Handwritten text from a record.

Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board 2021 Grant Awards Announced!

Mahala Ruddell Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board

The 2021 grant funding round of the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) has wrapped! We are happy to announce awards to six institutions for projects that preserve and provide access to Utah’s history.

Southern Utah University Archives, Cedar City, UT

The University Archives at SUU will be receiving $4,627 to digitize 16mm film reels that document campus activities and student life from 1947–1970. The majority of this exciting footage has already been identified and includes footage from Zion National Park (1948); various University commencement ceremonies (1949, 1962); a Louis Armstrong concert (1962); a production of Taming of the Shrew at the Utah Shakespeare Festival (1961); images of buildings, classes, and life on campus; athletic events; community events; and more. 

This is an invaluable, exciting, and fascinating collection, and digitized footage will likely make an appearance at several celebrations including the 60th anniversary season of the Shakespeare Festival, and the 125th anniversary of Southern Utah University

Moab Museum, Moab, UT

The Moab Museum is receiving $5,196 to digitize images from the Fran and Terby Barnes Photograph Archives. Fran Barnes was an avid traveler and photographer who spent nearly forty years documenting the desert southwest surrounding Moab, UT. He was also an accomplished writer, with work published in outdoor magazines, notable newspapers, and the Canyon Country series of 46 books about the desert landscape and history of the Moab area. Fran was also involved in civic affairs, serving on the Grand County Travel Council and the Bureau of Land Management Advisory Board. Terby Barnes was integral in managing Canyon Country Publications and served on the Board of the Moab Museum in its early days. 

The Museum is taking a phased approach to this project and has been awarded funding for this second phase. Their first resulted in the digitization of over 15,000 images. The Museum has a partnership with Southern Utah University Special Collections digitization services and plans on working with SUU again to select and digitize a second batch of photos from this 50,000 image collection. 

Salt Lake County Archives, Salt Lake City, UT

The Salt Lake County Archives has been granted $2,240 to digitize minutes from the County Commission dating back to 1852. Throughout the past 170 years, virtually every person and activity in unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County was affected by the actions of the County Commission. These minutes record the economic, social, and even structural development of the area and the early cities that were established following the arrival of Mormon Pioneers. During the Territorial years, 1852–1896, the commission predominantly dealt with roads, irrigation canals, school and election districts, providing for the poor, and the construction of public buildings. After 1884, the commission was responsible for issuing business licenses. Continued social support of county residents as well as the coordination of police and fire protection remained under the Commission’s control post-Statehood. In 1941, the Commission was also put in charge of zoning regulations.

This resource is a rich one for discovering more about the history of Utah as a whole and Salt Lake County specifically.

Hutchings Museum and Institute, Lehi, UT

The USHRAB awarded the Hutchings Museum $7,500 to process and digitize material from the Broadbent Collection. The Broadbent family was a prominent Lehi family who, among other things, owned and operated a photography studio in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection contains approximately 9,000 images, maps, and other records documenting Lehi history. The Museum plans on re-housing and digitizing the collection, making it accessible via Google Arts & Culture.

Duchesne County Library, Duchesne, UT

The Duchesne County History Center, located at the Duchesne County Library, hosts an extensive database of records from fourteen of the county’s cemeteries. The database consists of gravestone pictures, birth and death information, plot information, obituaries and other artifacts, and more. The database has mapped the locations of all of the plots and has become the primary source of information for these cemeteries, most of which do not have management, and represent over a decade of work compiled by a small but dedicated team of local historians. The database is a primary research resource for those doing family history or other local history of Duchesne County. The Library has been awarded $4,000 to preserve and migrate this database to a cloud based platform. The migration will enable the History Center to continue to maintain, preserve, and provide access to the database, and is necessary for its continued existence.

Cache Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, Logan, UT

The Cache Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum was awarded $1,700 to digitize Cache Valley pioneer histories. These histories, the bulk of which date from 1930-1970, document the lives of early Cache Valley settlers through their own words and the stories of their descendants. This project is part of a phased approach that the Museum is taking to digitizing and preserving its collection. The digitized collection will be hosted by Utah State University and available on the Mountain West Digital Library.

The USHRAB’s grant program is funded by a State Board Programming Grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives. The USHRAB assists public and private non-profits, as well as non-Federal government entities throughout the State of Utah in the preservation and use of historical records.