Resources for African American History

Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is Cleveland and Northeast Ohio’s premier storyteller of our region’s past, with six sites located in four counties. Founded in 1867 as the trusted steward […]

Larry Doby: The Struggle of the American League’s First Black Player

Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this inspiring tale chronicles the life of the second black player to reach the Major Leagues. In 1947 Larry Doby joined the Cleveland Indians, integrating the American League eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson’s first appearance with the Brooklyn Dodgers. A seven-time All Star, Doby hit 253 home runs, drove in nearly 1,000 runs, and performed with distinction in the 1948 World Series. While achieving those remarkable statistics, he faced the same prejudices that plagued Robinson — but with far less media attention and support.

The story of Doby’s struggles constitutes a critical chapter in African-American history and the Civil Rights movement. This captivating account of his triumph over bigotry and injustice was praised by The New York Times Book Review as “a tribute to both its author and Larry Doby.” Now available in an updated edition, it features a new Introduction, an additional chapter that covers Doby’s 1998 induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and a selection of new photographs.


Paperback; 256 pages

African American Archives

African American Archives   The African American Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society was established in 1970. Its purpose is to collect, preserve and make accessible historic documents, photographs, […]

Cole Collection

Allen E. Cole Collection, a Component of the African American Photographic Database Since acquiring the Allen E. Cole photograph collection in 1979, the African American History Archives of the Western […]

Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens: A Landscape of Diversity

Honoring and embodying the cultural heritages of a region through the beauty of shared outdoor spaces

From their beginnings as private farmland to their current form as monuments to cultural and ethnic diversity, the unique collection of landscaped, themed gardens that compose Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens holds a rich history. John J. Grabowski guides readers through this story, using both archival images and Lauren R. Pacini’s stunning contemporary photography. 

First erected as the Shakespeare Garden in 1916, the land bordering Doan Brook slowly began to incorporate tributes to immigrants, reflecting Cleveland’s role as a key location for eastern European immigrants. Throughout both world wars, the Cold War, and more recent events, the gardens’ composition has changed to reflect more diversity, now encompassing 33 individual gardens that honor cultures and countries with connections to Cleveland. Each garden features plants native to the corresponding culture, from German to Vietnamese and from Ethiopian to Finnish. This vast inclusivity makes Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens a forerunner in the push for greater representation of cultures and people of color in memorials and public spaces. 

The gardens also highlight a growing emphasis on collaboration and coexistence among cultures, as symbolized in the Peace Garden of the Nations and its crypt of intermingled soil from shrines around the world. This book will be of interest both locally and nationally, given its visual appeal and its discussions of culture, diversity, and inclusion. 

Resources for Jewish History

Agudath B’nai Israel Congregation in Lorain has served as the hub of the Jewish community in the area since it was formed in 1925. But the history of the community […]

Opening Night Event Cole “Book & Birthday Bash”!

This celebration, the first in a series that continues through April 2023, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Allen E. Cole Photography Studio in Cleveland’s Fairfax community. […]

Resources for Women’s History

Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is Cleveland and Northeast Ohio’s premier storyteller of our region’s past, with six sites located in four counties. Founded in 1867 as the trusted steward […]

10 Years on 2 Wheels: 77 Countries, 250,000 Miles

It may well be a cliché to talk about learning through the University of Life, but this is just how photographer Helge Pedersen has matured and developed his personal philosophy over the 10 years it has taken him to ride his motorcycle 250,000 miles through 77 countries. Pedersen hails from Kristiansand, Norway. In 1981, Pedersen bought a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle. In order to prepare it for a lengthy journey, he added a 40-liter fuel tank and other bits and pieces. Finally, as Helge had imagined so many years earlier, he was on his way to a foreign land Africa, where he traveled alone for two years. Crossing the world s largest desert via motorcycle was Helge’s first big challenge on his African odyssey…



208 pages; color