Local Archives, Pickerington Resident Compete in National Contest to Promote Archives Awareness

COLUMBUS, OH—Pickerington resident Brian Fox, owner of HFM Publications, is one of eight finalists in the I Found It In The Archives! contest, which is part of a national campaign sponsored by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). SAA asked archives users to submit essays or videos detailing their “discoveries” in the archives. Fox’s essay, which was submitted to the contest by the Ohio Historical Society, describes how he used the archives to investigate the scandalous death of a woman in the late 19th century. The archives, Fox writes, gave his subjects a “very real human face, real emotions and a compelling—if tragic—story.”

Fox’s entry, along with those of the seven other finalists in the contest, has been posted on SAA’s website at http://www2.archivists.org/initiatives/i-found-it-in-the-archives/i-found-it-in-the-archives-2012-national-competition. Voting is open through May 15.

“Voting for the winning entry is open to the public, and we invite everyone to help spread the word about Fox’s accomplishment on becoming a finalist in the contest,” said Jane M. Mason, director of marketing and communication at the Ohio Historical Society. “Feel free to mention the voting link on Facebook and Twitter--Twitter users should use the hashtag #FoundArch.

“We are excited for Brian. His essay is very moving and illustrates how following a thread in your family history can discover twists and turns, and sometimes raise issues you never thought you’d consider.”

The Archives/Library at the Ohio History Center, Columbus, holds the state archives. The materials cannot be checked out but are available for the public to research, investigate, ask librarians and archivists about, and to learn more about Ohio. The archives maintain over 35,000 cubic feet of state and local records that document interactions of government and citizens. In addition to the physical records available in the archives, the staff of the Ohio Historical Society has worked to digitize tens of thousands of documents. A partial list is available here: http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/statearc/#digital

The winner of the national contest will be announced in June and will receive complimentary airfare to SAA’s Annual Meeting in San Diego this August and two nights stay at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront.

The I Found It In The Archives! campaign is part of SAA’s efforts to raise awareness about the importance of archives. Members of SAA held local contests in the fall and winter to kick off the campaign, reaching out to individuals who have found their records, families, heritage, and treasures through their collections. Contestants shared their stories of discovery, and the winning essays and videos in the local competitions then moved on to the national competition.

For more details about SAA or to vote in the contest, visit www.archivists.org.

The Society of American Archivists is a Chicago-based national professional organization representing 6,000individual and institutional members. Founded in 1936, its mission is to serve the education and information needs of its members and to provide leadership to ensure the identification, preservation, and use of the nation’s historical record.

About the Ohio Historical Society and the Ohio History Center

Founded in 1885, the non-profit Ohio Historical Society (OHS) provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archeology and natural history. The society has about 1.6 million items in its collections throughout its 50+ sites and within its 250,000-square-feet Ohio History Center at 800 E 17th Ave. (Exit 111 off Highway I-71), Columbus, Ohio, 43211. The Archives/Library is on the third floor of the Ohio History Center and is open: wed.-Sat, 10-5p.m. The Society receives a portion of its funding from the state, but relies on admission fees, memberships, grants, donations and other forms of revenue to continue to serve Ohioans in the future. For information regarding the Society, contact Jane M. Mason, Director of Marketing and Communications, Ohio Historical Society: 614.297.2312, jmason@ohiohistory.org.