Grant helps local group preserve maps and more

Grant helps local group preserve maps and more

ESCANABA — One group is working to preserve a large amount of Upper Peninsula history, and it’s getting a little help to do just that.

“We need to be linked to our past, and this links us in a very real way,” said Elizabeth Keller, a member of the Archives Committee at the Delta County Historical Society.

The Historical Society was recently one of five organizations in the state to be awarded a “Save Michigan History” grant by the Michigan State Historical Records Advisory Board. These grants are designed to help non-profit historical groups organize and preserve historic items.

“The grant is largely to take care of some of the maps and special map-type materials that we have,” said Archives Committee Chair Karen Lindquist. “We have a terrific collection, but many of them are very fragile.”

“There are maps that cover the development of the county,” said Keller. “There are individual maps for various units within the county. There are road maps. There are maps that locate various historical things.”

The grant will assist the society in making the maps easily available to the public online.

“As we all know, everything is becoming digitized. Everything is available on the internet, and we want to be part of that,” Keller added.

The society applied for $2,500 in grant money and will need to match the final amount of funds that are awarded. In addition to their collection of maps, the extensive number of photographs in the archives will benefit from the grant. They’ll be meeting with officials this week to go over the next steps in the process, and they hope to have the archival work covered by the grant completed by this fall.