Kander and Smart announce partnership between Missouri State Archives and Missouri State University
Secretary of State Jason Kander and Missouri State University President Clif Smart today announced a new partnership designed to preserve historic records from southwest Missouri and train students in job-ready skills in archival practices.
The collaborative effort will bring together archivists from the Local Records Program of the Missouri State Archives, a division of Kander’s office, and university students in a lab setting for hands-on work to clean, repair, arrange and index 19th century local government records. Students will also gain an understanding of archival theory through readings and personalized instruction.
“This partnership illustrates what can be accomplished when public institutions work toward a common goal. By providing an educational experience, greater access to local records in southwest Missouri and a means to preserve historic records, this collaboration will benefit students, local governments and, most importantly, the citizens of our state,” Kander said.
“This is another great example of a partnership that benefits local and regional communities as well as Missouri State,” Smart said. “The hands-on learning opportunities for students involved in the project will be an added benefit.”
The new program will begin with records from the Barry County Circuit Court provided through Kander’s office. Prominent themes in the court materials include interactions with Native Americans, property rights, commerce, slavery and debt in addition to many social and cultural issues related to the Civil War.
As students complete their work, the records will be transported to the Missouri State Archives for preservation imaging. Copies of microfilm and electronic databases will be available in Barry County, on the campus of Missouri State University, at the Missouri State Archives and online at MissouriDigitalHeritage.com. Upon conclusion of the first project, students will continue to study and process records from other counties throughout southwest Missouri.
The program replicates a successful partnership between Kander’s office and Truman State University launched in 2012 with historic county records in northeast Missouri.
“Our archivists’ work at Truman State has been a great success,” Kander said. “I know similar efforts in other parts of Missouri will be just as productive.”
Work is expected to begin this spring.
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.
About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.
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