Monthly Archives: October 2013

Dr. Phil Roberts to Give Lunchtime Talk About 1913 County Organization


“They Voted Every Cat, Dog and Canary Bird”:
Wyoming County Organization in 1913

Join the Wyoming State Archives for a lunchtime talk by in Dr. Phil Roberts, professor of History at the University of Wyoming, on October 24th from 12-1 pm in the Wyoming State Museum Multi-Purpose Room. The talk is FREE and open to the public. Feel free to bring your lunch to enjoy while you listen.

2013 marks the centennial of seven of Wyoming’s counties, the largest group of counties organized at one time in the state’s history. The transformation of formerly barren areas of the state through advances in dry land farming techniques and the completion of two large irrigation projects led to one last homesteading boom and the need for new local governments. Dr. Roberts will share his wealth of knowledge about this unique time in Wyoming history.

This talk is brought to you by the Wyoming State Archives in celebration of Archives Month.


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Filed under Archives Month 2013, Events

Who We Are, What We Do and Why We Do It

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?)

Our beautiful home, the Barrett Building.

The Barrett Building, our beautiful home.

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.

A wall of boxes in our off-site facility, Archives South/State Records Center.

A wall of boxes in our off-site facility, Archives South/State Records Center.

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.

Members of the Wyoming Constitutional Convention on the steps of the stat capitol building, 1889. (WSA Sub Neg 1671)

Members of the Wyoming Constitutional Convention on the steps of the stat capitol building, 1889.
(WSA Sub Neg 1671)

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Filed under Archives Month 2013

Welcome to Archives Month!

October is Archives Month, the time when archival institutions around the country make a special effort to promote the important work archives do in preserving and providing access to America’s documentary heritage. Here at the Wyoming State Archives, thanks to support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, our outreach efforts include an Archives Month poster each year. This year’s poster topic is county expansion in 1913. Seven new counties were organized that year, a significant amount considering the state has just twenty-three counties total. The poster features a brochure, issued by the State Board of Immigration, trumpeting Wyoming’s resources and the fabulous opportunities they presented.

archives month poster 2013, thumbnail

In addition to the poster, the State Archives will host a talk by Phil Roberts, Professor of History at the University of Wyoming. Professor Roberts will address county expansion in his presentation “They Voted Every Cat, Dog and Canary Bird:  Wyoming County Organization in 1913” on October 24, from 1-2, in the multi-purpose room on the first floor of the Barrett Building in Cheyenne. The event is open to the public; please join us if you are able.

DSC_0060 deriv

As we take some time this month to call attention to the importance of archives, I would be remiss if I did not say a few words about the work we do at the Wyoming State Archives. We had nearly 2000 visits to our research room last year and processed nearly 4000 research requests. Between the records we store for state agencies and those permanent records in the archives, we have over 80,000 cubic feet of records in our possession.  Included in that total are half a million photographs; over 12,000 maps, posters, and other over-sized items; more than 2000 books related to Wyoming history; thousands of reels of microfilm; as well as postcards, audio and videotapes, CDs, DVDs, and movie film.  Our most used documents include high school transcripts, the photo collection, newspapers, vital records, court case files, and records of the county clerks. Over 90% of our holdings come from state, county, or municipal government offices, and the material in our collections offers a unique and incredibly diverse view of Wyoming’s history.

Mike Strom
Wyoming State Archivist

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Filed under Archives Month 2013, Welcome

Welcome to the New Wyoming State Archives Blog: Wyoming Postscripts!

We are finally jumping on the bandwagon and starting a blog to keep you updated on what’s happening here at the Wyoming State Archives.

In the coming months, expect to see interesting finds from the collection, updates on major projects, new accessions, historical bits, tips and tricks, behind the scenes peeks, and much more.

(WSA Carbon County Museum Print 249, Sub Neg 12159, Band Wagon, 1898)

(WSA Carbon County Museum Print 249, Sub Neg 12159, bandwagon, 1898)

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