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Michael Schwartz Library

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Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The Cleveland Memory Project Marks a 10-Year Milestone

The Cleveland Memory Project celebrates its tenth annivesary this year and to mark this milestone, we offer a glimpse back to the project's inception and the people who made it possible:

Screenshot of the CMP homepage from June 2002
Screenshot of the CMP homepage from June 2002

The Cleveland Memory Project was launched in 2002 after the Cleveland State University Library purchased a license for the CONTENTdm image database from Washington State University to organize and present its growing collection of digitized local history images. Needing an introductory page and place for the search and browse functions to be accessed, the Library decided to centralize all its local history web efforts there and named it The Cleveland Memory Project.

Those local history web efforts date back to 1996, when Bill Barrow, then Project Archivist on the Cleveland Union Terminal Collection, learned html coding and started creating web sites for the Cleveland Union Terminal Collection, the Cleveland Press Collection and others. Another such site was the Cleveland Digital Library, created to provide links to both digital content about greater Cleveland history on the web and to the home pages of local institutions dealing with history. Shortly thereafter, University Archivist Bill Becker started the Yesterday's Lakewood site, the first and largest of our community-collaboration sites.

By late 2000, it was apparent that the Library's electronic local history efforts needed a new approach. The practice of creating separate html pages that combined text with embedded images was proving too awkward, especially when changes were needed across the site. The late Professor Walter Leedy, who was then allowing the Library to digitize his substantial postcard collection, urged us to obtain a database for serving up the images.

Library Systems Head Bruce Jeppesen investigated the possibilities and recommended CONTENTdm as being both affordable and flexible enough to export the data elsewhere, should it prove insufficient. He also recommended obtaining the domain names ClevelandMemory.org, -.com and -.net. The Library's Management Team, in particular, Library Director Glenda Thornton and Collection and Database Management Head, Henry York, approved the Cleveland Memory project on November 27, 2000.

The Library obtained a CONTENTdm license in 2001. Working together the Library's Coordinator of Information Access and Organization, Michael Boock, web designer Donna Stewart, Database Maintenance Supervisor Joanne Cornelius, Systems programmer Russ Rucky and others, created the architecture for the new site and launched it in April 2002. Those early months and years saw Cleveland Memory go from a few dozen visitors a day to the thousands currently accessing our digital collections, but those early days were exciting. — Bill Barrow, Special Collections Librarian, Michael Schwartz Library

Permanent link to this topic. Posted 2012-06-22 10:36:29. Reply to Lauren_Felder. Categories: Cleveland Memory, Library News.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Cleveland Memory Rewind: 1982 - The Cleveland Press Calls It Quits

Last issue of the Press
Front page of last issue of Cleveland Press, 1982

Thirty years ago on June 17, 1982 The Cleveland Press, Cleveland's only surviving afternoon daily newspaper, stopped its presses for good. Founded by Edward W. Scripps as the Penny Press in 1878, it started out as a small, 4-page afternoon daily, and under the editorial leadership of Louis B. Seltzer, who helmed The Press from 1928 to 1966, it became one of the country's most influential newspapers.

During the second half of the 1960s, The Press' readership began to decline, a fate shared by other large afternoon dailies, and it lost its lead to the Plain Dealer in 1968. In 1980 Cleveland businessman Joseph Cole bought the paper from Scripps-Howard and tried to breathe new life into it, but the sharp economic recession in the Cleveland area was too much to overcome. On June 17, 1982, Cole announced the closing of The Cleveland Press and, with the appearance of the final edition later that afternoon, Cleveland became a one newspaper town.

Though The Cleveland Press plant at East 9th and Lakeside was torn down in 1983 to make way for the North Point Building, The Press' editorial library or "morgue" found a new home in 1984 when Joseph E. Cole donated it to the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University. The approximately half a million 8x10 black and white photographs and one million news clippings that comprise "The Cleveland Press Collection" can be found in the library's Special Collections. More than 8,000 photos and documents from the collection are also available online via The Cleveland Memory Project.

More about the Cleveland Press:

Permanent link to this topic. Posted 2012-06-13 09:28:52. Reply to Lauren_Felder. Categories: Cleveland Memory.

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