West End residents share stories, local history in new Cincinnati Library podcast

In the last few years, the West End area has frequently been in the news for its buildings and construction. But what about the history and the people that are the foundations of this neighborhood?

A twist on oral history projects, Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library’s West End Stories Project podcast captures the stories of individuals who lived in the West End during the second half of the 20th century for urbanites today who want to know more about the neighborhood’s transformation. 

“With so many changes happening again in Cincinnati’s West End, we have to preserve the residents’ stories,” said Keloni Parks, library podcast host and manager of the West End Branch. “There are so many African Americans in Cincinnati who are tied to the West End in some way, including my family, and it’s imperative that these stories are collected before they’re lost.” 

Hear about one of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library’s first Black librarians, and a judge who grew up in the West End. Get firsthand accounts of the Lincoln Courts Housing Project, the Regal Theater, and the construction of I-75. The first three episodes of the West End Stories Project are available Jan. 28. Listen at chpl.org/podcasts/.  

If you or someone you know lived or spent a significant amount of time in the West End, please consider sharing your story. Call 513-369-6900 or email westend@chpl.org, for more information.

Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library has been cultivating curiosity from the moment we first opened our doors in 1853. Since then, we have evolved into one of the biggest and busiest libraries in the country: supporting minds of all kinds who seek to unlock their full potential. With 41 neighborhood branches, a vast range of programming, and an ever-growing collection of virtual resources, we're proud to be a place where everyone can learn without limits. To learn more, visit CincinnatiLibrary.org or call 513-369-6900.