Visits have been extended to 2 hours at many of our locations! See our Library Restart page for details.

Local Artifacts

The Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room, adjacent to the Genealogy and Local History Department at the Downtown Main Library, displays local history artifacts and provides a climate controlled and secure environment for using the Library’s rare and fragile materials.

Tyler Davidson fountain in Digital LibraryDigital Library

The Library's collection is one of the nation’s oldest and largest. To provide greater access to our rare print materials, especially those of local significance, please visit our Digital Library.

Popular collections include Ohio River Floods, Cincinnati History Lantern Slides, and the Cincinnati Photo and Print File, which includes many photos of local landmarks.

Cincinnati Inventors Database

This database indexes patents issued to Cincinnati and Hamilton County Ohio Inventors from 1814 through 1873. Each entry provides a link to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website. TIFF software is required to view a patent's full-size image. View the database.


Genealogy and Local History Department staff offers specialized reference assistance to all customers, from children and beginning genealogists to professional researchers and scholars. The department presents monthly tours, co-sponsors programs with the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, and develops programs tailored to the needs of any size class or group, including family reunions. To schedule a program, contact the department in person, by phone, or email.


Recommended Reads from our Staff

Cincinnati History

Learn more about the Queen City in these books selected by our Genealogy and Local History staff.

Latest Blog Posts

John Ruthven helped find his calling at the Library

The master wildlife artist, who passed away just a month shy of turning 96, revered the Library's Audubon volumes.

Remembering Legendary Reds Player Joe Morgan

Our Librarians created a list of materials that honor Reds history and Morgan's contributions to the team and the sport at large.

Digitization: Preserving Cincinnati's history for all

Find out how you can experience some of the Library's special collection items right from your device!
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