On January 2, 2001 the Buffalo County Historical Society initiated the first full-time Director of the Society, Ms. Sherrie Dux-Ideus. Sherrie is a resident of Amherst and a fifth-generation Nebraskan. She brings a variety of educational and work experiences to the Director's position. Sherrie received an Associate Degree from Southeast Community College in Fairbury in 1975 and completed her Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1977. Shifting her focus to library training, Sherrie received her Masters in library Science from Emporia State University in 1978 and that same year began working as a librarian at the Beatrice Public library.
Sherrie's career as a librarian spanned sixteen years, as she served as the Librarian and Training Officer at the Beatrice State Developmental Center from 1980 to 1988, as Library Director of the Sun City Library in Sun City, Arizona, from 1988 to 1990, and as the Director of the Reference and interloan Center at the University of Nebraska at Kearney from 1990 to 1994. Sherrie then moved to the private sector becoming the Book Manager of the Hastings Books, Music, Video, and Software store in Kearney. After seven years in retail, Sherrie is now bringing those skills, plus her academic talents and library experience to the service of the Historical Society.
What does the Director of the Buffalo County Historical Society do? The formal job description defines the Director responsibilities as overseeing all museum and archive operations, newsletters and publications, programming and web sites, as well as being responsible for grant writing, fund-raising, and publicity. In a recent interview, I asked Sherrie about her new job and what her average day was like.
Sherrie said she was attracted to the position because she has always been fascinated by local history, and that the position would allow her to apply all of the skills she has acquired from her educational training and work experiences. She is already at work in the area of grant writing, working on a project for funds from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to produce a promotional video about the Buffalo County Historical Society, which could be shown at public events to introduce the public to the Trails and Rails Museum and the work of the Society. As many of you know, Sherrie will also be busy with the revised campaign to raise monies to construct a new archive and exhibition building, which will get under way this month. As Director, Sherrie is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Hospitality Committee, and in that capacity she networks with leaders from other community organizations to inform them of Buffalo County Historical Society events and operations and learn from their experiences about more ways to work with the public.
She reports that her most interesting task to date is working with the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument to build a positive relationship of benefit to both the Monument and the Buffalo County Historical Society. Currently the Archway reserves space in its lobby for Buffalo County Historical Society brochures and directs tourists to the Trails and Rails Museum as a follow-up experience to the Arch. In turn the Society loans artifacts and assistance to the Archway Monument to assist them in maintaining the quality of their presentations. Sherrie hinted that future joint ventures might include the use of Archway re-enactors for programs at the Trails and Rails Museum, and creating a series of historical postcards.
What is an average day like for the Buffalo County Historical Society Director? In addition to paperwork associated with the above-mentioned tasks, Sherrie's time is filled with ongoing correspondence with Society members and the general public, and working to catalogue the museum holdings. Telephone calls and email includes inquiries about genealogy, museum and archive hours, archival holdings, and general historical questions. The day is also busy working alongside Margaret and Henry Hohnholt to coordinate public school visits to the museum. The most challenging task at hand is the ongoing project to enter information about the thousands of museum artifacts into the Past Perfect cataloging program. Past Perfect is the standard for museums, and once completed will allow for computer searches and inventory of artifacts by assigned keywords, subject, donor Information, artifact number, and other characteristics.
The new Buffalo County Historical Society Director would like to hear from the membership. Her office is in the Museum and she is generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. You can reach her at 308-234-3041 or via email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Be sure to call or drop her a line and make her feel welcome.
What's in the Archives?
Ever wonder what exactly IS in the Buffalo County Historical Society archives? Well, among other items there are the following: Embalmer Register for 1900-1901; Kearney City Directories since 1889; Register of Dentists in Buffalo County for 1888-1891, 1896-1932, Family history and papers of Myron Scott and Lauritz Larson, Optometrists Register for 1912-1913; Nurses Register for 1910-1915, and the following papers: Kearney Weekly Hub, New Era Standard, Central Nebraska Press, and a collection of Shelton newspapers.
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