The local history collection is housed at the Lee Road Branch and a majority of our collection is accessible during regular library business hours as part of our second floor reference collection. Physical materials include a local history circulating collection as well as a reference collection that can be used in our building. We also maintain a digital presence on Ohio Memory and the Cleveland Memory Project and upload new articles and information regularly.

The primary focus of this collection is preserving library history such as meeting minutes, photographs, and newspaper clippings that relate to our organizational activities and that catalog our contribution to our local community. Our secondary focus is on preserving the city history and large scale events that have taken place in either Cleveland Heights or University Heights. In addition we may also choose to acquire materials relating to surrounding suburbs such as Shaker Heights and Cleveland proper, but only if those materials have a strong relationship to our community or demonstrate a significant impact upon the library system or city development as a whole.

Our chief aim as an entity is to both share and promote a love of local history in our residents via programming and social media efforts. To that end, we prioritize the digitization of materials to make them accessible via the Cleveland Memory Project and Ohio Memory, and we work in conjunction with the Cleveland Heights Historical Society and City Landmark Commission. Finally we maintain resources that direct patrons to the correct repositories for their local history questions. Such resources include: container lists, pathfinders, and our local history blog. Overall we strive to avoid unnecessary duplication of materials that can be found elsewhere or via the internet and concentrate our efforts on preserving artifacts unique to our community and residents.

In addition our subordinate physical repository includes:

  • Newspaper clippings from local papers such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Sun Press that relay the history of the library system and related events and persons ranging from 1935-1983
  • Photographs and newspaper clippings regarding major library events, programs, and staff at all four branch locations: Lee Road, Noble Branch, Coventry Branch, and the University Heights Branch
  • Maps and blueprints of our library at different periods of time, including the Lee Road renovation 2004-2006
  • Meeting minutes from the library board and annuals reports from 1915 onwards
  • School board publications reflecting significant events in the community
  • Yearbooks from Cleveland Heights High School
  • City directories ranging from the early 1930s – 1995
  • Oral history interviews with former library directors and staff which are in the process of being transferred to newer technology formats
  • Print materials regarding the history of Cleveland Heights, University Heights, and surrounding suburbs as well as the architecture of the city
  • Information published regarding significant persons who have either been born in, resided for a length of time, or contributed significantly to the development of Cleveland Heights or University Heights.