I love old photos, whether they are portraits of my ancestors or historical photos for the period when they lived. And it is important to a complete research that one attempts to understand the environment that surrounds our ancestors' lives if one wants to truly appreciate what they went through.
So where can they be found? Obviously the best resource is our own photo albums and those that our relatives possess. But what about other resources? Many archives, historical societies, libraries and genealogical societies have collections of old photos. And in the past few years there has been a massive movement towards making these historical photo collections available online. Some have search capabilities where you can actually put in a surname or a location, name of a building or historical event and find what is available.
For the state of Ohio what collections are available for you to browse and/or search online? Here is a list of sites to start with. Please feel free to add in the comments other online resources that you might be aware of in the state.
Please be aware that there may be very strict rules regarding downloading or other use of the images that you may find. Copyright and other legal protections may be in force. Make sure that you read the limitations of use for any image that you find in these collections and wish to download and/or copy. It is your responsibility to adhere to the rules for all of these collections.
Please note that links to these sites may change in the future. The author (me) will not be constantly checking and updating these links, so if you find a broken link, please use your favorite search engine to locate the new link.
(Updated December, 2018; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Ashland University Archives Photographs
- Barberton Public Library Photographs
- Buckeye History Photo Galleries
- Champaign County Historical Society Photos
- Cincinnati Photographs
- Cleveland Memory Project
- Cleveland State University Archives Photo Collection
- Columbus Citizen Journal and Columbus Citizen Newspaper Photos Collection
- Columbus Metropolitan Library Image Collections
- Crile Archives - Cuyahoga Community College - Parma
- Dayton History
- Dayton Metro Library Local History
- Delaware County Images
- Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
- German Village Society - Columbus
- Glendale Heritage Preservation - Glendale
- Greater Cincinnati Memory Project
- Guernsey County History Museum Albums
- Historic Akron Photos
- Historic Pictures of Cincinnati
- Lake County Historical Society - Painesville Township
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
- Licking County Library - War Veterans Images
- Miami University Digital Collections
- National Archives - Digital Photograph Collections
- National McKinley Birthplace Museum - Niles
- Ohio Memory
- Ohio State University - Health Sciences Library - Columbus
- Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center - Columbus
- Ohio University Digital Collections
- Ohio Wesleyan Digital Collections
- OhioPix - rights managed
- Old Pictures of Cincinnati
- Photo Ohio
- Ross County Historical Society Images
- Sandusky Library Photos
- Smithsonian Images
- The Ohio State University Photo Archives
- Toledo Images in Time
- Toledo Lucas County Public Library Digital Collections
- University of Akron Digital Photo Collection
- Upper Arlington Historical Images
- Youngstown Historic Photos
For historic photos from other states as well as articles about photo research, please visit the Photos page.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!