Searching through the archives of the Warren County Historical Society just got a little easier.
Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways donated $450 to purchase cataloging software used in the archives that Managing Director of the Warren County Historical Society Michelle Gray said will organize and share materials with the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum.
"So now we'll have the software, they'll have the software and it will make a user-friendly database available at both facilities," she said.
Times Observer photo by Ben Klein
Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways presented a check to the Warren County Historical Society to purchase software to catalog and share materials with the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum. From left, in front of a painting of Chief Cornplanter by Elton Whitney Davis are, Coralee Wenzel, Ines Nelson, Heather Knauer of PKP, Dr. Randy John, curator at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum; Jare Cardinal, director of the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum; Dane Kinsman, summer intern and volunteer at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum; and Michelle Gray, managing director of the Warren County Historical Society.
Curator at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum Dr. Randy A. John has been searching through the Deardorff Collection at the WCHS that contains materials related to Chief Cornplanter and his descendants.
He described the cataloging software as a "perfect fit for a small" collection like the Historical Society and will allow researchers to find materials easily in a database through search terms.
The materials in the Deardorff Collection right now are in boxes, unorganized, and the only way to know the author or the content of the materials is to read through each one.
Now, the software will allow researchers to find source materials by terms.
"There are materials here that aren't in their normal card catalog," John said. "This is a mechanism that is a secondary source of finding materials."
Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways member Ines Nelson said the group had contacted the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum to get their input on PKP's historical awareness project.
"There's a historical and education piece at the forefront," Nelson said. "We were looking for ways to bring that foreward through interpretive signage, naming of trails or other ideas."
Gray said the software will be used to archive the rest of the collection at the historical society archives in the library and the special collection.
"This building is full," she said. "It's the same with the Wilder Museum."
Summer intern at the WCHS and volunteer at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum Dane Kinsman will teach other interns how to use the software to input data and produce a catalog number on the computer.
"PKP always intended historical awareness to be an integral component of our vision for these projects. We are excited to start this awareness phase and are honored to be working closely with the historical society and the Seneca Nation," PKP member Joe Colosimo said. "Both are invaluable resources and a wealth of information in terms of the history of this area."
Director of the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum Jare Cardinal said the museum uses the same catalog system at the research library and it would allow the WCHS to organize and share their resources.