Smith Library of Regional History

441 S. Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056 (513) 523-3035 | fax (513) 523-6661 |

Please contact us with any research questions or comments.

Hours :
Monday: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


The Smith Library of Regional History was established as a division of the Lane Public Libraries with the mission to collect, preserve, and disseminate information on the history of southwestern Ohio. It was named for William E. and Ophia D. Smith, whose published works and personal collections formed the nucleus of the library. Financial gifts from the Smith family were matched by the public in order to build the first Smith Library in 1981. In 2015 the Smith Library moved to a new facility with three times the space for users, collections, and staff.

In addition to historical materials about Oxford, the Smith Library collects information on the history of surrounding townships, all of Butler County, and other areas of the Miami River Valleys. The Smith Library creates unique exhibits, sponsors public programs, and produces history publications in addition to meeting the needs of regional history researchers.



The Smith Library has microfilm of the nineteenth-century federal non-population census records for Butler County, including both agriculture and industry.

The Smith Library has been a Freedom Station Affiliate of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati since 2007.

In 2013, the Smith Library was included in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom sponsored by the National Park Service.


Publications Sold at Smith Library


Past Programs at Smith Library

This collection showcases past events at the Smith Library of Regional History. These events, and their accompanying posters, show the scope of themes and presenters that Smith Library has offered.

Arthur F. Miller African American History Fund

The fund, which honors the memory of longtime civil rights activist and Oxford’s first African American vice-mayor, continues to sponsor programs such as these.


1918-1919 Pandemic

Selected Past Displays at Smith Library


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    These local history programs, prepared by a staff history librarian, are available to clubs, organizations, and other groups.

    Contact the Smith Library to schedule a speaker for luncheon lectures, evening programs, and other occasions.


    The non-circulating collection includes, but is not limited to, the following types of materials:


    County histories for nearly all Ohio counties and nearby Indiana Biographies of prominent men and women from the area Travel journals & other narratives Family histories in various formats Teachers’ guides for instruction in local history Historical fiction with southwest Ohio settings


    Holdings include yearbooks from Miami University, Oxford College for Women,Western College for Women, and high schools: College Corner, Hanover, McGuffey, Morgan, Reily, Ross, Stewart, and Talawanda. There are More than 20 magazine subscriptions, including:

    • Ohio History
    • Ohio Valley History
    • History News
    • Ohio Genealogy News
    • Ohio Postal History Journal
    • Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly

    There are Newsletters from local historical and genealogical societies, Newspapers from Cincinnati, College Corner, Hamilton, Harrison, Oxford, and Ross in the 1800s and 1900s, and City and Telephone directories for Cincinnati, Hamilton, Oxford, and other areas. Not all Smith Library Periodicals are listed in Lane Libraries catalog.


    Fire insurance maps, topographic maps, and county atlases spanning two centuries


    Plat Book of Butler County, Ohio, 1925


    These and other image are available at Smith Library

    Clyde Bowden Digital Postcard Collection


    The Clyde Bowden Digital Postcard Collection includes over 300 images of Oxford, Miami University, Western College for Women, and other areas of Butler County, Ohio spanning over half a century. Bowden, a Miami graduate of 1952 and resident of Cincinnati, was a librarian at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County before his retirement.

    The Clyde Bowden Digital Postcard Collection can be searched online via the Lane Libraries Catalog

    Fairfield Photo History Collection


    Helen Wessel and the City of Fairfield provided historical images of Fairfield’s development.

    The Fairfield Photo History Collection can be searched online via the Lane Libraries Catalog


    • Records of Oxford Village and Township
    • Lemon Township civil dockets
    • Business records
    • Cemetery records
    • Church records
    • Records of clubs and organizations
    • Butler County birth, death, and marriage records
    • Butler County deeds and wills
    • Butler County tax re-appraisement records


    • Diaries
    • Letters
    • Scrapbooks
    • Research notes
    • Family histories


    Audio-recordings of Oxford World War II veterans are at Smith Library, and online here.

    Video-recordings of African Americans who moved to Oxford from the Jim Crow South can be viewed at Smith Library and online here:

    Great Migration Oral History Collection 

    Images of participants may be seen above.

    Additional recordings and/or typed transcripts of interviews with:

    • Former slaves who moved to Ohio
    • Long-time residents of Oxford


    These booklets include descriptions and archival photographs of historic buildings in Oxford. Print copies are available for free from Smith Library or viewed as PDFs online.

    The booklets are:

    University Historic District

    Uptown Oxford Historic District

    Western College for Women Historic District