Boone County Historical Society goes digital

2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago Thursday, June 18 2020 Jun 18, 2020 Thursday, June 18, 2020 5:37:00 PM CDT June 18, 2020 in News
By: Kelley Collins, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA – The Boone County Historical Society released a collection of photography and court records on their website.

The local photography was from 1886 to 1970 and the court records are from the first 20 years of Boone County’s history.

The online collection was to help promote the history of Boone County to the local residents. 

The photography comes mostly from four Columbia photographers. Those photographers include but are not limited to Joseph L. Douglass, Henry Holborn, Wesley Blackmore, and John Francis Westhoff. The four of them worked out of the same one location for 54 years.

The historical society said on their website that they have over 500,000 glass plate and plasticine negatives.

Volunteers help digitize the first 6,500 glass plate negatives. The digitizing took place in the Henry “Hank” J. Waters III Digital Imaging Lab which was established in 2017 through funding from the Government of Boone County and Donations.

“We are working box by box there’s 30 images per box. We first arrange the image on the light table shoot the image and another volunteer is usually writing the metadata. We are organizing the images in the box and putting them back together," Brian Flanagin, the lab coordinator said.

Currently, the online archives show some of Blackmore and Holborns’ photos. Douglass and Westhoffs’ photos will be added after.

The center plans to continue to digitize the collection until the over 500,000 photos are digitally preserved.

As for the court records, they digitized the very first book “Book A” which was introduced in 1821. They since have digitized books B, C, and D as well. This features handwritten notes from Boone County’s first clerks, work from the Counties earliest judges and the first executives of the county which are now referred to as commissioner.

The Boone County Historical Society also wants people to help document their COVID-19 experience.

“It offers three or four different ways for people to record their thoughts and feelings about what they’re living through right now there is even a children’s diary and we feel that’s very important because we have precious little of first person narratives from 1918 from the flu pandemic," Chris Campbell, BCHS executive Director said. "People even regular day people 50 years 100 years from now are gonna want to know what we were feeling during this and so that’s what we’re doing its available at boonehistory.org”.

This month, the center has scanned 30 years of history and over 5,900 pages.

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