Category Archives: WSL News

New Wyoming Collections Join the DPLA



From the Colorado Virtual Library

Wyoming Historic Landscape Expands

The Wyoming State Archives and the Campbell County Rockpile Museum recently became partners of the Plains to Peaks Collective (PPC) sharing over 19,000 items with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  With these recent additions, there are now seven Wyoming institutions collectively sharing over 119,000 unique historic items with DPLA’s large audience of researchers, students, teachers and general history enthusiasts.

Campbell County Rockpile Museum

Image of the Rock pile and the Rockpile Museum sign. Courtesy of the Campbell County Rockpile Museum, 2018.050.0002.

New PPC partner the Campbell County Rockpile Museum’s collection focuses on local and regional history with an emphasis on the culture and people of Gillette and the Powder River Basin.  If you’re not from Wyoming, like me, you may be wondering where the name Rockpile originated. The first four settlers in Gillette centered their claims near this now famous pile of rocks.  This long standing landmark, located near the railhead of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, let visitors know they had arrived in Gillette. The land that is home to the rockpile was donated to the county in 1970 and four years later the Museum opened.

The Rockpile Museum collection is vast with over 35,000 artifacts, photographs and archival items.  Visitor highlights include the coal mining artifacts which help visitors gain a better understanding of Wyoming’s surface mining technique, or open-pit mining, as well as the land reclamation process. Coal mining began in the county as early as 1909 and remains a vital industry to Gillette’s growth.  One staff favorite are the WWI letters found in the Museum’s archival collection. Readers can “get a real sense of the importance of family to these soldiers, how they were dealing with difficult circumstances, and how much they loved Wyoming.”

Letter from George Stewart to Winnie Torbert, 1918. Courtesy of the Campbell County Rockpile Museum, 2018.047.0003.

Like many institutions, the museum was closed to in person visitors for a short time this past spring.  Thankfully they are back open with the new normal of social distancing in place.  The museum staff  is  dedicated to adding collections to their online database so the public can always explore the collection.

Sharing our collections online is important because these collections belong to the people of Campbell County; we are stewards of these items, but the stories belong to the community. We hope to continue to engage people in the history of this region so we can continue to carry out our mission to collect, preserve, and educate about the Powder River Basin. Only a small percentage of collections ever go on exhibit, so having an online presence where we can share the complete collection and the stories behind these items is extremely important to all of the staff here at the Rockpile Museum.

Wyoming State Archives

New PPC partner the Wyoming State Archives collects and preserves the records that document the history of the state and the activities of Wyoming’s government offices. While they are the primary repository of state government records they are home to numerous non-government records as well that document aspects of Wyoming life.  These include personal papers (letters, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, writings, etc.), business records, and records of clubs and organizations.

The State Archives collections are an invaluable resource to those researching the life of early Wyoming pioneers and residents.  Thankfully the Archives has made many of these collections available online. Of special note is the Wilkerson Biographies Collection — a series of biographies of Wyoming pioneers collected by Peter M. Wilkerson. Often handwritten these biographies detail aspects of an individual’s life including where they were originally from and their employment once they were living in Wyoming.

E. Amoretti – banker, merchant, and stock and sheep grower, – of Lander is a native of Italy, where he was born in 1839. He received a military education, but at the age of fifteen went to Central America and remained two years going thence to California and for the next twenty years devoted himself to mines and merchandise.  In 1868, Mr A. came to Wyoming, opened a store in South Pass, and during the following year bought Carbon Mine of Mr. Custen for $34,000.

Another excellent online source of genealogical information is the Wyoming State Archives WPA Federal Writers Project Files Collection.  The Federal Writers’ Project was created in 1935 as part of the United States Work Progress Administration to provide employment for historians, teachers, writers, librarians, and other white-collar workers.  The State Archives collection compiled between 1935 and 1942 by Wyoming employees of the WPA Federal Writers’ Project and the Wyoming Historical Records Survey, contains 9,230 digital records. Much of the digitized content records the history of individuals including family lineage, employment information, biographical narratives and various field notes recorded by the WPA workers. Other digitized content in the collection includes the history of counties, municipalities, churches and military forts.

Wyoming WPA Biographical File regarding A.E Ackley. Courtesy of the Wyoming State Archives.

Sharing Made Easy

The PPC, the Colorado-Wyoming Service Hub of the DPLA, is one of only a few dual state hubs.  We actively work to share the historic collections from both of our states.  We are very excited about our new Wyoming partners and look forward to building more partnerships in the future.  We strive to make the process of sharing collections with the DPLA as easy as possible.  We hope that all of our partners feel the way staff at the Campbell County Rockpile Museum does.

The collections staff was surprised and excited that the process of sharing our collections with DPLA was extremely easy. We thought that the process would require a lot of changes to our catalog records, but we were happy to know that we could begin sharing our collections right away.

If you would like to share collections with the DPLA or if you just have questions about the program please contact Leigh Jeremias, at ljeremias@coloradovirtuallibrary.org. For more information about the PPC visit the website.

Do you have a Wyoming collection you’d like to add, and you are using PastPerfect software? Assistance may be available through a grant project funded by the Wyoming Community Foundation. Contact Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library Outreach Librarian, at susan.mark@wyo.gov or (307) 777-5915.

Participation by Wyoming partners is supported by the Wyoming State Library.

