State grant to help NWC maintain historical records

Northwestern College has received a Historical Resources Development Program (HRDP) grant of $12,317 from the State Historical Society of Iowa to aid in translating, cataloging and digitizing college historical records housed in the archives of Ramaker Library.

“Without the funding it would be difficult to complete several key objectives related to increasing awareness and access to Northwestern’s earliest historical records,” says Daniel Daily, director of Ramaker Library. “Those records have been carefully preserved throughout the years, but there is not a good awareness of them—on campus and elsewhere—because we have limited guides to the collections. Through cataloging, more complete guides will be created, and digitization will help increase awareness.”

The HRDP grant will help catalog and digitize records from the 1850s to the 1930s, which include items related to the founding of Northwestern, historical photographs, and letters and documents from families that settled northwest Iowa in the late 19th century. The grant will also help in translating some of the records from Dutch to English.

Northwestern will collaborate with the Iowa Heritage Digital Collection at the University of Iowa, which will provide the software and Web hosting for the project.

Daily says the grant will have an impact beyond this specific project because it will provide Northwestern with the opportunity to develop practices and a knowledge base for the cataloging and digitizing of historical records well into the future.