Erie Society for Genealogical Research
One of our major partners is the Erie Society for Genealogical Research. In addition to providing genealogy reference service, they are generous supporters of the ECHS Library & Archives, buying genealogy-related titles to support our book budget and microfilming records to make them more accessible to our growing research public. They have indexed records in our collections to speed efficient use by researchers. They have purchased and, in some cases, built shelving to support our collections. We appreciate working with them and look forward to a continuing long-term relationship. ESGR meets on the second Tuesday of the month at the Erie County History Center, Library & Archives Research Room at 7:00 p. m. The doors open at 6:40 p. m. and close at 7:10 p. m.
Erie City Building Inspector’s Office
We appreciate the opportunity to make architectural plans and drawings previously on file at the City Building Inspector’s Office available to researchers at the History Center. The former City Building Inspector, Dennis Miller and his staff worked with us to transfer over 3,500 plans and drawings to the Library & Archives. Andy Zimmerman, current City Building Inspector, has been instrumental in transferring additional plans and drawings to the History Center. Volunteers, student work studies, interns and staff have helped prepare a database of the contents. The plans are also preserved and stored on special shelving to protect them long-term. We look forward to a continuing successful relationship, helping researchers find information on the built environment in Erie.
The Clerk of Records, and Kenneth Gamble, First Deputy Prothonotary, the County Records Manager, Tito Bongorino and the Sheriff’s Department have partnered with the ECHS Library & Archives to transfer selected groups of county records to the History Center for additional preservation and greater access by the public. Deeds and mortgage microfilm, quarter sessions criminal records, and council minute books are now available on site. A number of records groups which were no longer on the retention schedule and legally ready for destruction were given new research life as a result of this partnership. We are pleased to make these records available to new audiences.
Collaborative activity has increased during the last few years under Records Manager Tito Bongorino. Erie County funding has also supported ECHS Library & Archives activities. We have partnered to seek state level funding and continued to work together to help history researchers interested in using county records groups. State funding from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission via the collaborative Archives & Records Management grant program has had an important impact. We look forward to continuing the partnership with Erie County.
Edinboro University’s Department of History & Anthropology is a major partner. The Department has selected and underwritten funding for a Graduate Assistant position to the Library & Archives in past years. Graduate students and undergraduate students have participated in many important projects for credit including exhibits, arrangement and description of significant collections, grant project finding aids, preparation of education programs in the archives, and many other tasks. We have appreciated this level of support.
Our donors are also major partners. In many instances donating collections or individual material is the first step in involvement and partnership for our donors. Support in the form of volunteer time and expertise, or financial underwriting for archival care and supplies is becoming the norm. This kind of partnership is valued and appreciated. In many cases, records groups documenting families or organizations are open-ended. Donors continue to build upon their original donation, which results in collections with greater breadth and depth. We encourage donors to become members, to see the results of their gifts, and enjoy the fellowship of like-minded people who care about our community’s history.