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Scott County Memory Project

With help from a federal grant, the Scott County Library System will collect and save local history. The goal of the Community Memory Project is preservation, but also to make it accessible to anyone interested. 

The system serves the small towns and rural areas in the county. 

Spokeswoman Christine Barth says in the past librarians received a lot of requests for help, scanning old pictures and recording oral histories, but they never had the right equipment, until now.   

"There've been a lot of important things that have happened, in the last 50 years, in the last 100 years, in rural Scott County, and we just really wanted people to be able to tell those stories."

Credit Scott County Library System
scanning a document for the Scott County Community Memory Project

Barth says the grant is for 13,000 dollars, from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, and already the library system has started receiving some local history.

"One really cool thing that we did receive was a scrapbook of a national corn husking competition that happened just outside of Eldridge in the 1940's. And a lot of the rural farm families who are still in the area were involved in that competition."

The grant pays a part-time employee, and has allowed the library system to buy several large scanners and other equipment to digitize people's pictures, slides, scrapbooks, documents, and video and cassette tapes. And she emphasizes the library will keep a copy for future public access, only if the owners agree. 

Anyone interested should check to find out when the Scott County Library System will hold its next scan day, or make an appointment. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.