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The Ohioana Library Collection

The Ohioana Library was established in 1929 under the direction of Martha Kinney Cooper, then First Lady of Ohio, who recruited other distinguished Ohioans to assist in gathering a collection of books written by Ohioans and about Ohioans and Ohio.

The collection is comprised of more that 45,000 books, 10,000 pieces of sheet music, and approximately 20,000 biographical files on Ohio writers, musicians, artists, and others of note.

It is housed in The Linda R. Hengst Ohioana Collection Room, dedicated on July 12, 2013. Hengst served as Ohioana’s Executive Director from 1988 to 2013 and among her many achievements she championed Ohioana’s move in 2001 from a space where its collection was endangered to its current state-of-the-art facility.

Fiction, poetry, and juvenile literature are areas of particular strength. Additional holdings include scrapbooks, county histories and atlases, pamphlets, original illustrations, and materials pertaining to Ohio women’s history.

Catalog records for most of Ohioana’s books and a selection of its sheet music collection are available on the State Library Catalog. Ohioana’s records have been added to the State Library of Ohio’s (SLO) catalog. When searching the SLO catalog, if Ohioana holds a title, our name will appear in the “Location” field of individual records. To search only Ohioana’s collection, use the “Words in Titles, Authors, Subjects & Notes” option and select “Ohioana” from the drop-down list of options in the “Location” field.

In the summer of 2009, Ohioana completed its retrospective catalog conversion project. Nearly all of the records have now been downloaded. We thank Pauline Frank, Susan Hansel, Vernon Pack, Frances Pickett, and Frederick Ruffner for their gifts to help underwrite this project.

Though the collection is non-circulating, all of the items are accessible to the general public in the library. To overcome the geographic barriers inherent to non-circulating collections, much care will be spent to determine if materials are relevant to users’ information needs.

The collection has been developed by soliciting publishers and authors for the donation of books with Ohio connections. Over the years, donors have recognized the value of Ohioana’s preservation, publishing, and awards programs, and their generosity has resulted in an unparalleled collection that stands as testimony to the breath and depth of Ohio’s literary culture. For information about donating books and other material to the library see Material Donations. Also read about our Collection Builders Project, an effort to fill in gaps in the collection, in which donors are encouraged to fund the purchase of out-of-print, scarce, and rare titles that the library needs.


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