Throughout the month of October, the Wyoming State Archives is joining with archives across the nation to celebrate our shared memory and promote archival appreciation. What better way to start off our new blog than with a celebration with all things archives!
Before we get too far, how about a brief look at who we are, what we do and why we do it. (Then we’ll get to the cool stuff, ok?)
The Wyoming State Archives is a government agency, under the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, tasked with managing the records of Wyoming’s state government and assisting county and local governments with their records. We do this through our 3 units: Records Management, the State Archives, and the State Imaging Center.
Records Management helps agencies and departments to sort through the records and documents they create daily and decide what needs to be kept and for how long. Records Management also runs the Wyoming State Records Center (SRC), a repository for state government’s semi-permanent records. These are records that are no longer need for daily business, but must be kept for a certain amount of time before they are destroyed.
If a state or local record is deemed as having lasting historical, informational or evidential value to the citizens of Wyoming, it is transferred to the Wyoming State Archives for permanent storage and research access. Unlike in most other states, the Archives is also home to many non-governmental records. Our collection contains the papers of Wyoming pioneers, local clubs and organizations, newspapers, photographs, maps and much more, all relating to the history of Wyoming and its people.
The State Imaging Center oversee major scanning and microfilming projects for permanent records. These folks use scanners and cameras to digitize and microfilm large volumes of documents. Sometimes the paper documents are then destroyed to save physical storage space, but sometimes the originals are also kept because the paper they are on is seen as having its own intrinsic value (more on that later).
So why do we do what we do?
The Wyoming State Archives exists to be the enduring memory of Wyoming’s state governmental history for the citizens of Wyoming and to ensure that the information and documents that keep our government running smoothly survive for the future. We also strive make the history of Wyoming and its people available to present and future researchers so that the stories of the people and events that built our great state are not lost to the sands of time.