2023 Archives Achievement Award Recipient

The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB) is proud to announce that the recipient of the 2023 OHRAB Achievement Award is the Bay Village Historical Society.

In 2019, the Bay Village Historical Society began a project to conserve and increase access to the portraits and photographs in its Rose Hill Museum. These portraits are vital to the Bay Village Historical Society. According to the will donating the land and home to the historical society, the portraits of the descendants of the Cahoon family, the first settlers of Bay Village, and the portraits of other early settler families must be displayed.

In the first phase of the project, historical society staff and volunteers removed the portraits from their original frames and transported them to the Cleveland Public Library’s Main Branch where they were scanned as high-resolution tiffs. The Cleveland Institute of Art then produced an archival copy of each portrait.  A local artist who volunteered with the historical society restored the frames, touching up the paint and using modeling clay to repair the cracks.  The archival copies were placed in the repaired frames and hung on the walls of the Rose Hill Museum.

The historical society also consulted with staff from ICA-Art Conservation, Jamison Art Conservation, and Cleveland State University to develop a plan to conserve the original portraits.  This included some portraits consisting of chalk drawings on paper with silk backing, which had not been anticipated. Custom-made archival boxes with archival foam core and all-cotton batting were built to house the original portraits and preserve them for future generations. 

During the project the Bay Village Historical Society created an index to the portrait gallery, including biographical information about the individuals.  A physical copy of the index is available for visitors at the Rose Hill Museum and the information, along with digital copies of the portraits, is available online at https://www.bayhistorical.com/portrait-gallery/.      

OHRAB congratulates the Bay Village Historical Society for their accomplishments and wishes them continued success in their efforts to preserve the history of Ohio!

The Ohio Historical Advisory Board (OHRAB) is the central body for historical records planning in the state.  The Board is funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).  Board members represent Ohio’s public and private archives, records offices, and research institutions.  For more information on OHRAB and its Ohio Archives Grant Program, visit https://ohrab.org/

2023 Citizen Archivist Award Recipients

The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB) is proud to announce that Patti Ark of the Clark County Historical Society, and Cristopher Shell of the Cummings Center at The University of Akron, are recipients of the 2023 OHRAB Citizen Archivist Award.

The OHRAB Citizen Archivist Award honors volunteers in Ohio’s archives who work long hours, unpaid and often unacknowledged, answering reference requests, processing collections, and indexing historic records.  This award recognizes those in Ohio archives who best exemplify the dedication and hard work volunteers–our citizen archivists–contribute to Ohio’s archives each day.

Patti Ark has been an invaluable volunteer for the Clark County Historical Society at the Heritage Center since she first stepped through its doors.  Within the first week of being a volunteer, she was thrown into a disaster recovery effort after a pipe burst in the Heritage Center.  Over the next several months, she helped dismantle and move the entire archives space.  According to Natalie Fritz, Archivist and Outreach Director, “She never complained about the work, and we could always count on her to be there with a smile and encouraging words.”  Since then, Patti has dedicated herself to the Clark County Historical Society, lending a hand wherever she can to preserve its collections and expand its reach into the community.

Cristopher Shell is a volunteer at the Cummings Center at The University of Akron.  His area of expertise is the David P. Campbell Postcard Collection.  He has worked tirelessly to preserve this collection of over 250,000 postcards.  During his time working with the collection, he has relocated, organized, digitized, created metadata, and designed community outreach education for the collection.  He is the co-founder of the Akron Postcard Club, which promotes the postcard collection and spreads Cris’s love of postcards.  He created a postcard education table, teaching young people how to send a postcard.  Cris has even pursued new postcard donations to be added to the collection and helped with fundraising.  He is truly a dedicated protector, supporter, and promoter of the beauty, fun, and romance of postcards. 

Please join OHRAB in celebrating the accomplishments of Patti Ark and Cristopher Shell and their contributions to the history of Ohio.  We applaud the dedication, talent, and love that they and their fellow volunteers bring to Ohio’s archives each day.