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Pioneer Museum works to put records online

October 12th, 2015 Posted in Logan News

By Janessa Fillingim

The Daughters of Utah Pioneers in Logan is putting its archives online.

The process, which began in August, is intended to preserve the information before the documents deteriorate and provide easier public access to them.

Ann Collins, a member of the 90-year-old organization, said before the documents can be scanned, the histories have to be in good condition. This has been somewhat difficult since records date back as early as 1795.

“Some records are so light we’ll have to type them in.” Collins said. “I have found records that have been stapled, paper clipped or even held together by a safety-pin.”

The records have been kept in binders but without sheet protectors. Some of the binders hold the histories with brads, which has made scanning difficult.

Getting the articles organized on Microsoft Office Excel is the goal for now, Collins said.

“The first step is trying to get all of the archives in three-ring binders and in sheet protectors.” Collins said. “Then we will put them on Excel. We will worry about putting the indexed information on a website after.”

Collins and the other volunteers have created a spreadsheet to index any pioneer who has a history, artifact or photograph. They will then create a file folder for each pioneer, making the records more organized.

“We want those who are descendants of these pioneers to come in and see what furniture, clothing items or documents we have,” Collins said. “Then we can just pull it up and they can get the history and photos of their ancestors.”

Pat Stephens, a museum volunteer, has been working on archiving artifacts.

“We have to number them all first and then do all the research to find out exactly what it was used for,” Stephens said. “It takes about 40 minutes to catalog each artifact.”

Stephens said they have to describe the artifacts.

“If they’re wooden, we have to say what kind of wood it is,” she said. “The problem is we are all volunteers. If we were professionals it would be a lot faster but it will take us years to complete this project.”

The museum volunteers have completed 1 1/2 display cases in three weeks.


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