ was about the Zoarites, a group of German separatists who settled in Tuscarawas County and founded a communal society. The second page that I got was about the coal mining industry in Ohio. Next I retrieved a page about the Ohio Turnpike Commission. You will find a great diversity of article topics and that many are illustrated with images from the Society’s image collections.
The encyclopedia is evolving and dynamic. As we work to make improvements, we welcome your suggestions, questions, and other feedback. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adena Human Effigy Pipe on its way to becoming Ohio’s state artifact. Read more about it!
Columbus School for Girls’ Persistence Pays Off for Adena Pipe