The CUYAHOGA COUNTY ARCHIVES, created in June 1975 as a department of the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners, are the repository for the historical records of Cuyahoga County, and for current records requiring temporary maintenance. The department's goals are to maintain and preserve county records, to offer records management services to Cuyahoga County offices and agencies, and to make records available and accessible to county employees and the general public. The commissioners responsible for the establishment of the archives were Hugh A. Corrigan, Seth Taft, and Frank R. Pokorny. Roderick B. Porter was the first director (1975-85); he was succeeded by Judith G. Cetina. The archives is a division of the Department of Central Services and works under its supervision. County commissioners approve the Central Services' budget, including financing for the archives.
Prior to 1975, the county made sporadic efforts at records management. Records, some dating from 1810, were stored in several buildings under various conditions. With the aid of guidelines published by the Ohio Historical Society, the Cuyahoga County Archives first endeavored to microfilm documents of permanent historical value and to remove poorly stored records from the Gross Bldg. on W. 3rd St. It then became concerned with record scheduling, acquisition, and preservation and the arrangement and description of important holdings. In Jan. 1978 the Cuyahoga County Archives moved into the newly restored Rhodes House (1874) on Franklin Blvd. in OHIO CITY. The move increased visibility and allowed greater accessibility. Holdings include vital records (births, 1840-1908; deaths, 1840-1908; marriages, 1810-1941), naturalization records (1818-1971), and tax records (1819-1986), as well as abstracts of votes, plat books, and estate case files. In 1985 budget cutbacks restricted the operation of the archives, reducing its staff to a minimum and eliminating services in the areas of neighborhood preservation and restoration. By the 1990s, however, the County Archives continued to provide daily reference services to the general public, as well as records management services for county government offices and agencies, while increasing its own collections. In 1995 Judith Cetina was the director.