Bay Village Historical Society receives OHRAB Achievement Award

The Bay Village Historical Society has recently been named as a recipient of the 2023 Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board) Achievement Award.

The Ohio Historical Advisory Board (OHRAB) is the central body for historical records planning in the state. The board is funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Board members represent Ohio’s pubic and private archives, records offices and research institutions.

In 2019, the Bay Village Historical Society began a project to conserve and increase access to the portraits and photographs in Rose Hill Museum. These portraits are vital to the Bay Village Historical Society. According to the will donating the land and home to the historical society, the portraits of the descendants of the Cahoon family, the first settlers of Bay Village, and the portraits of other early settler families must be displayed.

In the first phase of the project, historical society staff and volunteers removed the portraits from their original frames and transported them to the Cleveland Public Library’s main branch where they were scanned as high-resolution tiffs. The Cleveland Institute of Art then produced an archival copy of each portrait.

A local artist volunteered with the historical society to restore the frames, touching up the paint and using modeling clay to repair the cracks. The archival copies were placed in the repaired frames and hung on the walls of the Rose Hill Museum.

The historical society also consulted with staff from ICA-Art Conservation, Jamison Art Conservation and Cleveland State University to develop a plan to conserve the original portraits. This included some portraits consisting of chalk drawings on paper with silk backing. Custom-made archival boxes with archival foam core and all-cotton batting were built to house the original portraits to preserve them for future generations.

During the project, the Bay Village Historical Society created an index to the portrait gallery, including biographical information about the individuals. A copy of the index is available for visitors to Rose Hill Museum. The information, along with digital copies of the portraits, is available online at www.bayhistorical.com/portrait-gallery.