In Memoriam: Alice Richardson Sloane

“Preservation and access of historical records will provide the key ingredient for success in the future for those who are able and take advantage of the lessons of life from the past. This knowledge and understanding of truth about our past can lead our Nation in greater achievements in the future.”
—Alice Richardson Sloane, November 26, 1999

Alice Richardson was born March 1, 1930, in Davenport, Iowa. She married Loren Ted Sloane in December of 1949. Both she and her husband earned advanced certificates in genealogy and Mrs. Sloane became a Certified Genealogist in 1979.   Together, they operated a successful genealogy research service for nearly thirty years.  A member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, Mrs. Sloane wrote an Ancestor index for the Society and assisted many clients in documenting proof of membership in that and various other heredity organizations.

In the late ‘nineties, Mr. and Mrs. Sloane donated more than one million dollars and over 15,000 volumes of their own professional library to the Davenport Public Library’s special collections department in order to create a Center for genealogical and historical research. The resulting 7,800 square foot facility included compact shelving with over 13,000 linear feet of storage, microfilm reader-printers, two book scanners, and enough tables and chairs for fifty researchers.

The Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center was dedicated on November 26, 1999. At this writing, the Center contains over twenty-three thousand books, eighteen hundred rolls of microfilm, seventy thousand images, and two thousand linear feet of archive and manuscript collections. We answer well over 14,000 research and reference questions per year.

That is quite a legacy.

Mrs. Sloane continued to visit us often, bringing donations of books and periodicals for our collections–and an enormous poinsettia every Winter. She was our benefactor, mentor and friend.

Mrs. Sloane died Monday, August 15. We will miss her very much.

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