Skip to Main Content

Local History in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Finding Books in SCARC

Our rare book collections include a wide variety of resources to assist you in researching the history of your community. Some examples include:

  • Local histories are full of genealogical and historical information collected over a long period of time. They might profile every family who lived in the town, or focus on early white settlers; they often provide a timeline of significant historical events. Browsing or reading a published local history can be a great way to begin understanding a community's historical context.
  • Government documents like city charters can provide additional details about the founding of a community, such as the official date of its establishment, the titles and duties of government officials, and the laws and ordinances in place at the city's founding.
  • Promotional literature, while often overly flattering and biased, can provide insight to what authors and their contemporaries thought about a specific place, and the qualities they felt made a place special. These kinds of documents might also provide information about landmarks that are no longer part of the landscape, or businesses no longer in operation.
  • Travel journals or diaries, similar to promotional literature, can provide geographic and other details about the communities of interest to you. Generally written by a single author, travel journals or diaries, will often also contain interesting interesting day-to-day information, such as weather.

You can search for books, scholarly journals, or newspapers OSU subscribes to in 1Search.

A screenshot showing the 1search search page.


If you'd like to search for SCARC's rare books and collections specifically, click on "Advanced Search" from the main 1Search page, then choose "Special Collections and Archives from the "Search Scope" drop-down menu on the next page (see below).


A screenshot showing how to access Advanced Search.


A screenshot showing how to restrict search results to the SCARC.