Library Publishes Its First Issue Of Upper Ohio Valley Historical Review

The Ohio County Public Library has published its first issue of the Upper Ohio Valley Historical Review. (Photo Provided)

WHEELING — Founded by the Wheeling Area Historical Society in 1968, the Upper Ohio Valley Historical Review is the only publication of its kind in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. Dedicated solely to local history topics, it has become a treasured publication and valuable tool for studying and learning about our geographic area.

Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation (WNHAC, later Wheeling Heritage) continued the tradition, editing and publishing the Review from 2010-18.

Ownership of the UOVHR publication was transferred in the second half of 2018 to the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling. The recently published Spring 2020 issue of the UOVHR is the first edition completely designed and coordinated by the Ohio County Public Library.

“With this unexpected special edition, the Ohio County Public Library officially begins its tenure as caretaker of an important regional historical legacy,” said UOVHR editor and library programmer Sean Duffy.

The issue originally planned for Spring 2020 was to feature a celebration of Wheeling’s history in 250 archival and museum objects. That edition has been postponed until Fall 2020.

“We feel a special responsibility to pause to examine current events — bound to be scrutinized by historians of the future — through the lens of the Upper Ohio Valley’s behavior, and the consequences thereof, in the face of similar crises throughout our history,” Duffy explained.

UOVHR content has historically included articles about the economic, political, social and cultural history of the greater Wheeling area contributed by historians and scholars. The Spring 2020 continues that tradition by exploring the scourge of infectious diseases throughout Wheeling’s history, including the Civil War era, tuberculosis sanitariums, cholera outbreaks related to unsanitary conditions during our region’s period of rapid industrial and population growth, and the devastating Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

The new issue includes:

“Wheeling in the Time of Cholera” by Dr. Hal Gorby, WVU history professor

“Unselfish Zeal: Wheeling’s 1864 Sanitary Fair” by Jon-Erik Gilot, archivist of the Diocese or Wheeling-Charlestion


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