Our Conservation History Preserved
BY MARK FRITTS AND GRETCHEN NEWBERRY, MIDWEST FISHERIES CENTER
Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library. Credit: USFWS
In 2018, the Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee (UMRCC) met with staff at the Midwest Fisheries Center in Onalaska, Wisconsin, to organize the UMRCC library housed there. They had a mountain of materials to organize for archiving. While not the most exciting process, it is nonetheless an important step to preserving our history of conservation in the Midwest Region. In addition, it’s part of the overall archival process the USFWS National Data Management Initiative has started.
During the summer, Midwest Fisheries Center staff packed up the library’s materials and moved them across town to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library. With an initial gift of $10,000 from the UMRCC to the university, library staff were able to purchase a book scanner that uses proprietary software to create searchable Portable Document Format (PDF) copies of scanned images. In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library staff then started working on a digitizing project that includes 74 years of publications, maps and images.
UW-Lacrosse library staff worked all summer to archive and digitize the historic data maps and documents contained in the UMRCC library, and now everything is searchable on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library web site. The Murphy Library has posted these files into their digital collections using the open-source ResCarta toolkit. To date, more than 250 books, reports, and historic maps have been published online.
The web site has become a great place to browse through some fascinating materials, including notes from a meeting that Aldo Leopold attended and his contributions to the committee’s efforts.
Thanks to everyone for their work on this!
reports at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library.