Monday, January 5, 2015

Western Reserve Historical Society

The Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is the oldest cultural institution in Cleveland, Ohio and its efforts concentrate on the history of northeastern Ohio. It does this in many ways, such as with their large number of significant collections focusing of different ethnic groups, one of which is the Irish. Their "Irish American History Archives....collects, preserves, and makes available for research the papers and photographs of the Cleveland Irish community and the historical records of Irish organizations and institutions in northeast Ohio. Materials relating to politics, religion, culture, business, labor, genealogy, education, fraternal organizations, charities, and individual life experiences are the key to the understanding of the Irish experience in greater Cleveland."[1] The WRHS Irish American History Archives is maintained in partnership with the Irish American Archives Society, a Cleveland based non-profit organization.

The collection is wide ranging and consists of books, manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, and other items. A considerable number of genealogy books are included, making it a good place to conduct research if you live in northern Ohio or western Pennsylvania. The family papers of many Cleveland area Irish families are housed here and contain genealogies, photographs, and other useful information. One final example of the use of this collections is the considerable number of organizations that have their records housed as WRHS, including the Burke School of Irish Dance, McGorray Brothers Funeral Home, and the superbly named Knights of Equity, an Irish Catholic social group, first established in 1895.

Click here to access the website of the WRHS Irish American Archives. The Western Reserve Historical Society is located at 10825 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.

[1] Western Reserve Historical Society. Irish American Archives. Year Unknown. Available at accessed 31 December 2014.

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