Local History & Genealogy

Local history and genealogy resources, primarily related to the history of Butler County, Ohio, are available at the Smith Library of Regional History and the Cummins Local History Room of Lane Libraries.  Digital resources are also available from Lane’s digital history repository.  Please see below to access digitally available history materials.  In addition to these resources, Lane Libraries also offers local history and genealogy research services.  This includes requests for information related to genealogy, local history, property histories, newspaper/obituary look up, military research, and requests for photographs.  Please also see below to submit a request to us. 

Smith Library of Regional History entrance

Smith Library of Regional History (Oxford)

Interior of the Cummins Local History Room at Hamilton

Cummins Local History Room (Hamilton)

Archives Room

Jim Blount Resources

Digital Collections

The Lane Libraries also maintain a digital history repository containing historical resources covering Butler County, Ohio. This repository is constantly expanding with the addition of newly digitized local history resources and information. Digitally available resources from the Lane Libraries include materials from the digital history repository, as well as from independent collections of the Smith Library and Cummins Room. This includes Ohio Historic Inventory (OHI) property listings for Butler County, City of Hamilton records, Fairfield history materials, Oxford oral histories, digital record groups from area churches, and the Southwestern Ohio Bluegrass Music Heritage Archive. 

Photograph Collections

The George C. Cummins “Remember When” Photograph Collection contains approximately 5,500 images related to the history of Butler County, especially the City of Hamilton. Another of our photograph collections is the Joseph A. Cella Photograph Collection. Joseph A. Cella was a professional photographer for the Hamilton Journal-News in addition to pursuing photography as a personal hobby. The collection donated by his family to the Cummins Room includes around 100 photographs of 1950s Butler County. Clyde N. Bowden, a graduate of Miami University, amassed a large collection of postcards, including those featuring Miami University and Oxford, Ohio. Bowden’s postcards were donated to the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives at Miami University and a portion of the collection is also digitally available through the Smith Library. The Lane Libraries also possess several other photograph collections which are currently awaiting processing and will be made digitally available at a later time. Please contact us to request a photo or for permission to use images from our photograph collections prior to their publication. 

History/Genealogy Reference Request

Please complete this form to submit reference requests to the Lane Libraries for information related to history or genealogy.  The Lane Libraries History Team will conduct research and provide any relevant information located along with source materials when available.  For additional inquiries, or to check on the status of a request, please contact Brad Spurlock, manager of the Smith Library of Regional History & Cummins Local History Room, at b.spurlock@lanepl.org

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History & Genealogy Databases

Chronicling America

Chronicling America logo

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1756-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

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Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati Enquirer logo

(1841-2009) full-text, full image issues of The Cincinnati Enquirer 1841-2009, including news articles, photos, advertisements, classified ads, obituaries, cartoons, and more.

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Cummins Photo Collection

Cummins Photo Collection scan

Easy access to Lane’s extensive collection of Cummins Photographs from the mid-19th to early 20th century.

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