The Library holds completely unique records that tell the story of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, and, by extension, the United States.
Manuscripts collections include primary resources from local individuals and organizations that portray the development and interplay of religion, politics, immigration, gender, ethnicity, transportation, business, labor, war, philanthropy, medicine, leisure, and countless other dimensions of human existence. These unpublished resources – personal papers, records, photographs, etc. – are exceptional in their importance and are available to the public exclusively through the Library.
Likewise, the Library boasts outstanding special collections of hard-to-find published materials such as rare books, broadsides, periodicals, and newspapers. Many of these publications came from collectors, who by joining the ephemeral with the significant ascribed a documentary importance that cannot be duplicated by individual volumes. The most substantial and noteworthy topics documented by these resources include the Civil War, the Shaker religious movement, and the automotive industry.
Please use the menu to the right to discover more details about collections or go directly to our Library collections search.