2024 SOA Merit Award Winners

The SOA Membership & Awards Committee is pleased to announce the 2024 Merit Award recipients! The awards were presented at the annual meeting on May 17.

Congratulations to Greene County Archives, recognized for their work to preserve the vital records of Greene County through the new Online Catalog System and Digital Repository.

Congratulations to the Columbus Metropolitan Library and the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library, recognized for their work in preserving the archives of their hometown newspapers.

3 people holding awards










Photograph (left to right): Robin Heise, Greene County Records Center and Archives; Angela O’Neal, Columbus Metropolitan Library; and Larry Richmond, Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library.



Last Updated on May 28, 2024 by Amber Bales

Meeting Scholarships Awarded for 2024

The SOA Membership & Awards Committee is pleased to announce five scholarships awarded at the Annual Meeting on May 17.

Scholarship awardees, pictured left to right:

  • Jessica Licker, Ohio University (Student Scholarship Award)
  • Katie Gable, Kent State University (Student Scholarship Award)
  • Nikala Trujillo, Dawes Arboretum (New Professional Scholarship Award)
  • Emilie Cornelius, Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University Newark campus  (New Professional Scholarship Award)
  • Niel White, University of Denver (Ohio Preservation Council Scholarship Award)five people holding awards






The scholarship consists of registration to the SOA annual meeting (including lunch), a one-year SOA membership, and a $100 travel stipend. Look for articles sharing their meeting experiences in the fall issue of the Ohio Archivist newsletter!

Last Updated on May 28, 2024 by Amber Bales

JEDAI Committee seeks additional members

The Society of Ohio Archivists Justice, Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (JEDAI) Committee seeks additional committee members!
The SOA Social Justice and Black Lives Matter Task Force transitioned into the JEDAI Committee in 2023. This committee’s current goal is to evaluate the internal processes of SOA and generate plans for improvement related to the topics of justice, equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion. The JEDAI Committee meets virtually every month. The total time commitment is estimated to be 1-1.5 hours per month. Committee member terms are 2 years with an option to renew. Any member of SOA is welcome to serve!
Please contact JEDAI Cochair, Nicole Sutton, at [email protected] to volunteer or with questions.
Devhra BennettJones, University of Cincinnati (2020-)
Madeleine Fix, The Ohio State University (2020- )
Hannah Kemp-Severence, University of Akron (2023- )
Arjun Sabharwal, University of Toledo (2023- )
Penelope Shumaker, State Library of Ohio (2020-, cochair 2023-2024)
Nicole Sutton, Columbus Metropolitan Library (2020-, cochair 2023-2025)

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Emily Gainer

National History Day at 50: A Salute

by George Bain and Connie Conner, Advocacy and Outreach Committee members.

The National History Day program was born in 1974, 50 years ago this year, as a modest venture in the area of Cleveland, Ohio under the direction of Case Western Reserve University History Professor David Van Tassel. But it was a dream that began to expand across the state and then over several years into other states and then became national in scope. Also known widely by its initials as well, NHD is an admirable educational entity that deserves recognition for stimulating the study of history. But why, as it celebrates its Golden Anniversary, is it of direct importance to the archival community?

Ohio History Day provides archivists the opportunity to help students learn to do research.  Participants in the program share that winning is fun, but the process of learning and sharing is motivating. OHD allows students to connect with history on a personal level. It offers freedom to explore topics that interest them and lean into their own skill set to showcase what they learn.

1981 Award Winners

There is a certain amount of genius in the design of the National History Day package. There is an annual theme announced each year on a rotating basis so that the same theme never repeats more frequently than the years it takes for a student to complete the cycle from middle school through high school. There are two divisions, a junior division for grades 6 through 8 and a senior division for grades 9 through 12.

The design package offers an especially rich variety of formats for student entrants. Individual participants can write a research paper. Additionally, either as an individual or a group, they can create a topical tabletop exhibit, a dramatic performance, or a documentary presentation or a web site. For those who participate in History Day for more than one year, they have the opportunity to continue with the same format, e.g., an individual exhibit, or to change course, e.g., from an individual dramatic performance one year to a documentary as part of a group the following year.

