Although it is entitled The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, this work encompasses Cuyahoga County; the entries herein relate to organizations, events, and subjects which, in the opinion of the senior editors, have been central to understanding the region's development
There are two categories of articles in the Encyclopedia, general entries and interpretive essays. General entries are short articles (usually 200 to 500 words) that provide detailed information about events that occurred and organizations that exist or have existed in Cuyahoga County. Interpretive essays are longer articles (500 to 4000 words) that explore major topics in local history. These generally have been structured to provide the reader with a theoretical explanation of the overall development of an area of local history rather than a simple factual review. Given this degree of personal interpretation each essay is followed by the full name of the author.
The majority of biographical entries in the on-line edition of the Encyclopedia were first published in the its companion volume, The Dictionary of Cleveland Biography in 1996. Since that time a substantial number of new biographical entries have been added and continue to be added to the on-line edition. Biographical entries are limited to deceased individuals and, generally, are not written until one or two years after a person's death.
The "Articles Search" tab on the home page of the Encyclopedia website includes a search engine which provides global search capability for the entire text as well as access to articles alphabetically by title.
Illustrative matter can also be accessed by selecting the “Images” tab on the homepage.
Bibliographic citations follow many of the entries. These citations do not necessarily indicate the source of information for the article, but rather are provided to direct the reader to additional information concerning the topic. Usually, the citations are for works or archival collections that relate specifically to the subject at hand. General histories of the city or of a particular subject, such as architecture or music, are usually not cited. Readers wishing to pursue particular areas of inquiry in such works are directed to the essay entitled HISTORIES OF CLEVELAND for a selected listing of titles.
Most of the citations in this work have been given in short title form in order to save space. Several abbreviations have been routinely used: CPL (Cleveland Public Library), CWRU (Case Western Reserve University), CSU (Cleveland State University), and WRHS (Western Reserve Historical Society). The citation of any work in this volume does not constitute an editorial endorsement of its accuracy or scholarship.
Web links follow a number of the articles. Generally, they are for the website of the institution profiled in an article or to the "history" page within that website. In some instances links are also listed for non-institutional on-line sites that provide additional data regarding an entry.
The majority of web links relate to archival and photographic research collections held by the Western Reserve Historical Society. Each of these "finding aid" links leads to an inventory to a specific archival or photographic collection held by the Society.
Three basic methods are used to cross-reference information within the articles in this website. Capitalized names (in blue font) of organizations and individuals within the body of an article are hyperlinks to the article about those organizations and individuals. "See also" references are included after a number of articles (particularly interpretive essays) to direct the reader to related entries. In instances where an organization has been known by several legal names over the course of its history, or reflects a consolidation of several independent organizations, the Encyclopedia will provide an entry consisting of the name of an older or obsolete organization followed by a "See" notation followed by the current or, most recent "popular" name which serves as a hyperlink to the full article. In cases where a current organization represents a consolidation of several major older entities, separate entries have been retained for each of the major constituent parts. This is particularly the case in entries relating to the banking, medical, and railroad industries in Cuyahoga County where major consolidations have taken place in the past several decades.
Several variations from standard style were used in order to save space in the original printed editions. These have remained within the on-line edition and include the use of the European form of date citation; extensive abbreviation (including abbreviation of given individual names); and use of ordinals for numbers.
The on-line edition of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History/Dictionary of Cleveland Biography is continually updated by its staff. Dozens of new entries are added every semester. Older entries about currently active organizations are generally updated once every four or five years or very soon after major changes (mergers or closure). Similarly, the creation of hyperlinks within the content and to outside resources is an ongoing process. Staff also respond to readers' comments regarding the accuracy of any particular article or suggestions for new entries. Comments or suggestions can be made by using the "corrections-sugestions" tab on the home page.