29 West Main Street
Buckhannon, WV 26201
(across from the courthouse)
Tuesday Evenings 6:00 to 8:00 PM
The Upshur County Historical Society’s Document Repository is open to the general public, year round, on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm. Each week we welcome many individuals who are working on family research, have a local history question, need to purchase our various publications, or just stop in to donate some important historic document or artifact for the ever growing collection that we house there. If you’re coming from out of town and Tuesday evening isn’t convenient for you, let us know and we will set an afternoon appointment time for you at the Repository.
The Repository continues to acquire significant historic resources. We had several new collections in 2016 and many previously established collections were added to. One of the largest and most interesting was the Jessie Potts Marsh collection. Jessie was an artist, writer, and family historian from southern Upshur County. Her collection includes a variety of interesting and early photos, paintings, and copies of her writings. We appreciate her son, Randy Saunders, for sharing these treasures with the Repository.
Our collections team is working diligently to process and make available the excellent recent acquisitions. We are very pleased to welcome our second, full time AmeriCorps individual, Logan McDonald this year. Logan has been working hard on cataloguing the new acquisitions into the collections, adding to our digital Upshur County History Encyclopedia [A major project that will be ongoing for quite some time] where we will be digitally copying a vast range of research materials that we have put together at the Repository. This format will allow various types of materials to be combined in a format that will be much more user friendly. It will also connect to our digital collections storage system known as PastPerfect], and make working on this journal, and the upcoming summer exhibit much easier. If you haven’t already met Logan you will get to know him a bit better from materials later on in this (2017) journal.
The collections project is making strides forward and we have now added nearly twenty thousand plus entries into the digital catalogue. This project has allowed us to move far beyond what we had been able to do with just paper cataloguing in the managing, indexing, and retrieving of our vast and growing collection of important Upshur County documents, artifacts, photographs, etc. We use this digital system every day to find specific items from our vast and growing collections. We have purchased the upgrade edition of PastPerfect software and will be getting our systems improved over the next few months.
We also have huge amounts of uncatalogued materials in our holdings waiting to be entered into the system and we look forward to the time when our entire collection has been catalogued electronically. We’re not sure just when this will happen as the collection keeps growing. You will see in this Journal, published examples of many photographs, historic documents, newspaper scans, and content gleaned from these vast collections. We are very appreciative of all the donors that have shared their treasures with us over the years.
There is always a great need at the Repository. Of course volunteer assistance is certainly at the top of the list. It is also very expensive to maintain the collection with correct archival processing and storage. Archival storage supplies are very costly since they must have the special qualities that protect the artifact and, at the same time, remain stable for many years. Acid free, ultraviolet protecting, materials are quite expensive and if you would like to make a donation, say of a hundred dollars or more, to allow us to maintain a constant stock of these supplies, please contact us. We are also very happy to assist the public with any needs in archival storage and preservation.
It does take an enormous amount of work to make the Repository a professionally operated research center, artifact and document collection, and center of the Society’s office operations. A small, but very dedicated, core of workers including Veneda Mills Gower (who records all memberships, sales, prepares membership correspondence, and much more), Amy W. Tenney, Noel W. Tenney, Linda Wygal, Michael Phillips, Don Henderson, Jr. and others, all make up that team. We’re very pleased to welcome Diane Orsburn Hanline, Blaine Jack, Thomas Andrews, and Jennifer Stout as dedicated volunteers this year. We are also extremely pleased to have the continuing assistance of Karon King and Lemoyne Wentz, who add their contributions to our publication and research efforts. Their results are evident with ongoing additions to our publications list each year.
We continue to work with West Virginia Wesleyan College and have been pleased to receive various Upshur County materials from Brett Miller, Archivist for WVWC. Brett is working to get the microfilmed WVWC documents online along with the possibility of converting the Republican Delta newspaper microfilm to digital for future online search ability.
We would welcome your volunteer contribution to help with the many tasks of collection processing, research, and general repository duties. When you visit the Repository now, we want you to notice that the entire place has a much more “spic and span” look to it thanks to the weekly volunteer time of Karon King. Thanks Karon, and we appreciate her efforts on researching genealogical info for inquiries as well as assisting with the family information piece for this issue. We are also adding new shelving in the storage area and hope that the entire Repository will have a much more organized look in the near future. We had a significant water line leak from the bathroom water heater this past fall and although none of our collections were damaged in any way, it did make a floor mess to contend with for several days.
We are always happy that those of you who use our resources see the fruit of your efforts. Many individuals have shared a copy of their publication with the Repository and we always love being remembered in that way. Some of these works are also featured on our publication sales list.
We are now in a position at the Repository to receive a wide variety of materials that relate to the rich history of Upshur County. PLEASE! DON’T THROW ANYTHING AWAY THAT MIGHT SPEAK TO SOME ASPECT OF OUR COUNTY HISTORY UNTIL YOU LET US HAVE A LOOK.
Remember, what you may consider valueless,
we may consider priceless.