November 15, 2012
Digitally archiving a senatorial and gubernatorial career may seem like a daunting task, but not for two Ohio institutions who joined forces to create The Voinovich Collections.
The first phase of materials from Sen. George V. Voinovich’s collections will be publicly available through a new web-based archive created by the Ohio University Libraries, Cleveland State University and the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs. Visitors can explore reports, correspondence, position papers, printed materials and photographs collected from the senator's 20 years as both governor of Ohio and U.S. Senator.
"We were very honored last fall to open the Voinovich Seminar Room, a new space housing Sen. Voinovich's extensive collection of papers in the Ohio University Libraries," President Roderick J. McDavis said. "We now are very pleased to offer that same collections to the world through this website, which was a collaboration with Cleveland State University. This website will help faculty and students – both at Ohio University and around the globe – explore, discover and interact with the collections. This collaboration will enrich the education experience of the next generation of leaders and public servants. We thank Sen. Voinovich for entrusting us with his legacy and for Cleveland State's partnership in advancing the reach of these invaluable collections."
The online archive is not only aimed to uncover materials, but also to assist researchers and scholars. The documents – part of the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections of Ohio University Libraries – were selected in conjunction with faculty members from each institution, who plan to use them in coursework and in the classroom.
"I am pleased that Ohio University and Cleveland State University have come together to collaborate on such an innovative project that will, over time, make my archives available to people in the academy for research or work in the classroom," said Voinovich, who generously supported and championed the project. "Ordinarily, archives of senators or other politicians are not digitized."
Mark Tebeau, professor of History, and Erin Bell of the Center of Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University, spearheaded the creation and customization of the digital interface for the website, which will be hosted on a server at Ohio University. Melanie Furey, the senator's research project coordinator, is overseeing the project.
“This important archive will serve as an invaluable learning tool for many students and researchers alike,” said CSU President Ronald Berkman. “Cleveland State is honored to be a part of this trailblazing and innovative project.”
The first phase of the digital archive, which began in late 2011, contains approximately 150 documents of varying length that were scanned and reformatted for online retrieval and access. Additional material will be added over time.
“I am very excited that my archives have already been used in the classroom and this project will facilitate easier access for others who want to use the collections,” Voinovich said.
For more information and access to the archives, please visit The Voinovich Collections: http://www.voinovichcollections.library.ohio.edu/.
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