Library scanning team reaches milestone

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Anti-slavery document marks 100,000th item scanned

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library’s (CML) scanning team has digitized its 100,000th document since late November, when CML closed for public browsing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, 65 staff members who typically work directly with customers in the library’s 23 locations were temporarily reassigned to help digitize CML’s expansive Local History & Genealogy collection.

In honor of Black History Month, the 100,000th scanned item chronicles the proceedings from the Ohio State Christian Anti-Slavery Convention, a two-day forum held at Columbus’ First Congregational Church (444 E. Broad St.) in August 1859, just two years before the outbreak of the Civil War. In his opening address, organization president A.A. Guthrie assailed Christian embrace of slavery:

“Let Slavery be dragged from the altars of God and driven forth to fare as it may in the open field, where an outraged and indignant humanity may vindicate itself by consigning the whole system to an early and ignominious grave.”

The full document can be viewed in CML’s My History digital collection, which includes photographs, postcards, newspaper articles and other documents that help tell the story of central Ohio. It is free to access at columbuslibrary.org. CML remains closed for public browsing. However, Curbside Pickup and Walk-Up Services are available at most locations.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

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