Keepers of the Past

Since 1971, when it was founded in a corner of the old Xenia Carnegie Library’s basement, the Greene County Room has grown into one of the largest local history collections in southwest Ohio.

“Our main focus is Greene County, but we have a larger genealogy department than most public libraries,” says Deanna, the Greene County Room’s Head Archivist. That means that it can collect both primary resources (firsthand accounts of history such as journals and photos) from Greene County, as well as secondary resources (books and articles that analyze or comment on historical events) for all Ohio counties. The Greene County Room also collects out-of-state resources, and it offers access to major historical and genealogical databases.

Many visitors ask about events or buildings in the county—seeking information about a house’s former owners, for example. Local history is also intertwined with genealogy, and family research is one of the most common reasons people come to the Greene County Room.

“We serve everyone from beginners to professional genealogists,” Deanna says.

The Greene County Room’s assistance can be valuable to researchers of all experience levels. Beginners often need help navigating the records that are available and organizing the information they find. More experienced researchers use the same types of records, but they tend to need help with more specific questions, like tracking down information on one hard-to-find individual.