Ohio History Journal

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Managing Editor, INLAND SEAS, and Head, History, Biography, and Travel

Division, Cleveland Public Library


To the librarian and book dealer, and possibly to the historian

and analyst of human nature too, trends in authorship and in

reading are a subject for interested examination not without the

lure of the inexplicable. These trends, although related in their

most obvious expression to the whole pattern of current events

and the immediate concerns of nations and individuals, frequently

shape themselves in an unaccountable direction and take a strong

lusty spurt into hitherto neglected fields of literature.

Such a healthy growth has appeared in recent years in Ameri-

can and Canadian history concerned with the Great Lakes. If

writers have accounted for it, their solutions have not come to my

attention, but it has been accompanied so closely and simultane-

ously in our experience in the Cleveland Public Library with a

new, vital reader and research interest that it is difficult to say

which is the cause, which the effect. It was because of our aware-

ness of the growing, spreading, many faceted, widely varied in-

terest of a large group of people in the Great Lakes area and be-

cause of their need for expression of this interest that the Great

Lakes Historical Society was born.

It may well be that this budding of another new historical so-

ciety is part and parcel of the growing pains of an America newly

become aware and prideful of her historic past. In our own time

two wars of world-wide participation, along with world revolu-

tions, bloody or bloodless, which have altered irrevocably our

political and social thinking, plus the change of pace of accelerated

communication via radio and airplane, have brought an awareness