SUB-GROUP I: CITY COUNCIL, 1865-2000 (356f, 78v)
Since 1956 the Oberlin City Council has consisted of seven members elected on a non-partisan basis. Responsible only to the citizens of Oberlin, the City Council is the ultimate source of power and authority in the Oberlin city government hierarchy. Besides acting as a legislative body, the City Council also appoints the City Manager, Auditor, Solicitor, Clerk, and members of the boards, committees, and commissions. The Council elects its own Chair who is recognized as the ceremonial head of the municipality. By law the Council meets every first and third Monday of the month. The Oberlin City Council either created or received the records described in the following series.
Series 1: Charter, 1954
Noted on cover: "To be submitted to electors on November 2, 1954." Series contains five copies.
Series 2: Minutes, 1865-2001, missing 1/71 to 2/25/72 (154f, 14v)
Includes minutes taken at each bimonthly Village/City Council meeting. City Council meetings are currently held the first and third Mondays of the month, except for July and August. Arranged chronologically.
Series 3: Annual Reports, 1897, 1915-19, 1926-31, 1935-37 (23v) 1982-84 (1f)
Bound reports which inform the citizens of Oberlin about the state of their community. Includes reports of the Mayors, City Managers, and Clerks; how taxes were spent; conditions of the infrastructure; and statistics on fires and arrests. Arranged chronologically.
Series 4: Ordinances, 1880-2001 (144f, 18v)
Compilations: 1880, 1894, 1906, 1914, 1928, 1936, 1947, 1957. These volumes consist of extracts from the village/city charters and all the ordinances that were currently in effect. Arranged chronologically.
Originals: 1893-1991. The originals were numbered chronologically when Oberlin was a village, beginning as #89 in 1931 and continuing to #585 in 1957. After incorporation as a city in 1957, the numbers begin again at #1 and continue to #1835 in 1984. A new numbering system began in 1985; this system uses the last two digits of the year and then the number of the ordinance within that year (e.g., 85/12). The ordinances are signed by the City Clerk and the Mayor/Chair of City Council. Included here also are codified ordinance booklets (1964, 1972, 1997), and replacement pages used to update the booklets annually. Arranged chronologically.
At the end of the series are various publications of ordinances including a volume of newspaper clippings (1949-54), and five different pamphlet compilations (1895-1903, 1909, 1927, 1967, 1973).
Series 5: Resolutions, 1903-23, 1931-96 (29f, 3v)
Files and bound volumes contain resolutions of City Council. Resolutions involve primarily the business of the council such as awarding contracts and authorizing people to pay bills. Arranged chronologically.
Series 6: Proclamations, 1972-1977 (1 f)
Signed by the Chair of City Council, (also known as the "Mayor"), these proclamations cover a variety of subjects and do not appear to represent a complete series. Arranged chronologically.
Series 7: Budgets, 1888, 1966, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1986 (12f)
Also included at the end of this series is a file (1970) of budget summaries and requests from other city departments.
Series 8: Correspondence, 1897-8, 1899, 1957, 1969-77 (10f)
The 1897-8 span was contained within a letterpress copy book and includes letters both sent and received, as well as a list of sewer districts for 1897-8. Volume was entitled "Village of Oberlin." Deteriorating covers and blank pages were removed. Other letters are from the Women's Christian Temperance Union and Oberlin High School. Correspondence sent and received from the period of the 1970s includes memos, news clippings, statement about 5/8/70 incident, directory information, a few copies of duplicate minutes, and utility receipts. Much of this material had been clipped to the original folders and was thus left intact. Material found loose has been arranged chronologically.
Series 9: Petitions, 1895
Two petitions concern access to natural gas and street conditions. Arranged chronologically.
Series 10: Subject Files (4f)
Sub-Series 1: Citizens' Committee for Support of Tax, 1967-78
Begun by a city council sub-committee, this citizens' committee generated support for the income tax. Sub-series includes membership lists, tax information, and petitions.
Sub-Series 2: Planning Commission, 1971-80
Memos, correspondence, clippings, notices of public hearings, maps, architectural plans describe City Council's dealings with the Planning Commission. Many of the documents concern resignation and replacement of commission members.
