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Community Members Invited to Discuss Local History Resource Needs

KEENE, N.H. 1/31/03 Southwest New Hampshire is rich with several centuries of local history, but whats the best source for learning about it? Monadnock region history resides in many collections, but currently theres no single way to access all the information.

That could change soon, according to Irene Herold, director of Mason Library at Keene State College. Five organizations, including Keene Public Library, the Historical Society of Cheshire County, the Horatio Colony House Museum, the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State, and Mason Library, are planning to develop a searchable Internet database of historical materials, says Herold. These materials include diaries, letters, city records, photographs, maps, artifacts, and artwork pertaining to Keene and the Monadnock region. Only Mason Library, Keene Public Library, and the Historical Society currently have online databases.

Community members interested in the project are invited to attend a community- needs assessment forum on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 7-8 p.m. at the Historical Society of Cheshire County on Main Street in Keene. According to Herold, the organizers want to find out how people currently search for historical information, hear their thoughts about using a web database, and discuss implications for education and tourism in the area if the catalog is established.

Following the forum, the next step is for the organizing group to write grants to several state and regional institutions for funding. If the project goes ahead, the database will be hosted on Keene-Link, the catalog system maintained by Keene Public Library and Mason Library. This project will be a big leap forward in the modernization of access to our collections and resources, says Herold. Eventually, she says, the goal is for digital pictures of collection pieces and artwork to be accessible in the catalog.

For more information about the public forum, contact:

Irene Herold, director of Mason Library at 358-2736

Alan Rumrill, director of the Historical Society of Cheshire County at 352-1895>br? Anita Carroll-Weldon, director of the Horatio Colony House Museum at 352-0460

Nancy Vincent, director of Keene Public Library, at 352-0157

Maureen Ahern, director of the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, at 358-2721.

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229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435