Wiregrass Archives: Unearthing the Untold Stories

'Wiregrass Archives: Unearthing the Untold Stories' offers a comprehensive exploration of the pivotal role played by the Wiregrass Archives, situated within the Troy University Dothan Campus Library.

Since its establishment in 1999, the archives have served as the official repository for an extensive array of historical records and personal papers, encompassing materials from both the institution and 30 counties in the Wiregrass Region.

Through active community engagement, the archives document and preserve local history, notably through partnerships such as the Veterans History Project with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

This article delves into the Archives' history, mission, community partnerships, notable collections, and its significant role in unearthing and preserving the untold stories of the region.

Key Takeaways

  • The Wiregrass Archives is located at the Troy University Dothan Campus Library and holds records and personal papers from the institution and 30 counties in the Wiregrass Region.
  • The archives collects historical records from offices and departments of Troy University Dothan Campus, as well as records and historical papers from community groups and local individuals.
  • The Wiregrass Archives houses various community collections, including the records of the Martin Drug Store and the Atlantic Coast Line-Seaboard Atlantic Line-Southern Railway depot.
  • The archives has collaborated with the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress for the Veterans History Project and has conducted workshops and community scanning days to digitize family photographs and documents.

History of Wiregrass Archives

Since its establishment in 1999, the Wiregrass Archives has played an integral role in preserving the historical records and cultural heritage of the Wiregrass Region. Initially founded as the Archives of Wiregrass History and Culture, it later evolved into the Wiregrass Archives, becoming the official repository for U.S. representative Terry Everett's congressional office records.

Over the years, the growth of the Wiregrass Archives has been remarkable, expanding its collection to include records and personal papers from both the Troy University Dothan Campus and 30 counties in the Wiregrass Region. The archives also actively collaborates with community groups and local individuals, housing a diverse range of materials such as historical photographs, community records, and personal collections.

Through its continuous growth and outreach efforts, the Wiregrass Archives remains dedicated to documenting and preserving the rich history of the region.

Mission and Collection Scope

Unearthing historical records and personal papers, the Wiregrass Archives collects a diverse range of materials from the Troy University Dothan Campus, 30 counties in the Wiregrass Region, and local community groups and individuals.

Challenges faced by the archives include the preservation and digitization of aging materials to ensure their accessibility for future generations.

Future expansion plans involve broadening the scope of collections to encompass a wider range of community groups and individuals, in addition to enhancing outreach efforts to encourage the contribution of historically significant materials.

The Wiregrass Archives aims to overcome these challenges through strategic partnerships and continued community engagement. By doing so, it seeks to not only preserve the past but also create a more comprehensive and inclusive repository of the region's history and culture.

Community Partnerships

Continuing its mission to preserve and digitize historical records and personal papers, the Wiregrass Archives actively seeks to cultivate community partnerships to expand the scope of its collections and enhance outreach efforts. Through these partnerships, the Archives engages with the community to ensure the preservation of local history and culture. This collaboration not only enriches the Archives' collection but also fosters a sense of community engagement and ownership of the region's heritage.

Specifically, the community partnerships focus on:

  1. Collaborating with local historical societies and organizations to collect and preserve historical materials.
  2. Engaging with educational institutions to develop archival preservation and historical research programs.
  3. Organizing outreach events and workshops to involve the community in archival preservation efforts.

These partnerships are crucial in ensuring the continued relevance and accessibility of the Wiregrass Archives.

Notable Community Collections

The Wiregrass Archives actively collects and preserves notable community collections, contributing to the preservation of local history and culture in the region. Through community engagement and historical preservation efforts, the archives has become a vital repository for a diverse range of materials.

It houses records from the Martin Drug Store, offering insight into the history of small-town Alabama, as well as materials from the Atlantic Coast Line-Seaboard Atlantic Line-Southern Railway depot. Notably, the archives also holds personal records from local residents, showcasing the active involvement of the community in preserving its own history.

This collaborative approach has facilitated the documentation of the region's history through publications and initiatives, such as the digitization of family photographs and documents. The Wiregrass Archives stands as a testament to the value of community involvement in historical preservation.

