by Kota Yanagidani
The Jim Dan Hill Library was presented with the Governer’s Award for Archival Achievement at a reception Nov. 3 in the library.
The award, given by the Wisconsin Historical Society, “recognizes the library’s work to preserve and make available the records of the historic Fraser Shipyards.” The shipyards were established in 1889 in Superior.
The collection comprises 2,509 large-format documents, 6,669 simple slides, photographs, project files, and product catalogs.
The most significant part of the collection is the designs and blueprints of vessels such as the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Mackinaw and the Leon Fraser. Some of these ships are still working in the Great Lakes, which makes the collection of greater intereset to shipping companies, according to the library. These sources are important for any research of ships in the Great Lakes; soon, the online access to the materials will be made available to the public.
The JDH Library had already received this award once before, in 2004. Only one college besides UWS has received it twice.
Christopher Jersett, a program assistant in the Provost’s office, attended the award reception as a visitor. He had been a limited-term employee at the library when the collection first was brought in.
“I witnessed the large scale of the project and the detailed work it required,” he said. “Seeing the project come to completion with an award and recognition from the Wisconsin Historical Society brings me pride in our library and the connections it has to local businesses and people.”
UWS Chancellor Renee Wachter, who also attended the event, said it is gratifying that the library is being recognized for its commitment to completing this important project. “Always, always, we are looking for opportunities to preserve the community’s history,” she said.