Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

Oct 05

Family History Month and More

Posted on October 5, 2017 at 4:55 PM by Jessica Cromer

It's Family History Month and more!

Last week we talked about American Archives Month which includes Ask an Archivist Day on October 4th, and Electronic Records Day on October 10th. We’ll look at these a little further this week. October is also Family History Month which pairs well with American Archives Month, so we’ll just go ahead and talk about that too!

October is American Archives Month 2015

Ask an Archivist Day (October 4th)

#AskAnArchivist Day was just on Wednesday. This is a day dedicated to utilizing Twitter to allow people to directly communicate with archivists near and far and ask questions about anything archives related. Archivists respond to everything from, “What does an Archivist do?” to “What is the coolest/oldest/weirdest thing in your collection?” and everything in between.


Electronic Records Day (October 10th)

Electronic Records Day is this Tuesday. Electronic records and their care are growing enormous rates and are an important part of most repositories. The Society of American Archivists (SAA) defines the term electronic record (also digital record), as data or information that has been captured and fixed for storage and manipulation in an automated system and that requires the use of the system to render it intelligible by a person.

A related term is machine-readable, which means, in a medium or format that requires a mechanical device to make it intelligible to humans. This is a large reason why archivists still use and like microfilm. It is eye-readable, meaning there is no need for any device or machine, or dependence on electricity to access the information it contains. 'Machine-readable' is commonly used to refer to digital computer data files, which may be stored on magnetic media or punch cards. However, phonograph records, audio cassettes, and LaserDiscs are examples of analog machine-readable formats (SAA). Technology evolves and changes so rapidly that preservation for many formats includes migrating the data from one format to another, and is a race against time. Oftentimes the formats still exist but the machine on which to access or play the information does not.
Electronic Records Day Logo 2017

Family History Month

Family History Month has been celebrated every October since 2001, when Congress first passed a resolution introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who wrote,

"By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family."

(Much like when we travel, the world becomes smaller.)
Some ways you could celebrate Family History Month include creating a cookbook with family recipes, preserving your family photographs, and encouraging cross-generational conversations or even interviews. Many people enjoy scrapbooking, although archivists generally cringe at the thought because of preservation concerns.

Of course, there is also genealogy! The link below has some great additional and specific information to help with family research that detail how you can begin researching your family tree with some relatively fast and easy first steps. They include: Google your ancestors; search inside books; check your DNA; download digitized military records; request a death certificate; interview a relative; order records on microfilm; join a genealogical or historical society; watch, listen, and learn from webinars and podcasts; genealogy groups on Facebook; use the library in person or online; update and backup your family information; read blogs on the subject  ;-)

...and visit your local archives!
Family History Month_FamilyTreeMagazine

Until Next Time!

Sep 29

American Archives Month

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 4:19 PM by Jessica Cromer

American Archives Month

October is just about here, and that means it’s time for American Archives Month! The Society of American Archivists (SAA) has recognized this since 2006 as a means to educate the public about the importance and value of archives and the role of archivists, from the national, state, and local levels. As they put it, “In October, archivists take steps to reach out to our communities, make connections, and show others the significance of archives. … American Archives Month gives the profession an opportunity to tell (or remind) people that items that are important to them are being preserved, cataloged, cared for, and made accessible by archivists.” SAA encourages member participation by providing practical information and ideas to help make archives programs more visible.

October is American Archives Month

The Society of Ohio Archivists (SOA) is sponsoring a statewide Archives Crawl Passport this year. In the past, the Miami Valley Archives Roundtable put on a local archives crawl, and this year it has been expanded to the state level. In this activity, patrons visit participating repositories in their areas with a passport, which they get stamped (or receive a sticker) to track the archives they’ve visited and earn prizes.
   SOA Banner
SOA Logo White    SOA Passport Regions 2017
Ask an Archivist Day is October 4, which is next Wednesday. This day is an opportunity to engage with the public via social media by using the hashtag #AskAnArchivist to answer questions on Twitter. “It’s an opportunity to: break down barriers that make archivists seem inaccessible; talk directly to the public via Twitter about what we do, why it’s important, and the interesting records we have; join with archivists around the country and the world to make an impact on the public’s understanding of archives; interact with users, supporters, and prospective supporters about the value of archives; and hear directly from the public about what they’re most interested in learning about from archives and archivists” (SAA). The Greene County Archives will also be promoting American Archives Month through our website, Facebook, and Twitter.


Other events for archives month include Electronic Records Day on Friday, October 13th, as well as the Ohio County Archivists and Records Managers Association meeting. Also in October we have our Society of Ohio Archivists Fall conference meeting, which in the fall season is combined with the Ohio Local History Alliance annual meeting. On the 19th, the winner of our “I Found It In the Archives” contest will be here to tell her story, and a Records Management Training Fair for Greene County employees is on the 18th from 11 to 2. Employees drop in any time between 11 and 2 for activities, games, and food, for fun, interactive, records management training. All of this is just right around the corner beginning next week and continuing throughout October.

In addition, the Greene County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution proclaiming the month of October as Archives Month for Greene County. Keep an eye out for more on social media. We hope you will take some time to explore your local archival repositories!

Archives Month Resolution

Until Next time!

Sep 22

The Court House Fine Art Window

Posted on September 22, 2017 at 4:03 PM by Jessica Cromer

The Court House Fine Art Window

From the Monday Evening, April 28, 1902 Xenia Daily Gazette and Torchlight,


In the New Court House---Shattered Into a Thousand Fragments---Loss Amounts to Several Hundred Dollars.

"The fine art window in the court room of the new court house, which has been the object of so much admiration, was unable to withstand the steady onslaught of the wind which came on it with full force on Friday night and all day Saturday. On Saturday evening it became loosened and the central portion, representing Justice, fell with a crash to the steps below, being shivered into a thousand fragments. Only the outer part of the window remains.

CH Window Destroyed Article
     CH Window Destroyed Article CROPPED

The window cost about $450 and as the figure of Justice was the main portion and constituted the beauty of the window it will require probably a couple of hundred dollars or more to replace it. This loss will of course fall on the contractors as the court house commission has not yet accepted the building and it is fortunate for the county that it occurred when it did. The fragments of glass were picked up by a great many persons, the pieces being carried away as souvenirs.

  View of Stainglass in Courtroom

Had the contractors finished their work according to contract, the court house would have been taken off their hands by the first of last January but the slowness with which some of the work moved made the lengthening of this time necessary and by mutual agreement the contractors were given more time.”

                          View of Stainglass in Courtroom CROPPED

Until Next Time!