Letter to the Editor: Shenandoah County needs an archivist
As an immigrant to the valley from other less favored places, I have found various appealing qualities in the people who long have been here. One definitely is their devotion to local heritage and history.
As your cruise the Old Valley Pike, you find a whole series of museums, each different but rich in content. Perhaps the crown jewel of such establishments is the William A. Truban Archives and the Research Room at the main Shenandoah County library in Edinburg.
These facilities, named for a late, distinguished citizen of the community, are a unique repository of historical resources dating back to the time of early settlement. It is an unmatched source of material available not only to residents of the area, but to visitors and scholars as well. It also serves as the county archives.
I can personally testify to its usefulness. From time to time I enjoy serving as a docent at the Woodstock Museum. Quite frequently I have been approached by local folks, but more often by visitors, who seek historical information that is hard to come by. I am pleased to be able to direct them to the Truban facility. While I cannot put a dollar amount on it, I have observed its value.
At one time this collection was under the management and direction of an experienced archivist. This has not been the case since 2011. Thus, necessary care of the items there, and the invaluable advice and instruction from a true pro have not been present.
The resources necessary to ensure the appropriate preservation and availability of this collection is a public matter. If you agree, let your member of the Board of Supervisors know of your views.
Bob Lowerre, Woodstock