Discover new treasures in Toledo’s Attic

June 18, 2013 | Features, News, UToday, Library
By Staff

Have you ever wondered what significant historical events occurred in Toledo and where? Thanks to recent renovations to Toledo’s Attic, you can virtually tour these sites as if driving around the city in your car, all without leaving your computer.

Arjun Sabharwal, digital initiatives librarian, updated Toledo’s Attic at so visitors can tour the Glass City online

Arjun Sabharwal, digital initiatives librarian, updated Toledo’s Attic at so visitors can tour the Glass City online.

Toledo’s Attic serves as an online museum of Toledo history and has been completely “renovated” by Arjun Sabharwal, digital initiatives librarian at The University of Toledo. The site,, not only allows for virtual tours but uses social media so viewers can contribute to both the site and the understanding of the city’s history.

During their tours, visitors can virtually move through downtown Toledo with images superimposed over Google Maps with Street View so they can see what is there today. The site is connected to social networking, including Facebook, Twitter, HistoryPin, Pinterest, Instagram and more.

“While Toledo’s Attic continues to promote history through formal essays and photo collections, social media provides additional channels for digital curation,” Sabharwal said. “For example, local artists, architects, photographers, historians and librarians could begin discussions on historic preservation issues.”

The site seeks to expand viewers’ knowledge of the history of northwest Ohio by allowing them to read firsthand about events and people in the past, Sabharwal added. The site also links to resources preserved in local historical societies, libraries and museums.

Toledo’s Attic was started as a virtual museum in 1995 by Dr. Timothy Messer-Kruse, a former faculty member in the UT History Department. Born at a time when the web was in its infancy, it was one of the first sites in the country to present local history in a virtual way.

The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections at The University of Toledo partners with the Maumee Valley Historical Society, WGTE Public Media, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and local history buffs to bring this history to the public. A steering committee chaired by Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center, provides guidance on site development.

For more information, contact Sabharwal at 419.530.4497.

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