Lee N. McLaird, Curator of Rare Books
Acquisitions of Scholarly Interest.
The Center for Archival Collections (CAC) actively acquires, preserves, and provides access to records documenting the history and cultural heritage of northwest Ohio. Recent acquisitions illustrate the depth and research value of regional history. If you watched the acclaimed HBO series, Band of Brothers, you developed a deep appreciation of the contributions of the 101st Airborne from D-Day through the taking of Hitler’s Eagle Nest in Germany. Byron Armbruster of Napoleon, Ohio, was a member first of the 82nd and then the 101st Airborne, and wrote letters home to his parents and girlfriend (1942-1945). He donated these letters which are part of a growing WWII collection held at the CAC. The letters are transcribed and available through the CAC’s web site http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/cac/cac.html. Thanks to Dr. Walter Grunden, Department of History, the CAC also has a growing collection of interviews conducted by his students documenting both the battlefields and home life during this War.
Other acquisitions of interest include a collection of photographs and printed forms documenting the interurban in northwest Ohio; an index to the Civil War letters published in The Blade (Toledo), completed by one of CAC’s volunteers, Daniel McMasters; the Black Swamp Arts Festival collection (1994-1999); administrative and program files from the Women’s Studies Program (1972-2002); and a history of the Latino Student Union at BGSU, authored by Iris Resendez. The CAC also has formed a partnership with the Center for Applied Technology allowing the Center to scan large format documents and provide access to these documents. Included in these projects are a Map of Ohio (1853), and a Fair Poster from the Union Agricultural Society of Williams, Fulton, and Defiance counties (1861). For more information about this partnership read the August 2003 Archival Chronicle, http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/cac/ac0308.html. The CAC’s microfilm and document conservation lab continues to preserve area newspapers, church records, public records, and manuscripts and provide preservation services to area libraries and historical societies.
The Center for Archival Collections Hosts Outreach Activities.
The CAC hosted two major outreach activities during March and April. With the Friends of the University Libraries, the Center for Archival Collections hosted the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, “Business After Hours” Reception on march 11, 2004. Staff members provided tours and highlights about the CAC to the more than forty Chamber members who attended. On April 1, 2004, the Center for Archival Collections hosted the 20th annual Conference on Local History at the Holiday Inn/French Quarter, Perrysburg, Ohio. More than one hundred attendees enjoyed interacting with the three speakers. Andro Linklater discussed the tremendous impact of the land survey, which started in the Ohio territory in 1785, on the economy and political culture of our developing nation. Dr. Timothy Messer-Kruse highlighted the discoveries of his research on Toledo’s great bank crash of 1931. Dennis Keesee entertained the audience with his visual and first-person talk on the boy soldiers of the Union Army. For more information about the CAC, visit http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/cac/cac.html.