Wednesday, March 01, 2000

Warren puts 200 years on CDs, film

County preserving criminal history

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Yellowed, folded papers tied and stacked in storage have preserved Warren County's criminal history for almost 200 years.

        Now, the county is hoping to ensure the record survives forever by putting the documents on compact disc and microfilm. It is paying a Dayton company $150,000 to transfer court documents dating from 1803 to the 1930s. The project should be finished in 90 days, said Clerk of Courts James Spaeth.

        Saving these papers is a legal requirement, but it's more than that, said Pamela Spetter, records manager and archivist for the county.

        “You want to keep them so we don't forget where we came from,” Ms. Spetter said.

        Mr. Spaeth demonstrated that firsthand Tuesday when he was looking through one of the boxes and came across a family name.

        “I hope this is just a civil suit,” he joked. “This part of the genealogy we didn't get to.”

        Daniel Hathaway of Turtlecreek Township — who may or may not have been part of the Spaeth family tree — had been indicted on charges of beating up one John Stites on Aug. 30, 1817, according to the fancy handwriting. The papers didn't include the outcome of the case.

        The Hathaway case and about 716,000 other documents will be unfolded and transfered to CD, where the images can be sharpened and creases can be removed. From there, the information will go onto the Internet and microfilm.

        The originals of the oldest papers will be kept in the records department of the new county administration building, not yet complete.

        “There's definitely a great interest in preserving local history here,” Ms. Spetter said.

        After this first batch is completed, Mr. Spaeth hopes to transfer the rest of the court documents — covering the 1930s to today — within the next five years. Eventually, he said, all documents will be immediately scanned into court computers and moved to the Internet soon thereafter.


Bush to Ohio: Help nail down nomination
Poll: McCain gaining, but still trails in Ohio
Bauer: McCain went too far in criticizing religious leaders
High school kids ask Bush tough questions
$710,000 stadium change OK'd in secret
Prosecutor's office seeks to throw out suit vs. county
Schools' grades higher on latest report cards
Grades for area districts
Criteria for School District Report Card
Troubled districts plot improvement
Students learn how to measure true success
Black studies gains status
Doan loses appeal
Judge protects inmate money
Reverend faces four counts of molesting 2 boys
Ruling 'death blow' to landfill
As McCain shines, GOP looks away
The gospel according to Andy Griffith
PBS pledge programs carefully aim for emotions
Museum city has tiny population
Bethel cook runner-up in Bake-Off
Drug trial under way
Florence street study delayed
Franklin motel called firetrap, ordered closed
Grand jury to hear jail knife case
Kids plan leadership quest
Kids study tobacco advertising
Mason schools: We need more yet
MRDD gets interim leader
New park will cover 150 acres
Schools effort fights rumors
Sewer plant plans surveyed
Traffic tops Harrison Twp. beefs
Turfway races spring
Vote negates ethics ruling on Derby tickets
- Warren puts 200 years on CDs, film
Women's club plans to renovate landmark