Clark County Heritage Center sees uptick in donations

The Clark County Historical Society is using the early days of the New Year dealing with the past for a better future.

The curatorial staff at the Heritage Center of Clark County is working on collections care and management, as well as making plans for 2019 when money from the passage of Issue 3, a new property tax that passed last November worth $700,000 a year over five years, will help with capital projects and operating expenses.

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“There’s so much happening behind the scenes,” said Virginia Weygandt, director of collections. “We got a tremendous amount of donations in 2017.”

Staff members are cleaning in the galleries and doing major reorganizing in collections areas.

The third floor library and archives are closed through Tuesday, Jan. 16, for organization, archiving, reorganizing and cleaning galleries. It will reopen Wednesday, Jan. 17.

November 2017 saw numerous donations that are being archived now. These include records from Grace Lutheran Church and the Clark County Soil and Conservation District, scrapbooks from National Trail Parks and Recreation District and the Clark County Public Library.

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One of the most interesting donations, according to Weygandt, was a collection of 48 newspapers from 1956 of The Springfield Post, the city’s African-American publication.

Another donation included items ranging from North High School to baby clothes, cribs and furniture. And one has glass slides from places such as the Springfield Civic Opera and Wittenberg University.

The last five years has been particularly busy with new donations,Weygandt said.

“It helps us fulfill our goals as a society to preserve Clark County and Springfield’s history,” she said. “We collect, present and educate with exhibits and programs to help people understand and so people 50 to 100 years from now will know.”

It takes quite a bit of time to log in the information into the museum’s database so researchers can easily find what they’re looking for.

The center will continue to accept donations. Weygandt said they are especially interested in organizational and company advertising pieces.

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Old newspapers aren’t needed, nor is clothing unless it’s something unusual, such as vintage work clothes.

For questions on donations, call 937-324-0657.

While the curatorial staff will remain busy, leadership is in the talking phase about plans for the new levy funds.

Weygandt said immediate needs will be upgrading and possibly replacing at least two of the center’s four elevators and redoing the parking lot. Another potential project is redesigning the exposition hall.

“Our building is our biggest artifact of all,” she said. “The funds will really help us do things we absolutely need to do and smaller things we’d like to have done.”

The popular Night at the Museum and Civil War Symposium events will return to the Heritage Center this year at dates to be determined.

For more information on the Heritage Center, go to

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