In September of 2012, the Minneapolis Public Library received a grant from the Ottawa County Community Foundation in the amount of $1,079.63. The grant was to fund the obituary digitization and preservation project. The purpose was to digitize the library’s obituary vertical file to make the obituaries more easily researched and retrieved by patrons and staff. An additional part of the project was to microfilm the obituaries for the purpose of making them an archival resource.
The digitization project was carried out by the Kansas Correctional Industries in Norton. The obituary collection was shipped to Norton where it was scanned, microfilmed and burned to disks. The disks and microfilm are available at the library. An index of the obituary files is being included on an upgraded website for the library. Cost of the project was $1,157.12. The balance of $77.49 was paid for with Library memorial money.
“The project was well worth the effort and investment. Two of the three goals of the project have been an unqualified success. First, it has saved the staff considerable time searching, retrieving and copying requested obituaries. Secondly, microfilming has turned an easily destroyed paper file into an archival collection,” stated Ron Brubaker, head librarian. “Finally, genealogy is one of the top hobbies across the world. While the initial number of requests has only slightly increased, as more and more people become aware of the existence of this valuable resource, these numbers will expand.”