Volume 9 , Number 9 , Fall 1987
The last week in October, Roy Blunt, Missouris Secretary of State, visited Ozark to present to the Christian County Museum copies of the trial record of the four Bald Knobbers who were tried in Christian County nearly a century ago. Having these transcripts available in the reading room of the Museum will be of enormous value and convenience to anyone wishing to research this facet of Ozarks history.
The responsibility for collecting and preserving the archives of the State of Missouri is, by law, that of the Secretary of State. How well that responsibility is carried out depends heavily upon the academic training and personal interest of the incumbent. Fortunately, the present Secretary is an historian by training, and believes in the importance not only of preserving records of the States heritage, but of making those documents easily available for use. This model, which involves both preservation and access, is an example that can be followed by all of us.
Although the materials archived by the Secretary of State are important, all of us have access to significant resources which, if shared, could contribute to our knowledge of the region. These resources include:
Written documents--manuscripts, letters, diaries, journals, etc.
Oral records--memories, both self and others; family stories and traditions. Written or tape recorded. Newspaper articles and other printed material not easily accessible.
School records--district records; individual report cards, notes, lessons, school books, etc. Legal documents--deeds and abstracts; bills of sale; court records; tax records; land transactions; etc. Cemetery records
Written records--birth, marriage, death, genealogical. Visual records--drawings, paintings, sketches, photographs, plans.
If you have such materials as those mentioned, or others, you are to be commended for having preserved them. Now wont you take the second important step of archiving, accessibility, and share your information with others? One very good way of doing this is through the White River Valley Historial Society Quarterly. Let me anticipate some of your protests and note a couple of "donts:"
Dont worry if what you have is only part of a whole, or is incomplete. Perhaps your contribution will be one of the missing pieces that will help complete a larger picture.
Dont worry if you "cant write." If you will share your material, we will make sure that it is presented in a meaningful way.
Make a New Years resolution to become an official White River Valley archivist. Preserve and share. Your heritage is worthy of your help.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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