As noted earlier, it may seem a stretch for archivists to support NHD directly. But for archivists in Ohio, this is the state where NHD made its start 50 years ago. The Society of Ohio Archivists began presenting its annual History Day Awards in 1999 and was joined by the Ohio Records Advisory Board Awards in 2009. Members of SOA have the chance here and there to assist student participants in their research and some member archives host regional research days to help students learn how to perform historical research. Many SOA members serve as judges at the regional and the state contests. And archivists have recognized the program for its stellar character. In 1997 SOA gave its Merit Award to Prof. David Van Tassel. The Society of American Archivists presented NHD with its J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award in 2014, the year NHD turned 40. The Ohio History Day program and Society of Ohio Archives are mutually beneficial. Ohio archivists provide the primary resources and guidance for OHD participants who gain an understanding of history and the importance of archives that preserve the stuff of history.


black and white photo people looking at exhibits

1976 Exhibit Hall

With the OHD fiftieth anniversary festivities the connection between archivist and student is one worth celebrating. One former OHD kid, Stacia Kuceyeski, who is now the Chief Operating Officer at the Ohio History Connection, explains that “helping an Ohio History Day student navigate the world of primary sources and archives is an important role for archivists and librarians, but their impact goes beyond that.  They have an important role in the Ohio History Day process, because in many instances a student’s first engagement with an archive or their local history department in their local library is with their Ohio History Day project. That initial experience is something that can ignite not just a love of the past, but a love of sharing that past in the present. Working with an archival professional who is excited about their project is a great feeling for a student because that archival professional is another adult who is validating their great work, which can be an important boost for a student’s confidence.”


Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Emily Gainer

Ballot Available for 2024 Election

It’s time to vote for Society of Ohio Archivists Leadership!

All current members of SOA should have received an email with a link to the ballot for officers and Council members on April 26. The ballot will be available April 26-May 17 (noon). If you did not receive one, and you have checked your junk folder, check with SOA Liaison Betsy Hedler at ohioarchivists@ohiohistory.org regarding your membership status.

Please see the Candidates’ Statements on page 4 of the Ohio Archivist, spring 2024.

2024 Slate of Candidates

  • Vice President/President-elect: Jennifer Long Morehart
  • Treasurer: Sophia McGuire
  • Council (1 open seat): Jim DaMico

Thank you to the Nominating Committee for their work.

Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Emily Gainer

Volunteer Appreciation Month: Clark County Historical Society

by Natalie Fritz, Archivist & Outreach Director, Clark County Historical Society at the Heritage Center.


April is volunteer appreciation month, a great time to acknowledge those who give their time, talent, and energy to support our missions and day to day operations.

Depending on what kind of organization you are from, you may interact with, utilize and depend upon, and find your volunteers differently. I want to share a bit about my own experience with volunteers as the Archivist and Outreach Director for the Clark County Historical Society in Springfield, Ohio.

A color photograph of a stone and brick building. There are trees and light posts surrounding the building. Blue sky with white clouds are behind the building.

The Clark County Historical Society is housed in the Heritage Center.

First a bit of background on our organization. We are a county museum, founded in 1897. Since 2001 our home has been the Heritage Center, built as Springfield’s City Hall and Marketplace in 1890. The Heritage Center has a museum on the first and second floor, of the original building and we added an annex for more exhibits, the Expo Hall, in 2003. We have collections storage throughout the building, but primarily on the second floor, and our research library and archives are on the third floor on the east end of the very long, very narrow building. There are other tenants in the building, including Clark County Veterans Services, United Way, ODOT, and Un Mundo Café. We are grateful to have support from our community for a levy, which mainly helps with major upkeep and capital projects in our 130+ year old building. Continue reading

Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Emily Gainer

Ohio Archives Month Poster 2024 – Voting Open

Help select the images used for the 2024 Ohio Archives Month Poster!

This year for the annual Society of Ohio Archivists’ October Archives Month poster the theme will highlight Ohio connections to Olympic competitions with “O-H-I-Olympics: Competitors from the Buckeye State.”

The submitted images from around the state include not only those related to the summer and winter international Olympic Games, but also those connected to the Special Olympics and Senior Olympics. Continue reading

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Emily Gainer

Annual Meeting 2024 Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 2024 Annual Meeting: Archives For All: Enhancing Accessibility and Inclusivity, May 16-17!  Register online or mail-in in this form (PDF).

This May, the Society of Ohio Archivists Annual Meeting is going hybrid! Join us on Thursday, May 16 for virtual sessions, and on Friday, May 17 at Capital University in the Harry C. Moores Student Union, 745 Pleasant Ridge Ave., Columbus, Ohio, for a full day of in-person presentations, networking, and an exciting keynote speaker (select sessions streamed to virtual attendees). Continue reading

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Emily Gainer

SOA Council Meeting Minutes from January 26, 2024

The Society of Ohio Archivists most recent leadership meeting minutes from January 26, 2024, can now be found on the Council Meeting Minutes page.

Interested in SOA over time? Also on that page are minutes dating back to 1997. In addition to documenting actions from the leadership meeting, minutes include reports from the treasurer as well as from committees and task forces.

Questions about minutes? Contact SOA Secretary Shelby Beatty.

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Emily Gainer