Looking Back, Moving Forward

We at the Special Collections Center spend a lot of time searching the past.  For the first post of 2010, we thought we’d take the time (no pun intended) to reflect on our own accomplishments over the past decade.

We’re actually finishing up our first full decade as The Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center.  It was through the generosity of Alice and L. Ted Sloane that we were able to renovate the basement level of the Main Street library into a roomy and attractive space in which to safely archive local history and genealogical resources for our patrons to use in comfort.  While here, we have sent over 4,923 packets of information through the regular mail, replied to myriad e-mails, and constantly answered a phone that seems to detect to the inch when we are more than ten feet away from the public desk.

We established our website—qcmemory.org—and added, among other things, finding aids, historical essays, facts, timelines, and several database indexes searchable by name.  Our newspaper subject index is now available online as well.

We packed up the many boxes, crates, racks, and inexplicable ephemera that make up the City Archives and moved them to a new facility, and arranged them in a far more organized manner thanks to increased shelving space.*

We acquired many new resources in many different formats, including the 1930 Federal Census on microfilm for the state of Iowa. **  Scores of these resources have been provided by the Scott County Iowa Genealogical Society, with whom we are partnered.  Many individuals and organizations have entrusted us with the care and preservation of their records, maps, plans and photographs that document our local history and we’re grateful for their trust and generosity.

We, along with several other local libraries, museums, and historical societies, formed the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive and began scanning our earliest photographs with an eye to preserving them.  These images—and any information we might have on them—are now accessible to the public through its own website.

And last, but not least, it was almost exactly two years ago today (give or take 96 hours), that we started this blog—without which we would not have been able to share the joy of Myths and Mysteries, Hysterical Histories, and Tree-Kickin’ Genealogy

Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and (only on occasion, thankfully) correcting.  We love sharing our new old stuff with you!

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*We have said it many times before:  it is a fine thing indeed to work in the birthplace of chiropractic.

**1940 will be released in 2012!  Mark your calendars!

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