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Ohio Historical Society offering tours of its Civil War archives

Bookcases are for books. Folders are for documents. But archives house more than that ­­— they are home to pieces of history.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Ohio Historical Society has arranged two behind-the-scenes tours of the archives and two of the museum’s artifact storage facilities. The celebration began in April and will continue through 2015.

The upcoming tours of the archives will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Feb. 25 and the artifact storage facilities tour will be at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 at the Ohio Historical Center.

These tours will allow participants to explore the archives and artifact storage facilities with curators. They will be able to see artifacts that have not been on display and touch objects from the Civil War collections.

Jason Crabill, curatorial services manager of the museum and library services division, said the archives are about providing access to the information they hold to the public.

“Just because stuff is not on display does not mean it’s not historically significant,” Crabill said.

The Ohio Historical Center has a strong collection of Civil War artifacts, Crabill said. The collections facility of the Ohio Historical Society contains more than 2 million artifacts. Three floors of the building are archival material.

Shayla Martin, a first-year in athletic training, said she likes the idea of touring the archives.

“I’d definitely be interested in it,” Martin said. “I drive past it (the Ohio Historical Center) all the time, but I’ve never been there.”

The cost for the archives tour is $99 and the collections museum tour is $149. Both collections can be toured for $209.

For ticketing information and registration, contact the Ohio Historical Society at 1-800-686-1541.

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