Arts and Culture
Cleveland has a rich history in the visual, literary, and performing arts, and these activities are well documented in the library’s collections. The development of schools such as the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music are well documented. The papers of the founder of the Cleveland Orchestra are housed in the library as well. The history of opera, community orchestras, musical theater, playhouses, and vaudeville are well documented. The records of Karamu House and its early leaders Russell and Rowenna Jelliffe are also housed here. Local visual artists and musicians of national renown have deposited their papers at the historical society. Cleveland’s many ethnic and religious groups have supported arts and culture within their own communities in order to preserve and promote their individual heritages, and those efforts are documented extensively. Cleveland has hosted book clubs, debate clubs, and philosophical clubs throughout its history, and those groups have donated their records to the historical society. Local authors of national renown, including Charles Chestnutt and literary societies throughout the Western Reserve have their history documented at the historical society’s library. Most significantly, WRHS has documented the history of the vital funding and professional management of arts and culture in Cleveland through its Philanthropic and Non-Profit History collections.