The Upper Arlington Public Library added three of the community's most popular and comprehensive historical resources to its burgeoning digital collection this month.
Since 2004, the library has built a digital collection to preserve Upper Arlington's history and make it more readily available to anyone with Internet access.
Three significant additions are now available at www.uaarchives.org.
Archives staff members recently digitized the Upper Arlington Historical Society's History of Upper Arlington and the city of Upper Arlington's The City of Upper Arlington: Facts and Photos, 1917-1976.
The library also is in the process of adding photographs that appeared in the historical society's Images of America: Upper Arlington.
"These resources are some of the most requested materials we have at the library," digital archive coordinator Sara Klein said. "These are really sort of the main reference source (patrons) go to."
Klein said including the books and photos in UA Archives will substantially increase the accessibility of the material, as it will be available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of whether any hard copies have been checked out from the library.
"It's also much more easily searchable now," she said. "You can do keyword searches.
"Not every single word was indexed in the books, but now, every single word has been indexed."
Klein said the recent additions, as well as other portions of the UA Archives, have been made possible through partnerships with the Upper Arlington Historical Society, the city and the Upper Arlington school district.
She said a number of Upper Arlington residents have helped build the digital collection over the years.
The result has been the digitalization of numerous books, old newspapers, photos and more than 80,000 yearbook pages from Upper Arlington schools.
"This is a way to prevent people from physically handling the originals and having them degrade," she said. "All of these items are very valuable to Upper Arlington's history. They just weren't very searchable and they were scattered all over."
In addition to capturing the community's history and heritage, Klein said library officials hope to continue expanding the UA Archives collection in time for the city's centennial celebration in 2018.
To that end, she said, those with valued pieces of local history can help add to UA Archives by allowing the items to be digitally scanned.
Physical items owners no longer wish to keep can be donated to the historical society, she said.