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William E. Peters Papers

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About the Collection

The William E. Peters Papers online collection consists of materials selected from the larger physical manuscript collection which showcase Peters' research and documentation of Athens County, Ohio history and genealogy. These include his "Range Books" (26 photographic scrapbooks), published works which he authored, historical documents and ephemera that he collected, and a 3-volume index of names transcribed from grave markers in Athens County.

The 26-volume series of Range Books were compiled during the 1930s and 1940s. Author W.E. Peters documented hundreds of unique features that he believed were in danger of neglect or removal including family cemeteries, schoolhouses, Native American mounds, covered bridges, and homesteads. Using geographic details recorded by Peters, these historical sites can be explored through an interactive map which places his work in a contemporary context.

Snapshot of the W.E. Peters interactive map of Athens County, Ohio
W.E. Peters interactive map of Athens County, Ohio

About W. E. Peters

William E. Peters (1857-1952) worked locally as a lawyer, surveyor, and engineer of railroad and coal mine infrastructure. In addition to the personal papers which he entrusted to Ohio University, he is known for his contributions to the surveying field as well as the publication of numerous books related to Ohio lands, law, history, and local Athens institutions. 

Learn more about the work and legacy of W.E. Peters in the 2022 online exhibit Mapping the Historical Range Books of W. E. Peters: An exploration of Athens County, Ohio past and present.

Related Collections

The Manuscripts - General digital collection contains materials related to institutional and local southeastern Ohio history from the Libraries manuscript collections. The Frank Buhla Collection contains historical photos of the region with a focus on coal mines and covered bridges.

Access at Alden

The physical collection is held by, and can be viewed at, the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, on the 5th floor of Alden Library.

Access Online

Browse and search the collection in CONTENTdm.

Future Additions

William E. Peters Papers online may eventually include other materials related to Athens County and Ohio history, as well as genealogical resources from the physical collection.

Collection Contact

Use the Mahn Center Research Request Form to submit a question to Manuscripts Archivist Greta Suiter.

Rights Statement

Items in the William E. Peters Papers online are in the public domain in the United States

No Copyright in the United States
No Copyright in the United States