By Susan Fisher, MPL—
MUNCIE, IN—Four local organizations, all with an interest in discovering and preserving local history, will host a Community Scan Day on Saturday, October 8 from 1-4 p.m. at Minnetrista Museum & Gardens.
The event is sponsored by Minnetrista, Ball State University Libraries, the Delaware County Historical Society, and Muncie Public Library. The event will ask participants to focus on documents, photographs, photo negatives, and slides that feature local women in politics and in the military.
A scan day is an event where residents are asked to share photos and other documents to be digitally scanned for possible inclusion in local digital archives. In return, participants will receive a flash drive with their scanned items. This helps families preserve their own histories and assists the sponsoring organizations in discovering photographs and documents that tell the story of a community.
According to Sara McKinley, Local History & Genealogy Supervisor at Muncie Public Library’s Carnegie Library, the participating organizations for the scheduled scan day are considered local memory institutions, which can include archives, museums, historical societies, and libraries. “Our local memory institutions are working together at this event to advocate for historic preservation, inform our community about collections and services available to them, and provide a public service to help save and share our county’s hidden histories,” she said.
The first Community Scan day was held in May of this year. Participants were invited to share local family documents and photographs. At the time, Matthew Shaw, dean of University Libraries at Ball State, said in a press release, “These items are inaccessible to researchers, and their survival as digital scans will ensure preservation of the stories, memories, and experiences unique to the residents and families of Muncie and surrounding communities.” According to Karen Vincent, President of the Delaware County Historical Society, the initial event was a success. “Our first event served 14 participants. We not only provided participants with digital copies of their materials but also formed a connection between participants and their local archives,” she said.
Sarah Allison, Head of Archives User Engagement at Ball State University Libraries, hopes that the theme of the upcoming Community Scan Day, with its focus on local women in politics and in the military, will help to attract new participants to the event and help to uncover previously unknown individuals and their stories, “Our hope is to not only help individuals preserve their hidden treasures, but also to share digital copies via our institutions’ online repositories to help document and share local women’s history,” she said.
Susan Smith, Archivist at Minnetrista, also sees community scanning events as an opportunity to answer questions and provide guidance on how to preserve not just physical materials but digital files, too. “For those who may not be tech savvy or have the equipment themselves, this is a chance to get their materials digitized and make them available to share with both family and public researchers,” she said.
Community members are encouraged to participate. Pre-registration is required. Individuals are limited to 20 items to be scanned, items must have a local (Delaware County) connection, and should pertain to the theme of the event. All participants will receive a free flash drive with their digital scans.
To find out more, individuals can follow this link: or call (765) 741-5159. Additional information may also be found on the participating organization’s websites, including the Muncie Public Library website at www.munciepubliclibrary.org