Sub-Series 3: Open Space and Conservation Commission, 1975-80
Includes clippings and correspondence regarding resignations and appointments to OSCC.
Sub-Series 4: Oberlin Public Library Board, 1966-76
City Council's communications with library board include memos, correspondence, and library statistics.
Sub-Series 5: Chamber of Commerce, 1998
Includes a copy of the report regarding the Main Street Initiative and the use of the "Bed Tax" to fund the project, 1998 [1999/043], and the Main Street Connections Consultant Report, 1998.
SUB-GROUP II: CITY MANAGER, 1967-90 (83f)
Selected by City Council, the City Manager is the administrative head of the city of Oberlin and is responsible for its efficient operation. The 1956 City Charter prescribes the employment and dismissal of the City Manager. Department heads report to the City Manager, and are employed and dismissed by that official. Oberlin had an elected Mayor and Council until 1926 when the citizens approved a City Manager form of municipal government. Until 1956, the City Manager was called the "Village Manager."
Series 1: Correspondence, 1967-72 (11f)
Letters sent and received on a variety of subjects including Camden Township property, International City Managers' Assoc., code enforcement, revenue sharing, correspondence with Congressman Charles Mosher, and a post card to Edward Smith from Taiwan. Some files were received with letters clipped to the folder. Letters found loose were arranged chronologically.
Series 2: Reports to City Council, 2/72-11/78, 5/79-9/81, 1/82-12/90 (15f)
Arranged chronologically, from earliest to latest date.
Series 3: Budget Messages, 1970 (2f)
Typescript and handwritten draft of 1970 message.
Series 4: Speeches, 1965, 1973
Typescript and handwritten copies of two speeches.
Series 5: Newspaper Columns, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981 (2f)
Most authored by Tom Dalton, some by Sherry Suttles; a few written by other city officials.
Series 6: Directories, 1970-77 (3f)
Contains the city managers' copies of lists of volunteer groups, lists of Oberlin employees, Christmas card list, city manager's 1976 Christmas card, and a 1971 list of community organizations entitled "In and Around Oberlin."
Series 7: Subject Files, arranged alphabetically (41f)
SUB-GROUP III: CITY CLERK, 1858-1977 (41f, 9v)
Appointed by City Council, the City Clerk acts as secretary to the City Manager and of City Council, and maintains records on all council proceedings.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1966, 1970-3, 1976 (3f)
Covers a variety of subjects.
Series 2: Elections, 1871-76, 1912, 1971-7 (1f, 1v, 50 oversize sheets)
Contains poll books and tally sheets for local elections, 1871-6; tally sheet for 1912 national election; and certificates of results of elections concerning charter amendments, tax levies and bond issues, 1971-7. Arranged chronologically. Also includes correspondence and news clippings regarding the 1971 vote on two charter amendments.
Series 3: Birth Records, 1904-08, (1f, 1v)
A volume of birth records includes name of child, father, mother, color, sex, date & place of birth, and father's occupation. In addition, series includes a few birth certificates for 1907.
Series 4: Disease Records, 1919-1924 (1v)
One bound volume containing records of contagious diseases.
Series 5: Building Permits, 1936-54, 1959-72 (19f)
Even though currently issued by the Code Administrator, this series of building permits was found among city clerk records. Permit applications include name of owner, contractor, address, type of building, lot and building dimensions, and estimated cost. Arranged chronologically.
Series 6: Contracts, 1914, 1920-5, 1975-6 (2f)
Contracts made by the Village of Oberlin concerning fire equipment, traffic policemen, and jail arrangements with Lorain County Jail. Also includes a 1914 form for brick pavement specifications. Arranged chronologically. Later date span includes a list of contractors registered to do business in the city.
Series 7: Financial Records, 1935-47
Records list what was in the current accounts for the city's funds in every December except 1937. Arranged chronologically.
