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Building a worldwide digital archive library

UC is helping to spearhead an effort to digitize rare library collections worldwide.

Archivist and historian Kevin Grace is just back from Vancouver where he spoke to representatives from 26 countries. More and more people want to access special collections without having to go to remote places to look at them.

Grace says lots of U.S. universities are putting rare photos and books online but many other countries lack the resources to put the necessary background information to go with them.

"If you don't put it up with learning modules or background information then all it is, is a bunch of pictures."

Grace wants to eventually establish a world model for digitizing this information. He says even the smallest historical society will have something in their collection no one else has and for the past 500 to 1,000 years it's been difficult to access.

The City of Cincinnati's birth and death records from 1865-1912 are online. One project, now underway is digitizing thousands of photos of Cincinnati's street projects and the failed subway development. The pictures are part of the ARB Library's Ohio Network Collection.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.