Mower County Township Records Microfilming Project
(b) Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. (i) $2,250,000 in 2010 and $4,500,000 in 2011 are appropriated for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources. Funds are to be distributed through a competitive grants process. The Minnesota Historical Society shall administer these funds using established grants mechanisms, and with assistance from the advisory committee created herein.
The purpose of the grant was to collect prepatory information and purchase necessary equipment to carry out a microfilming project, to preserve and make accessible records of individual townships within Mower County from the earliest date possible through 2008. To complete this work, the Project Director met with members of the Minnesota Historical Society staff and a microfilming agent to learn about the microfilming and record preparation process. Three meetings were scheduled to go through the process of preparing records for microfilming. The first meeting was with Steve Cunat in the MHS microfilming lab to discuss methods that make the microfilming process easier and more efficient for all parties involved. The next meeting was with Kathryn Otto. The discussion focused on creating an inventory of microfilm records to be included in the microfilming process. A third and final meeting was held with Bob Herskovitz on conservation techniques to ensure the best picture for each record. The Project Director met with Ted Ringberg of Film-It, LTD. at his office in Eagan. This session was for both parties to discuss work that each party would need to complete before, during, and after the microfilming process such as standards to follow, spot checking of microfilm reels, and price for services.
Between February and April, materials and equipment was purchased to assist with the project. These included acid-free microfilm boxes, microfilming standards, and a laptop computer to enhance the capabilities of the Mower County Historical Society's microfilm reader/printer.
When the implementation project is completed, there will be a wealth of records preserved for future generations to learn more about the history of Mower County. These records will be an invaluable source not only to future township officials but researchers as well. The enduring value will be that these records are not lost, as some have been, and preserved to ensure the history of Mower County can be told using primary documents.