Series 8: Legal Documents, 1858-1909, 1933, 1950 (1v, 2f)
Documents include encumbrances and titles (1858-1902), notification of street repairs (1902), notification of sidewalk repairs (1903), solicitor's opinion on the new beer bill (1933), a proclamation to make Oberlin a city (1950). Arranged chronologically.
Series 9: Bonds & Acquisition Notes, 1971-77 (12f)
Includes notes for fire station, service department, real estate, E. College St. improvement, waterworks improvement, electric plant improvement; as well as revenue bonds and street improvement bonds.
Series 10: Oaths & Bonds, ca. 1909-21 (1v)
Volume is entitled "Corporation Official Bonds" and includes oaths and bonds of various city officials. Some are signed by the mayor, some by the Clerk.
Series 11: Clerk's Balance Sheet, 1904-06 (oversize: 19x24x2)
Series 12: Scrapbook
One scrapbook containing newspaper articles compiled by the City Clerk, 1987-93 (oversize: 12x12x4); The articles cover a variety of issues related to Oberlin and Lorain County.
Series 13: Chattel Mortgages, 1878-85 (2v, 0.2, 1f)
Series 14: Board of Health Register of Deaths, 1888-1908 (1v)
SUB-GROUP IV: CITY TREASURER, 1877-95, 1906-7, 1912-25, 1922-41 (3f, 9v)
Currently the City Clerk fulfills the functions of this office. Historically, the office was either independent or was held by the City Manager or Mayor.
Series 1: Ledgers, 1877-95, 1912-25, 1922-41 (1f, 8v)
Bound volumes document cash paid out and received by name, date, and purpose; one volume entitled "Cash Journal: General Sinking Fund." Some volumes overlap. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2: Real Estate Valuations & Tax Assessments, 1906-07, 1910, 1916 (2f, 1v)
Tax assessment records list list names and lot numbers, but not the amount of the tax.
SUB-GROUP V: CITY AUDITOR, 1966-78 (17f)
Appointed by City Council, the City Auditor acts as the city's chief accountant and auditor and prepares financial statements under the direction of the City Manager.
Series 1: Financial Statements, Monthly, 1969-77, 1980-81, 1994 (3f)
Includes some correspondence, the 1973 State of Ohio Report of Receipts & Expenditures, 1980 tax budget, memo on financing street improvements, 1981 budget submitted to Lorain Co. auditor, and Capital Improvements' Six Year Plan
Series 2: Bonds & Notes, 1971-8 (14f)
Bonds concern electric system, street improvement, and fire truck acquisition. Notes are for municipal office building improvement, city administration building site acquisition, electric utility improvement, electric plan generator repair, administration building construction, real estate, waterworks, sidewalks. The folders contain either the actual bond or note, or correspondence concerning the bond or note. Arranged chronologically.
SUB-GROUP VI: CITY SOLICITOR, 1970
Appointed by City Council, the City Solicitor acts as the municipality's legal advisor, prepares contracts and bonds, and acts as city prosecutor.
Series 1: Case Files, 1970
Legal documents regarding racial incident on May 8, 1970.
SUB-GROUP VII: WATER WORKS, 1886-1993 (15f, 9v)
Series 1: Minutes, 1892-4, 1886-1925 (4v)
Four bound volumes describe the meetings, list people present, and list bills that had been paid. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2: Ledgers, 1886-1907 (5v)
Five bound ledgers, 1886-1907, 1886-1900, 1888-91, 1888-96, and 1896-99, list name, service number, date of payment, dates of service and amounts paid. A bound volume, 1896-99, contains meter readings and has a page for each premise which lists occupants, owners, date of meter readings, cubic feet, and rents. A book of applications for water service, 1886-1907, contains dates, estate numbers, use, owners' signatures, lengths of pipes, and type of pipe used.
Series 3: Sewer Specifications & Water Works Reports, 1888-1913, 1915, 1961, 1974, 1993 (15f)
Contains sewer specifications, reports by and about the Oberlin Water Works. Series also includes duplicates of water and sewer annual reports for 1901, 1903-4, 1907, 1908; two copies of a 1905 article by W.B. Gerrish, "The Municipal Water-Softening Plant at Oberlin, Ohio;" two pamphlets concerning an 1890 Supreme Court case involving the Village of Oberlin and the Water Works; a 1974 study of Oberlin's water distribution system; and reports of the Commission to Examine Oberlin Water Works, 1915.
