The Utah Academic Library Consortium is sponsoring a new initiative to encourage Utahns to bring old family historical documents to scan and share in an online database.
The “In Your Attic” series is being run by the Mountain West Digital Library database in an effort to collect personal, historical records to share and preserve online.
Scott Eldrege works as the Digital Initiative Program Manager at the Harold B. Lee Library on the BYU campus and said organizers are hoping to turn the series into an annual event.
“This year our theme is ‘Pioneers In Your Attic,’ ” Eldrege said. “Any documents dealing with the transcontinental migration is what we are looking for.”
Utahns with old family diaries, letters, photographs and other documents from the years 1842 to 1869 can take their documents to their local library or university from July 15 to Oct. 31. Workers from Mountain West Digital Library will scan the documents while the person is waiting, so they don’t have to worry about their personal items getting lost, Eldrege said.
The documents will be accessible nationwide after being uploaded to the Mountain West Digital Library, which is a hub for the Digital Public Library of America.
“We want to provide people an opportunity to have access to these documents,” Eldrege said. “Now they will be available for historians or genealogists to go online. There is a preservation aspect as well because people have floods and fires in their homes, so now they will have a copy that may have been lost.”