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.

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Mar 30

2018 National Volunteer Week and Intern Appreciation Day!

Posted on March 30, 2018 at 8:49 AM by Melissa Dalton

As Intern Appreciation Day and National Volunteer Week are upon us, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our wonderful volunteers and interns. Our volunteers and interns provide an invaluable service to the Archives by assisting in the processing, preparation, digitization, inventorying, and indexing of our historical records. April 15-21, 2018 has been declared National Volunteer Week. Over the last year, our volunteers have spent nearly 1,000 hours helping us prepare 20th century Probate records for imaging (Fig 1).

David from FamilySearch digitizing records (JPG)
Fig 1. David from FamilySearch digitizing records prepped by our volunteers and interns

One of our volunteers, Nina, took on the daunting task of cleaning and rehousing nearly 800 tax books that had been stored in unsuitable conditions for years. Using an archival vacuum and a smoke sponge, she was able to clean away years of dust and dirt, preserving these public records for future generations. Another volunteer, Joe, is helping us remove metal fasteners and old tape from the early Appearance Dockets (Fig 2). Another volunteer, David, spends about 24 hours a month helping us with prepping our Probate records for imaging (Fig 3).

Joe removing metal fasteners and old tape (JPG)
Fig 2. Joe removing metal fasteners and old tape

David removing documents from packets, removing all metal fasteners, and flattening (JPG)
Fig 3. David removing documents from packets, removing all metal fasteners, and flattening

In addition to our volunteers, I would like to take the time to recognize our interns. Ohio Senate Bill 227 named the second Tuesday of each April as “Internship and Co-op Appreciation Day”. Like our volunteers, our interns play an integral role in the Archives. Our internships not only enhance the student’s educational experience and provides them with necessary skill sets for future careers, but also provides us, the Archives, with a vital service. Our interns also have been helping to process 19th and early 20th century Probate records for imaging. These records have been folded up and stored in small packets, many for 50 to 100 years. Being stored like this for so long, often causes the paper to tear on the creases and unless handled with care, these records can easily be destroyed, making them no longer accessible to the public. Some of the records were “stuffed” in the packets, nearly destroying them (Fig 4). Metal fasteners used to hold these papers together rust, and unless they are removed, can destroy the paper (Fig 5).

Torn Probate record that was stuffed into packet (JPG)
Fig 4. Torn Probate record that was “stuffed” into packet


Examples of metal fasteners (JPG)Examples of metal fasteners (JPG)
Fig 5. Examples of metal fasteners

Currently, we have two interns - Amy Brickey, a graduate student in the Public History program at Wright State University (Fig 6); and Emily Hartman, a graduate student in the Library and Information Science program at Kent State University (Fig 7). In addition to their work on the Probate records, they also have assisted with rehousing heavy record books; inventorying numerous maps, blueprints, and plans; written blog posts; and created indexes for some of our records.

Amy using archival tape to repair a document (JPG)
Fig 6. Amy using archival tape to repair a document

Emily working on an index (JPG)
Fig 7. Emily working on an index

As you can see, our volunteers and interns have been huge assets to the Archives. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated volunteer staff, it is through their hard work that we are able to make even more of our records available and accessible to the public.

Until Next Time...

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