Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Feb 05

Archives News!

Posted on February 5, 2018 at 10:53 AM by Melissa Dalton

We have been very busy and the Archives has seen many changes over the past several months, and it all started my first week of work!  We thought it might be a good time to update our readers and patrons of our changes!

Shortly before I started in my post, the Archives acquired 812 tax duplicate books, which were going to require some new shelving to house them properly as many of the books are up to six inches thick and weigh close to 50 pounds!  However, first they needed to be cleaned due to being stored in a basement for many years.  When they arrives at the Archives, we had them on pallets in the back of our storage area for processing (Fig 1).

812 Tax Duplicate Books waiting to be cleaned812 Tax Duplicate Books waiting to be cleaned (2)
Fig 1: Tax books stacked in back and on tables in Map Room while awaiting being cleaned

As they were cleaned by one of our volunteers, they were then placed on shelves (Fig 2).  In the meantime, we got approval to purchase new mobile shelving, meaning the tax books would need to be moved again.  While waiting for the new shelving to be installed, we stacked all the tax books in our Map Room (Fig 3).

812 Tax Duplicate Books waiting for new shelving installation812 Tax Duplicate Books waiting for new shelving installation (2)
Figs 2 & 3: Tax books on shelves prior to installation of new shelving, then moved until installation of new shelves (this stack is at least 4 ft high!)

In early January, installation of four mobile shelving units began.  Although it was quite loud for a few days with all the hammering and sound of power tools, the finished product not only fits our needs exactly, but is appealing to the eye (Fig 4).  Now that they are finally in their proper place, please note that we now have tax records dating from 1806 through 2007 for public use!

2018 mobile shelving 2018 mobile shelving_2
Fig 4: Mobile shelving installed and tax books in their new home!

The same week I started, the County Services folks began a renovation project for the Archives.  We were fortunate to acquire a conference room adjacent to our reading room, so the plan was to extend into the conference room, creating a new space for me and our interns.  They knocked out a wall, closed off the old doorway, opening up a nice, new space.  See the progression below (Figs 5-10)!

Early stages of constructionEarly stages of construction (2)
Figs 5 & 6: Early stages of construction - new opening framed and old doorway closed off

New space framed and starting clean-upNew space framed and starting clean-up (2)
Figs 7 & 8: Walls and ceiling finished, beginning cleanup

New space completed and moved inNew space completed and moved in
Figs 9 & 10: Intern work space / My work space

During the construction/renovation, we decided it was time to make a change to our reading room layout.  We made a few moves of our shelving units, but think we've come up with a better, and more user-friendly, space (Fig 11).

New layout in reading room
Fig 11: New layout of our reading room

Although our renovation is complete and we have the new mobile shelving installed, things are rarely quiet in the Archives.  I'm busy with our educational programs, Joan is constantly working with patrons and other county offices with reference/record requests, and our fearless leader, Robin, is consumed with updating retention schedules.  However, we are here to serve you and believe the new space allows us to do that, and we hope you agree!

Until Next Time...


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