SUB-GROUP VIII: PUBLIC WORKS/CITY ENGINEER, 1895, c.1900, 1954-1977 (47f, 1v: oversize)
This sub-group represents an administrative department that appears to be the modern successor to the Water Works (which is now part of Public Works). Also found here are earlier materials (pavement specifications, 1895, c.1900) from the City Engineer's office. The major divisions of the Public Works Department are streets & parks, refuse collection & disposal, water treatment and distribution, sewage collection and treatment, storm sewers, and cemetery.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1963-72 (3f)
Series 2: Case Files of Public Works Dept.
Contain one case: Waste Water Treatment Project, Hydro-Clear protest, 1973.
Series 3: Personnel Files, 1977 (3f, some restricted)
Contains sampled exams and job descriptions for the position of street superintendent. Material has been sampled.
Series 4: Bids, Contracts, and Specifications, 1895, c.1900, 1954, 1956, 1959-60, 1976-77 (24f)
Series 5: Subject Files (17f, 1v: oversize):
Depot Park, 1970-76
EPA & city approvals, n.d.
Gas usage in city, 1973-5
Landfill, solid waste disposal, 1970-77 (includes Mt. Trashmore Study, 1972)
Morgan Street sanitary sewers, 1976
Westwood Cemetery (maps), n.d.
Street Grades of Oberlin (oversize: 22x14x1.5), 1908
Series 6: Westwood Cemetery (8f)
SUB-GROUP IX: POLICE DEPARTMENT, 1941-1975 (11f, 2v)
Series 1: Records of Reports (1f, 1v)
Annual Summary police reports for 1941-2, 1969-72.
Series 2: Reports, 1969-75 (3f)
Accident reports with two undated, b & w photos.
Demonstration, Anti-SDS, 1969
Series 3: Memos, 1973
Series 4: Log Books, 1962-75 (1v)
Series 5: Photos, 1969 (3f)
Series 6: Personnel (3f)
SUB-GROUP X: FIRE DEPARTMENT, 1875-1946, 1979-1980, 1991-1992 (10f, 8v)
Contains records of Oberlin Fire Department and related companies, which are divided into four series.
Series 1: Empire Hook & Ladder Company, 1875-86 (2v)
Contains minutes of monthly meetings.
Series 2: Hose Company #1, 1894-1909 (2v)
Includes minutes and accounts of expenses.
Series 3: Lorain Engine Co. # 1 of Oberlin, 1866 (1v)
Includes minutes and accounts of expenses.
Series 4: Oberlin Fire Department, 1880-1978-1979-1980, 1991-1992 (10f, 3v)
Annual reports, constitution, bylaws, reports of fires, clippings, minutes, and bills. Also includes information about police/fire integration, 1958.
SUB-GROUP XI: OBERLIN MUNICIPAL LIGHT & POWER SYSTEMS, 1961, 1970-98 (25F)
Includes correspondence, handwritten notes for Public Utilities Commission meetings, and subject files.
Series 1: Correspondence (3f)
Series 2: Public Utilities Commission
Series 3: Subject Files (21f)
SUB-GROUP XII: CODE ADMINISTRATOR/EEO-AA OFFICER, 1960-77 (32f)
The Code Administrator, an executive-level administrative department, issues building permits and is responsible for carrying out all building inspections.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1970, 1972-7 (10f)
Includes a letter from the City Manager which describes the origin of the office of Code Administrator.
Series 2: Building Permits, 1960-7, 1970-2 (2f)
Series 3: Housing Inspection Records and Correspondence, 1976-77 (4f)
Concerns rental property and rooming houses.
Series 4: Weed & Grass Control, 1975-6 (16f)
Extensive records including notification, correspondence, billings, job applicants, control data shets, time reports.
SUB-GROUP XIII: GROUNDS DIRECTOR
To date, no records received.
