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Richard Willer (U. S. Marine Corps, WWII) Interview 2013
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Return to News from the Manuscripts Division Archives

News from the Manuscripts Division


Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Spiegel Grove

Fremont, Ohio 43420

Nan Card

Curator of Manuscripts


August 2005

During the summer months, we welcomed a host of scholars, students, genealogists, Civil War enthusiasts, teachers, and area residents – all using the Hayes Presidential Center's Manuscript Collections to fulfill their specific research needs. There are also some new exciting online resources available for the first time this summer.


If you are a member of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, your membership just became more valuable! Thanks to the Sidney Frohman Foundation, those of you with an Individual Plus ($45) membership and above level now have two new benefits! In addition to Heritage Quest, you now have free, at home computer access to the HISTORY REFERENCE CENTER and NEWSPAPERARCHIVE ELITE. Whether you are a genealogist, Civil War buff, local historian, teacher, student, or a history lover in general, you will find a world of information about our past available to you.

Newspaper ARCHIVE Elite is the world's first and largest online archive of historic newspapers. Entire newspapers dating from the 1700s are included in the database, which contains more than 24 million fully searchable pages of newspapers. More than 400 cities and towns in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain are featured in the collection. Some 400 different newspapers from 40 Ohio cities are included. Issues of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The London Times, The Atlanta Constitution, and Newport Daily News are featured. Each month, new editions are added to the database. Genealogists may be interested in searching a specific surname, but you also can read and print out the happenings of a particular day, advertisements, the price of grain, railroad timetables, cultural events, and political opinions. You'll find it fascinating!

History Reference Center is a reference database that was originally designed as an educational tool for students, but it has become a popular source for finding historic information. By merely typing in a topic, such as Vietnam, you can locate and select full text articles from history magazines, encyclopedias, non-fiction books, including biographies; primary documents; historic photographs; and video and film footage. History Reference Center contains more than 12,000 photographs, 80 hours of video and film, 58,000 primary source documents, and 860 encyclopedias and non-fiction books. Award winning histories from the world’s top publishers such as Columbia University Press, Houghton Mifflin, Oxford University Press, Webster Publishing, and more are included in the database. The full text of nearly 60 history magazines is also available. Among the titles available are American History, British Heritage, Chinese America: History and Perspectives, Civil War Times, German History, Military History, Archaeology, and Aviation History.

To access the new benefits, merely enter your member number and password and click on NewspaperARCHIVE Elite or History Reference Center. If you know someone who would enjoy remote access to these online databases, please tell them about the Hayes Presidential Center's Individual Plus membership. Memberships can be purchased on line or by calling Linda Huss at 419-332-2081. REMEMBER! the new databases as well as Heritage Quest are available free to all patrons who visit the Hayes Presidential Center's reading room. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST) Monday through Saturday.


Head of Photographic Resources Gil Gonzalez and I have made real strides in making photographs from the Hayes Presidential Center's collection available online. Nearly 1,000 photographs from the Charles E. Frohman Collection now can be searched and viewed via Lake Erie's Yesterdays. New additions this spring include more photographs of Gibraltar Island and the Jay Cooke family during visits to their summer home. You can also see historic photographs of Rattlesnake Island and Kelleys Island, including images of island homes, grape harvesting, the Glacial Grooves, and the limestone industry that made some of the world's purest limestone available for building construction. Images of the tragic flood of 1913 and the devastation of Fremont, Ohio, are also featured.

*ENDURING IMAGES: Highlights from the Photograph Collections of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

With the help of dedicated volunteers, staff, and community members, Gil and I executed a temporary exhibit featuring photographs selected from the Hayes Presidential Center's collections. The photographs include images of national significance - those taken of Native Americans and western landscapes during surveying expeditions of the late 19th century. Others are from collections of photographs of Northwest Ohio, including some of the earliest pictures of Cedar Point, the Erie Islands, and ice harvesting on Lake Erie. The bulk of the photographs featured in the exhibit were donated to the Hayes Presidential Center by individuals who thought they were of lasting importance. Oh, how right they were!

We found it fun and challenging to select images for the exhibit from the thousands of pictures in our collections. We hope you will stop in and take time to see the exhibit, especially the "Curator's Favorites." We each chose several photographs that have been our personal favorites for years. We wonder if you will find them as memorable and "enduring" as we do??? Gil and I are grateful to Executive Director Tom Culbertson for his support and help, and to the Sidney Frohman Foundation, the Walter E. Terhune Memorial Fund, and Style Crest, Inc. for their financial support.

Please remember, if you have historic photographs of identified people, places, and events that you would like to donate to the Hayes Presidential Center, feel free to contact Gil or me.