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About this collection

The Defiance Public Library System and the Ohio Historical Society are pleased to present a digital archive of the special collections of the Defiance Public Library System.


About the Defiance Public Library System:

The Defiance Public Library was first conceived in 1867 by a group of 25 men dedicated to furthering the educational and intellectual lives of Defiance's citizens. In 1904 Andrew Carnegie donated $22,000 toward the construction of a public library building on the historic Fort Defiance grounds at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers. The Defiance Public Library was dedicated and officially opened on July 4, 1905. Since that time the Defiance Public Library System has opened 2 branch locations throughout Defiance County including the Johnson Memorial Library in Hicksville (1939) and the Sherwood Branch Library in Sherwood (1940). The Defiance Public Library still maintains its residence in the original historic Carnegie building at 320 Fort St., Defiance, Ohio and still honors its commitment to serve the citizens of Defiance County by helping them to Learn from the Past, Understand the Present, and Prepare for the Future.


Our digital archives contain:

Defiance County Yearbook Collection - The Defiance Public Library System houses many local yearbooks from area schools and has digitized much of their historic collection for you to browse and search. Yearbooks ranging from graduating years 1906 to 1950 and including schools from the Farmer, Hicksville, Jewell, Delaware, Highland, Sherwood, and Mark townships are available now. Further materials are being added to the digital yearbook collection as they become available. Search "yearbooks" in the search bar above to access the collection.


The Historic Homes of Defiance Calendar Collection - Since 2001 the Historic Homes of Defiance has published a monthly calendar featuring original pen and ink drawings of area historic homes and buildings. The full collection has been scanned and digitized for viewing by the public here. The mission of Historic Homes of Defiance is to research the historic homes in the area; to highlight the significance of these homes and surrounding neighborhoods to the attention of others; and to promote preservation and growth. All original drawings are by Historic Homes Member Betsy Hileman. For more information or reproductions please visit



The Bronson Collection - The Edward Bronson Collection consists of 808 contact prints (5.5 x 14 in), made from original 10 x 31 cm. panoramic negatives. As the work of an amateur photographer active between 1906 and 1949, the collection provides a comprehensive view of the life of Defiance, Ohio through the first half of the twentieth century. The collection has numerous shots of civic activities (such as parades, festivals, and other ceremonies): views of the physical community (street scenes, buildings, groundbreakings, cornerstone laying, construction sites, bridges, and dams); noteworthy events related to floods, fires, political campaigns, or social activities; and scenes of personal interest to the photographer. The full collection can be viewed on site at the Defiance Public Library in Defiance, Ohio.


Other Historic Items - Our collection is always growing to include new digital items of interest. Search by keyword or browse the entire collection to see what is available for viewing.


This searchable database is made possible by a LSTA grant administered by the NORWELD regional library system. Archives are being continuously updated and new collections being added. Please continue to check back for more items.


Select the collections to add or remove from your search