SUB-GROUP XIV: DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, 1971-6 (49f)
Although this position appears on the city's administrative chart, it has not been filled since William Gillespie vacated it in September, 1974. Some of the functions of this department were re-grouped and assumed by the Code Administrator in the early 1980s. Much of the material in this sub-group was created or received by Gillespie.
Series 1: Gillespie, William--Personal, 1972, 1974
A news clipping chronicles Gillespie's career in Bermuda fighting drug abuse, dated 1/74. Also included is a copy of his "Comprehensive Programme to Solve the Problem of Drug Abuse and Youth Alienation in Bermuda: A Total Community Concept," 6/12/72.
Series 2: Correspondence, Memos, Speeches, 1971-74 (17f)
Includes documents from Gillespie and Richard Dunn (who may have been Gillespie's predecessor). Different types of materials were found interfiled, and thus were not alphabetized. Subjects addressed include: Clarkwood Estates, Lake Erie Regional Transportation Authority, Major Thoroughfare Plan, and off-street parking.
Series 3: Subject Files 1971-81 (30f)
Series 4: Publications
Undated copy of "Oberlin
An Ideal Place To Be" (William Gillespie's name is on the inside).
SUB-GROUP XV: BOARDS, COMMITTEES, AND COMMISSIONS, 1877-1990 (622f)
City Council authorizes appointments to these bodies which operate parallel to Council. Each body selects its own chair. Each board, committee or commission constitutes a separate series. The series are arranged in a pattern which combines both historical and hierarchical factors. The manner in which these bodies were chartered falls into the following categories (acording to "Oberlin City Council--Advisory Committee Relationships: A Survey and Analysis," by Kim D. Amponsah, 4/7/81):
Civil Service Commission
Public Utilities Commission
Regional Planning Commission
Citizens' Housing Advisory Committee
Civil Service Commission
Regional Planning Commission
Committee on Visual Environment
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Renewal Commission
Human Relations Commission
Oberlin Community Improvement Corporation
Open Space and Conservation Commission
Series 1: Board of Commerce, 1895-1918 (1f, 1v) - [See RG 31/3]
Series 2: Civil Service Commission, 1952-76 (45f, 1 reel)
Sub-Series 1: Minutes, 1952-56, 1960, 1966-69, 1998 (Acc. 1998/009) (3f, 1 reel)
Sub-Series 2: Correspondence, 1954-55, 1962, 1964-65, 1967-69. 1971, 1973-4 (9f)
Sub-Series 3: Annual Reports, 1952, 1958-65 (3f)
Sub-Series 4: Examinations for police & fire depts., 1954-56, 1958, 1961, 1967, 1969-70, 1972-1976, n.d. (15f)
Sub-Series 5: Appeals Cases (**RESTRICTED**), 1973, 1975-79, 1983 (10f)
Sub-Series 6: Subject Files, 1954-70, 1994-95, n.d. (5f)
Series 3: Clean City Committee, 1971
Contains notice of meeting and two memos.
Series 4: Committee of Lamps, 1877
Contains one letter from the lighter, J.W.R. Jones, to the Committee of Lamps regarding "heinous acts of vandalism done by the most wicked of citizens."
Series 5: Firemen's Relief and Pension Board, 1940-62
Records include minutes, correspondence, list of retirees, payroll, and a creating ordinance. Arranged by topic.
Series 6: Historic Preservation Commission, 1974-88 (27f)
Sub-Series 1: Annual Reports, 1981-82
Only the 1981 Annual Report received to date.
Sub-Series 2: Minutes, 1975, 1981-82, 1984-96 (9f)
Sub-Series 3: Correspondence, 1973-96 (14f)
Sub-Series 4: Financial Records, c. 1980s-1990s
Sub-Series 5: Oral History Sub-Committee, 1978-89 (7f)
Records in this sub-series are interfiled and include such materials as correspondence, minutes, membership lists, interview guidelines, and an oral history bibliography.
