Project and Participants
The Missouri Room in the Hannibal Free Public Library contains a treasure trove of local history information --- historic newspapers, census records, cemetery records, memorabilia and photographs. Over 2000 photos may be found in the vertical files. In an effort to make these treasures more accessible to the world, the library applied for and was awarded its first digitization grant from the Missouri State Library. One specific historic event was chosen -- the christening of the Mark Twain Zephyr. The Library has a collection of photos taken during the event and the bound copies of the newspaper. An advertisement was run and information posted in the library to let the community know about the project. They were asked for any additional information, photos, and memorabilia.
Many thanks to Henry Sweets and the Mark Twain Home and Museum, the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce, Archie Hayden, Becker Spaun, Betty Rhodes, Marjorie Coleman, Alma Ritter and Charlie Stallcup for contributing to this exhibit. Thank you also to the Hannibal Courier-Post for permissions. Thanks also to University City Library for initial guidance on the project. MLNC (Missouri Library Network Corporation) and Kurt Kopp of MOBIUS (Missouri Bibliographic Information User System) gave us invaluable assistance and advice. Thank you to the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the Missouri State Library, Office of the Secretary of State for making the project possible.
The photographs and memorabilia were professionally digitized by Bob Lyner of St. Louis. The newspaper and some other papers were digitized by Kurt Kopp of MOBIUS. The October 1935 newspaper is now part of the historic newspaper project found on the Virtually Missouri website. Our Mark Twain Zephyr exhibit is also part of the Virtually Missouri collection.
This is only our first step in sharing the library treasures. We hope that you enjoy it. More projects are planned for the future.