The archive collection, PFHS office and Digital Lab found a new home at St. Mary's Catholic School, 227 Monee Road in January 2012. There are now many jobs to be done. There are still copies of documents and copies of oral history transcripts in the Park Forest Public Library collection, and in the Park Forest Files at the library--over 270 subject files on Park Forest history. The 5000 image photograph collection is in the Archive Office. We are receiving photographs, either in hard copy or electronically from former residents around the country. These donations need to be processed, recorded, and added to our collection so others can find them. We still have reference questions from students, scholars, publishing companies and current and former residents. Scholarly authors have been working on books about Park Forest. Recently, NBC News came to use the files for a "Dateline NBC" episode. Park Forest history is very much alive! "America on the Move" a transportation exhibit at the National Museum of American History re-opened in November 2008. People seeing that have generated many contacts with the collection.
In 2014, we are working on two Federal Grants. One is the Institute of Museum and Library Services Collection Maintenance Grant. With this we have purchased a PastPerfectCollection Maintenance Database, a new computer and printer/copier/scanner. We need more volunteers to make our grant match and to describe and care for the museum and archival collections.
The other grant is from the National Endowmnet for Humanities and is described below.
The Park Forest Files in the Park Forest Public Library are made up of photocopies and duplicates of articles and documents, maps, newsletters, etc., we have collected over the years. We need a new set of volunteers to clip, photocopy on to acid free paper, label, and file these copies, which become important evidence of Park Forest history. Today is history tomorrow. One dedicated volunteer who worked on this collection retired after 21 years. Others have worked on it through the years. We need a fresh set of hands to take up this very important task. Clipping and collecting has been done. We not only put copies in the Park Forest Files, in some cases the originals or duplicates are saved to go into the archive files.
We need someone to sort the photocopies before they get filed.
We currently have no one trimming, photocopying, labeling, or filing, beyond the labeling the clipper applies. It will be much easier to work on this project as things are collected, rather than to work on it as a huge backlog.
Now that we have custody of the archive and it is available to the public, there are many jobs to be done. The collection needs to be carefully transferred to clean archival cartons.
We have received a grant to purchase the boxes and other supplies from the National Endowmment for the Humanities, a Preservation Assistance Grant for $6,000. Transferring the collection is ongoing.
There is a backlog of unprocessed materials. Many trained hands will make light work. There are very specific methods of working with archival collections. We have the resources and experience to train you in these methods.
We need many more people to become familiar with the collection. When in-depth research is required--even on the collection remaining in the public library--it is the society who provides the direction to researchers and library staff.
We need volunteers to man the facility during our open hours--Friday 10 a.m to 12 noon; and to work with the collections there. We work there many other days and hours during the week, on the two grants. Contact us to help save Park Forest history!!