Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Apr 06

Welcome our Newest Intern, Emily Hartman!

Posted on April 6, 2018 at 4:07 PM by Melissa Dalton

I have been volunteering with the Greene County Archives this semester as the last stage of a Master of Library Science degree from Kent State University (Fig 1). My undergraduate degree was in history and my master’s specialization is in archives and special collections, so I really wanted to finish my degree by getting some hands-on experience with a local collection. I had visited the archives repeatedly to work on projects for other classes, so I was excited to get the chance to intern here. I have to say, it has not been a disappointment!

Image of Emily Hartman (JPG)
Fig 1. Emily Hartman

My biggest project has been helping prepare 1910s probate records for microfilming by cleaning dirt off the pages and removing all the old staples and other fasteners (Figs 2 & 3). I did not know very much about the history of Greene County before I started my degree, and it has been fascinating to get a better idea of what the area looked like a hundred years ago. Some of the names are familiar, like the Huffman family or, of course, Dodds Monuments, but many files include receipts for expenses paid to tiny stores that have not been in business for decades (Fig 4). Other files include detailed inventories of household goods or farm equipment, and a few hide stories of family drama, contested wills, and dishonest or incompetent executors. I like to say that history is “just people being people,” and this project has been a small-scale example of that.

Image of receipts prior to removing fastener (JPG)
Fig 2. Receipts prior to removal of fastener (Greene County Archives)

Image of receipts after removing fastener (JPG)
Fig 3. Receipts after removal of fastener (Greene County Archives)

Receipt for textbooks (JPG)
Fig 4. Receipt for textbooks (Greene County Archives)

I also indexed a common pleas appearance docket from the late 1870s (Fig 5). While I have been getting some practice reading old handwriting during this internship, the clerk of courts who filled out this docket had particularly poor handwriting (Fig 6)! Sometimes I had to compare the docket to other records of the same cases or ask Joan Donovan for help translating the last names.
 
Inventory listing names horses in an estate (JPG)
Fig 5. Inventory of named horses from Estate (Greene County Archives)

Page from Greene County Common Pleas Docket (JPG)
Fig 6. Page from the Greene County Common Pleas Docket (Greene County Archives)

The last project I started is inventorying a box of ephemera (small, miscellaneous items) from the commissioners’ office. Ironically, I started working on this box on April 3, and the first file in the box included receipts and damage reports from the 1974 tornado.

My favorite part of this internship, though, is the people. The archives staff have all been very friendly and helpful and their knowledge of their collections and the community is impressive. I have truly enjoyed getting to work with and learn from them, and I would like to conclude this post by thanking them for this internship opportunity.

Until Next Time...

Comments

Sandy Fackler
April 6, 2018 at 7:02 PM
Thank you, Emily for the work you have done We appreciate it.

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