Collaboration With Library of Congress

The Wiregrass Archives frequently collaborates with the Library of Congress to expand its collection of historical materials. This collaboration has resulted in significant contributions to the preservation and documentation of local history. Specifically, this partnership has yielded the following outcomes:

  1. Veterans History Project: The Wiregrass Archives has actively participated in the Veterans History Project, conducting and collecting interviews with local veterans, contributing to the national archive of firsthand accounts from veterans.
  2. Community Scanning Days: In 2016, the archives organized and hosted community scanning days to digitize family photographs and documents, preserving invaluable personal and historical materials for future generations.
  3. Expansion of Collections: Through collaboration with the Library of Congress, the Wiregrass Archives has expanded its collections, ensuring the preservation and accessibility of diverse historical materials.

This collaboration underscores the commitment to documenting and safeguarding the rich history of the Wiregrass region.

Outreach Initiatives

The Wiregrass Archives outreach initiatives aim to engage the community and facilitate access to historical materials through various collaborative programs and public events.

In line with this objective, the archives have organized workshops and community scanning days to digitize family photographs and documents. These efforts have not only preserved significant historical materials but also made them more accessible to the public.

By providing opportunities for individuals to contribute their personal records for research at the archives, the outreach initiatives have fostered a sense of community involvement in preserving local history.

Through these collaborative programs, the Wiregrass Archives continues to play a vital role in documenting and sharing the untold stories of the Wiregrass Region, ensuring that its rich history is preserved for future generations.

Access and Visitation

Once visitors arrive at the Wiregrass Archives, they may access a wealth of historical materials during university business hours or by appointment. The accessibility and research opportunities available at the archives provide a valuable resource for scholars, students, and the wider community.

The following features enhance the visitor experience:

  1. Extensive Collection: The archives house an array of historical records, including bulletins, photographs, and personal papers from the Wiregrass region, providing ample research opportunities.
  2. Expert Guidance: Knowledgeable staff are on hand during university business hours to assist visitors in navigating the archives' resources and maximizing their research experience.
  3. Flexible Visitation: By offering appointments, the archives cater to individuals with specific research needs, ensuring that visitors can access materials tailored to their interests.

These features combine to establish the Wiregrass Archives as an accessible and enriching research destination.

Additional Resources

Visitors to the Wiregrass Archives can access a diverse range of additional resources, further enriching their research experience and providing comprehensive insights into the region's history and culture.

The Wiregrass Archives website serves as a valuable platform for exploring the various historical research opportunities available. This includes access to digitized documents, photographs, and oral history recordings.

Moreover, the website provides information on upcoming events, workshops, and community scanning days, offering visitors the chance to actively engage with the archives.

Additionally, external links to recommended readings such as 'Houston County: The First 100 Years' by Dothan Landmarks Foundation, Inc. and 'Railroading Around Dothan and the Wiregrass Region' provide further avenues for in-depth research.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Process for Donating Personal Records or Materials to the Wiregrass Archives?

The process for donating personal records or materials to the Wiregrass Archives involves submitting documentation of the items. The archives actively engages with the community to preserve historical materials. Donation inquiries and appointments can be made during university business hours.

How Does the Wiregrass Archives Prioritize Which Community Groups and Individuals' Records to Collect?

The Wiregrass Archives prioritizes community involvement in its collection criteria by considering the historical significance and cultural impact of records. The archives collaborates with community groups and individuals to ensure a comprehensive and diverse representation of the Wiregrass Region's untold stories.

Are There Any Upcoming Collaborative Projects or Partnerships in the Works for the Wiregrass Archives?

The Wiregrass Archives is currently developing upcoming events and collaborative partnerships to further its mission. These initiatives aim to expand access to historical records, promote community engagement, and enhance the preservation of local heritage.

Can Researchers Access Digital Copies of Materials From the Archives, and if So, What Is the Process for Obtaining Them?

Accessing digital copies of archival materials at the Wiregrass Archives involves a straightforward process. Researchers can request digitized materials by appointment or during business hours. The digitization benefits enable wider access to historical records for scholarly research.

Are There Any Plans to Expand the Physical Space or Resources of the Wiregrass Archives in the Future?

The Wiregrass Archives is considering future expansion to accommodate the growing collection and provide enhanced resources. Plans to allocate resources and seek funding opportunities are underway, with a focus on community engagement to support and sustain the archive's growth.


In conclusion, the Wiregrass Archives stands as a beacon of preservation, much like a lighthouse guiding ships through the stormy seas.

Its unwavering commitment to documenting and safeguarding the rich history of the region, coupled with its collaborative efforts and outreach initiatives, ensures that the untold stories of the Wiregrass community will continue to be unearthed and shared for generations to come.

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