SOA Merit Award Winner: Licking County Records & Archives

The Society of Ohio Archivists Merit Award is awarded to individuals or organizations that have by excellence in deeds, actions, or initiatives improved the state of archives in Ohio over the past year.

Licking County Records & Archives entrance

Licking County Records & Archives entrance. Photo courtesy Licking County Records & Archives

This year the Awards Committee chose two recipients for the 2020 award. The winners were Cate Putirskis and the Licking County Records and Archives Department. In this post we feature Licking County Records & Archives.

In 2018, Licking County Records and Archives was tasked with removing more than 100 years of records stored in the Licking County Courthouse attic. After three days of work, staff had removed hundreds of boxes and more than 300 bound volumes, including historical books from the County Clerk of Courts, Treasurer, and Auditor. All of the books were either contaminated with mold, covered in bird and bat feces, or deteriorating from poor storage conditions.

One of the goals of Licking County Records and Archives is to not only preserve historically valuable county government records, but to make them accessible to the public. In keeping with that goal, in 2019 the department began developing a plan to inventory the various courthouse attic volumes, identify those volumes with permanent retention and/or historical value, thoroughly clean the volumes that would be retained, and store them permanently in the Records Center. Work began in July of 2019, and by the project’s completion in December Records and Archives staff had cleaned, cataloged, and rehoused 210 County volumes that are permanently valuable for historical and/or legal purposes. With dedication of time and effort, Licking County Records and Archives has ensured that these volumes will be available for the public to peruse and enjoy for generations to come.

Questions? Contact the Awards Committee cochairs Devhra BennettJones and Stephanie Shreffler. For past Merit Award winners (since 1994!) see Merit Awards page.