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County archives receives grant

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Bedford County Archives recently received a $2,700 state grant that will help provide better shelving and other archival supplies for permanent storage of records.  

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented the check to Bedford County Archive Director Carol Roberts, who used to work for Hargett as a state archivist in Nashville.  

“I’m really excited...the last grant from TSLA (Tennessee State Library and Archives) was for four to five units of shelving...and that scanner,” Roberts said.  

The scanner, according to Roberts, costs around $3,000. It enables the archivists to scan records that have not been available for the public modern records.  

“We’ve had some veterans who have been married some sixty-odd years and have their marriage certificate. So, we’ve been helping a lot of people out,” Roberts said.  

Future plans  

Even though microfilm, according to Roberts, is the “least degradable,” Roberts said they would like to get a digital scanner for historic microfilm to make records available as jpegs that would, essentially, make them into easy-read pictures.  

“The preservation microfilm that still at the TSLA vaults is the primary resource. And there are record books I am finding now...and they’re on microfilm,” Roberts said.  

The goal is to pack vaults with the earliest original records. The Bedford County Archives recently received 300 boxes from the sheriff’s department and 250 hospital records, Roberts said.  

The archives would also like to add research facilities and a reading room. But the location of county archives, the Bedford County Courthouse, which is still in its renovation process, needs better physical conditions, like an AC unit and climate control storage.  

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