In May 1960, a photograph was taken of young people standing in line in anticipation of the East Central Regional Library bookmobile in Stanchfield. Now, more than 50 years later, that image and many more like it live on thanks to a unique project in Minnesota.
East Central Regional Library last year announced its first digital collection of historical images in Minnesota Digital Library’s Minnesota Reflections, courtesy of the Digital Public Library of America’s Public Library Partnerships Project. ECRL’s contribution to the Reflections project provides insight into the oldest existing multi-county regional public library system in Minnesota.
The collection includes images used in ECRL’s history book, “East Central Regional Library: Fifty Years of Connections, 1959-2009,” by Marilyn McGriff. These photographs include library buildings, past and present; retired library services, such as the bookmobile; and ECRL staff members over the years. The images illustrate the role ECRL has played in our communities and contribute to a greater understanding of rural library services in the state since 1959.
Find the full collection at http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/search/collection/p16022coll54.
Minnesota Digital Library provides access to unique digital collections shared by cultural heritage organizations from across the state. Minnesota Reflections—the first online project of MDL—began in 2003 and includes digital content from more than 180 participating organizations including historical societies, special archives, universities and colleges and public libraries from all over Minnesota.
As for the 1960-era photo of the ECRL bookmobile line at Stanchfield? It was selected as one of the cover shots for the recently released Minnesota Digital Library’s Minnesota Reflections 2017 calendar. Download your copy at www.minitex.umn.edu/Contact/Materials/MdlCalendar2017.pdf.
Officially launching in 2013, the Digital Public Library of America aims to provide free public access to digital content in order to create a common resource for libraries and patrons of all types across America. DPLA links in one place digital collections from organizations such as the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Minnesota Digital Library and more.
DPLA collaborated with Minnesota Digital Library in the Public Library Partnerships Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Public Library Partnerships Project was intended to provide digital skills training for public libraries across Minnesota, such as ECRL, with unique local or regional history collections that want to share their content with a broader audience but did not have the resources to do so. A number of East Central Regional Library staff members received the training offered by Minnesota Digital Library and Digital Public Library of America staff in 2014.