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Reliving campus history, page by page

Published in July, “The Ohio State University Neighborhoods” is a collection of photographs documenting the unique history of the buildings and people of Columbus from the mid 1800s through the 1970s.

Compiled by local authors Doreen N. Uhas Sauer and Stuart J. Koblentz on behalf of the University District Organization, the book is meant to capture the distinct history of the local neighborhoods and their development.

Sauer, who first moved to Columbus as a student in the 1960s, has always been interested in the local history of many buildings in the University District and wanted to share the unearthing of history with readers.

“There is the discovery of history of the house next to them or the streets they walk on every day,” Sauer said. “[The University District] is like New York City on a small scale. The book scratches the surface of each neighborhood.”

The book also serves an important role in preserving and sharing community history, Koblentz said.

“If we wait too long to document [history], time has a way of graying out the details,” Koblentz said. “If we wait too long, and the key people die off, we lose that connection and there is a real hole in a chain of knowledge. So what Doreen and I did with the book wasn’t simply review history — we wrote the book to build connections.”

Sauer and Koblentz worked in collaboration with the University District Organization and the Ohio State photo archives to collect the photographs for their book. Many local residents and families also came forward and contributed images, Sauer said.

Sauer said the authors collected “three times as many” photographs as were published in the book, which they hope to publish into a more comprehensive “coffee table book” by 2012.

Vintage photographs depicting the people and buildings of the University District neighborhoods are still welcome for submission into the larger book, Sauer said.

Copies of “The Ohio State University Neighborhoods” are available through the University District Organization’s office by calling 614-294-5113, at area bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing at arcadiapublishing.com. 

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