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Prairie Village Museum seeks historical documents as part of NEH grant

The Prairie Village Museum was announced as a 2018 Common Heritage Grant Recipient earlier in 2018. The PVM has been hosting scanning events throughout the summer and will continue to host scanning and digitization events at the Museum through 2018. Call or email to request an appointment or more info.

The Common Heritage Grant seeks to raise awareness around preservation of local historical documents and photos while it improves understanding and appreciation for local history and community. Director Stephanie Steinke says, “This is a huge opportunity for everyone in Pierce County and central North Dakota.” The Museum will gain firsthand knowledge of these items from their owners and copies of historical documents for the PVM collection, while the local community will gain expertise in caring for their documents. “Local history is our history, everyone who lives and lived here is a part of that, no matter how insignificant it may seem, it could be priceless for telling our local history,” says Steinke. A grant like this is especially important in underserved rural areas that are often ignored by traditional historians. “This is a chance to tell our story on our terms. Online databases like and Digital Horizons get their information from digitized collections and projects like this. While our collection won’t end up in a larger database like that, it will provide future historians and researchers with a vast collection of primary sources. This is a chance to include the history of your business or family.”

The photos and documents will be scanned, and the scans will become part of the PVM’s research collection and will help inform the Museum’s future exhibits. The owner will be given a digital copy on a USB or a cd and the documents will be put into an archival sleeve or container free of charge for the owner to take home. The owner will be able to ask questions about how to care for their documents and what kind of environment each type of material needs to ensure its preservation. The second part of the project will happen in 2019 when the ND Studies Class at RHS, under the guidance of Mr. Kevin Leier, will create an exhibit that shares the results and history with the community. The exhibit will go on display throughout the area in 2019. The PVM is especially interested in items from 1850-1950 since that time is the focus of the Museum. The PVM is working on a wedding and wedding dress exhibit for 2019 so wedding portraits are especially sought after to enhance the exhibit.

The Geographical Center Historical Society’s mission is to document, preserve and interpret the history and ongoing story of North Central North Dakota for the people of the region and for visitors from around the world, through educational and entertaining programming and through displays of artifacts and historic buildings at Prairie Village Museum. More information about our programs and exhibits available on our website or check out our social media.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

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