CHPL Introduces “Exceptional Cincinnatians” Oral History Video Series

Written by Clarity Amrein, Community Content Coordinator, Genealogy & Local History Department, Downtown Main Library

Greater Cincinnati is the home to many impactful and influential people. Our Genealogy and Local History Department's new oral history video series, Exceptional Cincinnatians, opens a new window, explores the lives of Cincinnati’s professionals, artists, activists, journalists, and the everyday citizens who have made a difference in our community. These "mini documentaries" feature face-to-face interviews, scanned images and artifacts from our collection, and present-day footage.

First Exceptional Cincinnatian is Founder of Hospice of Cincinnati

Our first Exceptional Cincinnatian comes just in time for Women’s History Month. Dr. Cornelia M. Dettmer, a graduate of Western Hills High School, Vassar College, and the University of Cincinnati Medical School, is best known as the founder of Hospice of Cincinnati, the fourth oldest nonprofit hospice in the country.

Dr. Dettmer shares her story of being only one of two women in her medical school class in the 1950s, becoming the Director of Oncology and Radiology at Christ Hospital in the 1970s, and founding of Hospice of Cincinnati in the late 1970s. She talks of her struggles, successes, her family, and her political pursuits.

Augmented by newspaper headlines, scanned materials thanks to Hospice of Cincinnati, and keepsakes from Dr. Dettmer’s personal collection, the 35-minute interview captures the inspirational life and work of this Cincinnati native.





Celebrate a New Exceptional Cincinnatian Every Three Months

Find Dr. Dettmer’s interview and future videos on the Library's YouTube channel, opens a new window

Nominate an Exceptional Cincinnatian

Do you know an Exceptional Cincinnatian with a story to tell? Nominate them using this form!

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Check out the Genealogy and Local History department's Throwback Thursday blog posts, new each month.