State archivists stop in to check on local progress
Archivists with the Tennessee Archives Development Program visited the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library while in the area last week.
The ECCPL recently received a $2,400 State and National Archival Partnership grant to purchase new map cabinets to store the blueprints for the old Bemberg plant and to buy storage boxes for the Business and Professional Women’s Club scrapbooks that are a part of the ECCPL archives.
After the library received the grant, the state archivists, who were in East Tennessee for a workshop in Johnson City, stopped by the Elizabethton library to look in.
“While we are in the area, we do try to visit as many county archives as possible,”said archivist Myers Brown. “The Elizabethton library recently receive a grant, so we thought we would see what kind of progress they are making.”
Brown said the ECCPL archives was off to a good start and had the potential to grow into an even more impressive collection.
“The archives are in a nice space,” Brown said. “They are climate-controlled and Joe (Penza, city archivist) is making headway on getting all the information organized and housed. That is where the grant came in.”
Brown said he enjoyed reviewing the blueprints for Bemberg, which will be stored in a case purchased by the grant.
Archivist Kelly Wilkerson agreed with Brown that the Bemberg information in the ECCPL archives was a highlight.
“I personally loved all the Bemberg information,” Wilkerson said. “I have an interest in company town history. It has been a good visit.”
She said she also appreciated the number of scrapbooks that were in the library’s archives.
“Scrapbooks are important to local history,” Wilkerson said. “They are the documents that tell the story of a very specific part of the past. It is important to understand where we were in the past, so we can understand where we are going in the future.”
The archivists’ visit had an additional purpose. Brown said they were looking for an area to house an event for state libraries to collect and scan information and historical documents from Carter and Johnson counties regarding local Civil War history.