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New Program Teaches MSU Students to Preserve the Past

Missouri State University
Photo credit: Missouri State University

The new program is designed to preserve records from southwest Missouri while also providing students with hands-on training in archival practices. Secretary of State, Jason Kander, says the hands-on training will be led by Archivists from the local records program of the MSU Archives.

 “It’s an exceptional learning experience that exposes students to a field of work that they probably never imagined let alone experienced. Archive interns in the past have gone on to work in museums, libraries, records management and a bunch of other fields,” Kander said. 

Students will also have an opportunity to go on a day trip to visit the archives in Jefferson City and work with archive professionals. Their duties will include repairing, cleaning, and arranging records in a lab, along with reading material and coursework.

“The program is really the foundation of what President Smart and I believe is going to be a very beneficial partnership and again that is not just for my office or the students at MSU; that’s for all Missourians,” Kander said.

The first set of records to be preserved by students will come from Barry County. Once students complete their work, it will be transported to the Missouri State Archives for preservation imaging. 

 “It’s going to do great things for the state in addition to the savings. For instance, those records from Barry County are some of the earliest surviving records in all of southwest Missouri and that is mainly because most of the neighboring counties have suffered fires either during the civil war or since then. So it really will provide a unique window into history that is not available anywhere else,” Kander said.

Work is expected to begin this spring. Copies of microfilm and electronic databases will be available in Barry County, at the Missouri State University Archives on campus, and online at

For KSMU News, I’m Briana Simmons.