Search Local are posts covering the free digital collections available from libraries and archives in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. It is published twice monthly.
Akron, Summit County, Ohio is known as the “Rubber City” or the “Rubber Capital of the World” because of the founding and development of several renowned rubber companies and factories in the area. Summit County recognizes the need to preserve its rich history.
Summit Memory, managed by the Akron-Summit County Public Library, is a collaborative collection of Summit County historical material contributed by twenty-four local organizations, including three public libraries, eight historical societies, the University of Akron, and many more. The geographic coverage encompasses all of Summit County and the towns of Akron, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Mogadore, Munroe Falls, Portage Lakes, Stow, Tallmadge, and Twinsburg.
Summit Memory hosts seventy-five unique collections featuring 19th and 20th century photographs, documentaries and videos, oral histories, company newspaper clippings and newsletters, documents, town record books, personal letters and correspondence, postcards, maps and atlases, high school yearbooks, school newspapers, and so much more.
The material can be browsed by selecting the “Contributors” tab, “Collections” tab, or “Browse” tab at the top of the page. One can search by entering keywords in the search box or selecting the “Advanced Search” link, where one can use a Boolean search (i.e. all words, either words, exact phrase) and limit to specific collections.
Some collections to consider are the following:
- Akron Beacon Journal Photograph Collection. Currently more than 12,000 photographs from the Akron Beacon Journal archives, this collection continues to grow and provides a link on its splash page for accessing recently added items.
- Rubber Division, ACS Oral History Series. Contains 192 audio interviews from the 1960s of the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society members who worked for such entities as Goodyear, Firestone, Bell Telephone, DuPont, and B. F. Goodrich.
- Samuel Shepard Collection. Includes twenty-five issues from 1948, 1955, 1958, and 1959 of The Informer, the Akron African-American newspaper.
- Wingfoot Clan Newsletters. Provides access to 573 pages of the Wingfoot Clan Aircraft Edition (1941-1945) and Wingfoot Clan Akron Edition (1936-1946) published by Goodyear.
- … Newspaper Clippings. Four collections feature company newspaper clippings from B. F. Goodrich Company, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and others covering the 1930s through 1970s.
For anyone with ancestry in the Summit County area or who has family that worked for these businesses, take advantage of these excellent resources at Summit Memory!