State Library of Ohio

274 E 1st Ave
Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43201-3692

614-644-7061   |
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

State Library of Ohio

Founded in 1817, the State Library of Ohio has served the state government and its residents for over 200 years.

Located within the historic Italian Village, The State Library is a unique stop for travelers interested in Ohio’s libraries. With access to millions of books, government records, and journals, the state library has something for everyone.

The library was founded in 1817 when Governor Thomas Worthington purchased 509 books from the Philadelphia bookseller Matthew Carey. Initially intended for use by state employees, the library was located in the State Office Building. For much of its early history the doors of the library were closed to the public, but in 1853 Ohioans were given access to the collections. It was not until 1896 that visitors were allowed to take books home, however. To expand its reach beyond Columbus, the administrators created a traveling library that same year. By 1927, the library listed nearly 70,000 books in its traveling collection. Hard times fell upon the library in the late 1920s due to lack of funding, but library reopened in 1928 thanks to the efforts of unpaid volunteers.

Today, the library is located in the old Jeffrey Mining Corporate Center Building and has an expanded role aimed at helping Ohioans become informed citizens. The library still serves as a reference library for state government but also helps to coordinate library services across the state. Branches libraries now exist in many of the counties throughout the state, providing access to books and other educational materials for countless Ohioans.

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Notes for Travelers

Library cards can be obtained quickly and free of charge to citizens of the state of Ohio. The library is an excellent stop for individuals in search of government documents including military rolls.


Melvin Barnes