Archives Month celebration, education goes virtual


XENIA — Local records and the stories they tell will be one highlight of October in Greene County.

Greene County commissioners declared this month “Archives Month” during their Sept. 24 meeting.

According to Robin Heise, Greene County records manager and archivist, the Society of American Archivists designates October as a time to focus on the importance of historical records and help citizens understand what archivists do to maintain and preserve them.

County residents will get the chance to take part in virtual activities throughout the month to learn more. Hosted by Greene County Archives, the programs require registration and are accessible through Zoom.

Wednesday, Oct. 7 is Ask an Archivist Day. During a program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. residents can ask archives-related questions to staff via the Ask An Archivist Day! Facebook event page or on Twitter at @GreeneCoArchive with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. This event will not be held over Zoom.

On Thursday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m., the Secrets of the Greene County Archives program will teach participants about records that obtain county business, document the legal rights of people, and provide government accountability. A Zoom registration link can be found on this event page on Facebook.

How to Use Greene County Records in Genealogy Research on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. will introduce residents to the types of records held at the Greene County Archives, and explain how to use the records in genealogy research. Registration can be found on this event page on Facebook.

Lastly, Spooky Tales from the Greene County Archives: The Murderous Rampage and Hanging of Jesse Ransbottom, will tell a tale of murder and hanging. The program will take place Friday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. Registration can be found on this event page on Facebook.

This year, instead of displaying an exhibit on a specific topic at the archives office, a new online exhibit — Stills, Bootleggers, and Speakeasies: Greene County during Prohibition — will highlight the Prohibition Era and how Greene County responded to the ban on alcohol. The virtual exhibit can be found on the Greene County Archives’ Flickr page.

In a memo to the commissioners, Heise explained that this unusual year has allowed staff to complete projects that they normally wouldn’t have had time to do. Heise said staff members have made thousands of digital images of public records accessible online, and have begun a comprehensive inventory of all of the records housed in the Greene County Archives.

”The work that we do at the Archives is vital in ensuring that the county records that are entrusted to us are well organized, maintained, and available as mandated by the Ohio Revised Code,” Heise wrote. “Regardless of their format, (paper or electronic), there will always be work that must be done in order to ensure that these records will be around in 50 or 100 plus years. You can’t just put records in a box, on a shelf (or put files on a server, for that matter) and assume that they will last forever. There is constant work that must be done behind the scenes to ensure their long term survival.”

By Anna Bolton

[email protected]

Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.

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