Sub-Series 6: Campaign to Save the Roundhouse, 1989-90 (6f)
Sub-Series 7: Photographs, 1989-90, n.d. (2f)
Sub-Series 8: Subject Files (8f)
Includes national and state Historic Inventory forms, lighting information, (1981-4), and Historic Preservation Project (1987).
Series 7: Hospital Board (Allen Memorial Hospital) 1969-74 (4f)
Minutes, one letter, and two files on ambulance services.
Series 8: Housing Renewal Commission (Oberlin) 1963-70 (18f)
Minutes, correspondence, memos, notices of meetings are all interfiled.
Series 9: Human Relations Commission, 1970-95, n.d. (114f) (Some files restricted due to confidential information.)
Minutes, correspondence, case files, reports, membership lists and subject files.
Series 10: New Communities Committee, 1971-3 (2f)
Memos, correspondence, reports, membership list interfiled.
Series 11: Open Housing Commission, 1959-61 (5f)
Subcommittee reports, surveys and codes, minutes, housing petitions concerning integrated housing. Arranged by topic.
Series 12: Open Space Commission, 1969-77, 1987-90, 1992, 1997 (45f)
Sub-Series 1: Minutes, 1969-73, 1978-90, 1993 (22f)
Not an all-inclusive span, some of the minutes are handwritten. Series includes miscellaneous information which has been interfiled with minutes.
Sub-Series 2: Correspondence, 1969-89 (4f)
Interfiled with letters are reports, memos, maps, publications of the OSCC.
Sub-Series 3: Project and Proposals, 1970-71, 1976-88, 1989, n.d. (5f)
Sub-Series 4: Publications, 1970-77, 1981, 1988-92, 1997 (14f)
Includes 1977 booklet, "An Open Space Heritage," original copy and photocopy. Also "Open Space for Oberlin."
Series 13: Planning Commission, 1965-76, 1989-90 (130f)
Sub-Series 1: Minutes, 1956-59, 1965-95 (36f)
Also includes some agendas.
Sub-Series 2: Correspondence, 1956, 1964-83, 1985-94 (33f)
Sub-Series 3: Public Hearings, 1973-76 (7f)
Sub-Series 4: Reports & Studies, 1957-80 (20f)
Sub-Series 5: News clippings, 1957-59, late 1960s, early 1970s
Primarily about the work of the Planning Commission and the Gruen Plan.
Sub-Series 6: Subject Files, 1966-76 (33f)
Series 14: Public Arts Committee, 1965-68
Contains correspondence, memos, and guidelines for tree planting program.
Series 15: Public Utilities Commission (5f)
Contains Minutes, Correspondence, and recommendations made to City Council.
Series 16: Records Commission, 1980
Sub-Series 1: Charter
(Ordinance #1498 which created the Records Commission, adopted in 1980)
Series 17: Recreation Commission, 1966-84, 1987-90 (33f)
Sub-Series 1: Minutes, 1987-90 (16f)
Sub-Series 2: Correspondence and miscellaneous information, 1966-79 (12f)
(includes inter-office communications and such subjects as the swimming pool, planning, United Way).
Sub-Series 3: Personnel files, 1975-76, 1991
Sub-Series 4: Building Use Permits, 1984
Sub-Series 5: Program Files, 1975-79 (3f)
Concern primarily the swimming pool and children's crafts.
Series 18: Tree Committee, 1956 (2f)
Series 19: Zoning Board of Appeals, 1935-73 (12f)
Sub-Series 1: Minutes, 1935-55, 1956-60, 1971 (9f)
Sub-Series 2: Correspondence, 1973
Sub-Series 3: Appeals Cases, 1971-3 (2f)
Two cases involving Willowbrook and the Carson Subdivision.
Series 20: Oberlin Community Improvement Organization, 1960s-1993 (54f)
Series 21: Community Development Block Grant, 1975-86 (36f)
Series 22: Library Board of Trustees, 1969-88 (6f)
Series 23: Misc. Boards, Committees, and Commissions, 1959-1995 (79f, 1v)
Series 24: Oberlin Board of Health, 1893-1912 (1f, 2v)
Series 25: Pool Committee,1966-2000 (23f)