Tuesday, September 29, 2015

DigitalShoebox.org - Tuesday's Tip

If you have ancestors who lived along or near the southeastern border of Ohio you may want to explore DigitalShoebox.org, a collection of digital images made available for public use at no cost to the viewer.

The opening page looks like this.  There is no indication that it is DigitalShoebox.org except that you'll see the url at the top of your screen.

The website looks minimal but its search capabilities seem strong.  You can search by topic, name, location, etc., or you can choose to search only one or several libraries's resources.  You can choose to see 20 results on a page, up to 200 (should you be lucky enough to have that many results).  There is also an option to view a book page by page.

In this digital collection you may find photos, postcards, maps, documents, county histories, city directories, obituary collections, school mementos, and artifacts. 

Participating counties include Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, Noble, Monroe, and Washington. 

Participating libraries include
  • Caldwell Public Library (Noble County)
  • Martins Ferry Public Library (Belmont County)
  • Monroe County District Library
  • Perry County District Library
  • Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County (books and images) (Jefferson County)
  • Puskarich Public Library (Harrison County)
  • St. Clairsville Public Library (Belmont County)
  • Washington County Public Library

But don't assume that the libraries have published materials for only their counties.  Many have included materials from other counties and some for other states, especially nearby West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

This seems to be a growing collection because each time I check back there are more libraries and/or more resources.  It's also possible that other counties will begin to contribute materials, too.  If you have ancestors who lived anywhere near this area you may want to see what you can find at DigitalShoebox.org.

The map image used above is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


Copyright © 2009-2015 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. My direct ancestors were not there but lots of distant relatives were. I look forward to checking this out. Thanks for the tip.

  2. I don't know how far back in time they've digitized and made available but I'm sure they'll add more as time goes one. I hope the site is helpful to you, Wendy.


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