FDLP Libraries: Your Source for Government Information



The Wyoming State Library is one of seven Federal Depository Libraries in the state. These offer a selection of government documents and digital resources to patrons of all ages as part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Tekla Slider, WSL Federal Documents Librarian (seen here in her snazzy FDLP mask), features a few things you can do:

  • Explore the earth from NASA’s perspective (Earth at Night)
  • Follow a bill as it makes its way to becoming legislation (How a Bill Becomes a Law display)
  • Engage in fun and educational activities related to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government (bensguide.gpo.gov)
  • Complete the 2020 Census (2020census.gov) and discover why being counted is important to your community’s future
  • Manage your personal finances (consumerfinance.gov)

Whatever federal government information questions you may have, an FDLP library can help. Find one near you, or contact us here at the Wyoming State Library at statelibrary@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6333.

WSL Helps Put Museum Collections Online



Wyoming’s museums contain unique historical resources, and the Wyoming State Library is working to make those collections accessible to the world online in the Digital Public Library of America, thanks to a grant from the Wyoming Community Foundation.

Earlier this year, the State Library received the $14,850 grant to purchase software upgrades and support hosting fees enabling up to 11 museums to join the DPLA, a free portal that allows visitors to discover nearly 39 million unique items and go directly to the digital collections held at the home institution. The WYCF made the grant through the Carol McMurry Library Endowment.

The initial group of museums that chose to participate include the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, the Rock Springs Historical Museum, The Brinton Museum, and the Historic Bishop Home. The project goal is to bring thousands of digitized items online as a resource for Wyoming library staff and patrons, as well as students, teachers, researchers, and history buffs everywhere.

“It’s an exciting project,” said Susan Mark, WSL Outreach Librarian. “The museums have been great partners and we’re happy to see their exhibits brought to a wider audience.”

The Wyoming State Library, in partnership with the Colorado State Library, is part of the Plains to Peaks Collective in DPLA. The WSL uses federal Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support the ability of all Wyoming institutions to add their materials to this DPLA Hub.

The Wyoming Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works with donors to support the charitable causes they care most about. In 2019 the Wyoming Community Foundation granted over $11 million to charitable causes across the state.

Foster Care Collection at the WSL



One of the lesser-known services at the Wyoming State Library is an extensive collection of Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) resource materials. While the primary focus is on foster care, titles touch on other aspects of parenting. This collection of more than 300 books and videos is housed at the State Library, thanks to a partnership with the DFS.

Find these materials available for checkout or interlibrary loan in WYLDCAT. Questions about this collection may be directed to our reference staff at statelibrary@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6333.

July 2020 Outrider Now Available



Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the July 2020 Outrider newsletter from the Wyoming State Library. Subscribe today, and we’ll send the Outrider straight to your email inbox each month. You can also see past issues.

Do you know any library colleagues, trustees, advocates, or volunteers who might be interested in the Outrider? Please share the news with them and encourage them to sign up for our monthly email.

Have news you’d like included? Contact Susan Mark, WSL Outreach Librarian, at susan.mark@wyo.gov or (307) 777-5915. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

WSL to Close Early on July 22



The Wyoming State Library will close at noon on Wednesday, July 22, for Cheyenne Day. We will resume our normal schedule on Thursday, July 23.

Although we won’t be in the office, all the offerings in GoWYLD.net are always available, including e-books, e-magazines, and e-audiobooks. Or visit our website to find resources for library staff, state employees, and Wyoming residents.

New Books at the WSL



The latest additions to the Wyoming State Library’s collection are available to you through WYLDCAT. Questions, comments, or suggestions for purchase may be directed to Library Development Manager Brian Greene at brian.greene@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6339.

Records and Information Management, 2nd ed.
Patricia C. Franks
Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, [2018]

Archives in Libraries: What Librarians and Archivists Need to Know to Work Together
Jeannette A. Bastian, Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, Donna Webber
Chicago: ALA Editions, [2018]

Easy Graphic Design for Librarians: From Color to Kerning
Diana K. Wakimoto
Chicago: ALA Editions, an imprint of the American Library Association, 2018

A Starter’s Guide for Academic Library Leaders: Advice in Conversation
Amanda Clay Powers, Martin Garnar, Dustin Fife
Chicago : ALA Editions, 2019

Before the Ballot: Building Political Support for Library Funding
John Chrastka, Patrick “PC” Sweeney
Chicago: ALA, Neal-Schuman, 2019

Ready-to-Go Programs on Cyber-Security



The Wyoming State Library and Wyoming CAN (Cybersecurity Action Network) have worked together to offer a “cyber-security in a box” educational program. This is a monthly, ready-to-go 10-minute program designed to be shared by local libraries and other organizations to increase cyber safety in Wyoming communities.

The digital age brings immense benefits, but also pitfalls when hackers and scammers prey on vulnerable Wyoming residents — particularly the elderly. In 2019, the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center recorded more than $8.1 million in losses in Wyoming due to cybercrime.

Knowledge of vulnerabilities and scams reduces the likelihood that a computer user will become a computer crime victim — which is where these easy-to-use programs come in. The first three for July through September cover webcam covers, home network security, and basic computer security.

Find them on the WSL website. The WyoCAN videos, links, and more are an opportunity to inform and protect your patrons, with minimal staff time needed to set up the program.