Historical societies are getting a lot of good publicity lately. TLC premiered a new season of Who Do You Think You Are? a few weeks ago, and on last night’s episode, television and film star Zooey Deschanel visited several archives on her quest to learn more about a great-great-great-great grandmother. Even the MTV show Catfish recently visited a Michigan historical society while investigating the identity of a mysterious woman. With such prominent pop culture spotlights turned toward the world of archives, I’d venture to say historical societies are down-right cool. But then, I might have a bias.
As I await the arrival of some Hollywood star here at the Annex (hey, maybe Brad Pitt’s great-great uncle was from Bovill), I am delighted to assist anyone interested in utilizing our impressive collections. Nearly every day I am able to provide a visitor with information about their historic home, about a relative, or perhaps just about a topic which deeply interests them. We have a wide variety of primary and secondary sources available here.
Thanks to the incredible hard work and dedication of LCHS volunteers past and present, we have many volumes of transcribed birth, death, and marriage notices from area newspapers. Logs of tombstone inscriptions from Latah County cemeteries, abstracts of probate records from 1888-1908, and detailed records of Moscow’s National Register of Historic Places are all valuable sources. Guides to our oral history collection and sizable assortment of maps also aid researchers in their search.
We maintain a rich collection of published works on Latah County and Idaho history. Many of the texts in the research library are now out of print, and are therefore difficult to locate. While we do not lend out items from our collections, we can make copies of small sections. Finally, we have a number of local history books for sale here at the Annex and at the McConnell Mansion.
Our map collection is another component of the research library. The collection is exceptionally diverse, as it is comprised of documents from the 1880s through the present, representing communities large and small, published by the federal government, municipal bodies, political groups, and private companies.
This is just a sampling of our archival collection. We maintain thousands of photographs, scrapbooks, documentary records, and material objects. If you haven’t had occasion to visit the Centennial Annex before, I encourage you to stop by and check out these wonderful resources for yourself. Should you have any specific research questions, but are unable to visit our archives in person, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.