When Joy and I began talking about the direction we wanted to go with our digital history project, the main concern was, “Are we going to be able to find the type of information we need?” and “Where do we begin?”. Before we decided on focusing on the migration of the Apostolic church, I started sharing the prospective idea with various people in the Church to get their reaction. Based on their answers and suggestions I realized that:
- There is information out there.
- There are people local people we can reach out to.
- Much of the information is not going to be publicly available.
Joy and I visited our local historical society, the Stevens County Historical Society. For being such a small town (approximately 5500 people), I was surprised at how well organized the historical society is and how much information they have archived. After our visit, however, it was evident that, although we will be able to use them as great resource, we will need be creative in our research.
Some general archive resources available include:
- UMM Archives
- American Indian Boarding School
- Rare Books
- West Central School of Agriculture,
- West Central Minnesota Historical Research Center
- UMM Scholarship Collections
- and the Minnesota Historical Society
I believe some of our greatest information is going to be found within the Church itself. Interestingly enough, we were just informed this week that a Church historian will be visiting our town in a couple of weeks to give a talk about the history of the Apostolic Church. I have already reached out to him in hope of securing a personal interview and the names of other local church “historians”. Within the Church there are also birth, marriage, and death records and a church-wide publication called the The Silver Lining.
I have provided a good physical list of resources in which to jump-start our research, but I feel like the question, “Where do we begin?” is a question that goes a little deeper. I believe we begin with people. We begin with relationships. We begin with open minds and open hearts.
For when this research begins, the stories of the those in past and present will become a part of our life stories forever….