Western North Dakota has a significant place in the state's history, and the North Dakota State Library is looking to expand their knowledge of that history with a little help from area residents.
On November 8, the Williston Community Library will be hosting the State Library from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m for ScanDay, an event that invites members of the community and surrounding areas to bring in any historical photographs, documents and artifacts to be scanned, photographed and archived. The items will be displayed as part of the North Dakota Memories collection on Digital Horizons. Digital Horizons is an online digital library that consists thousands of images, documents, videos and oral histories of the Northern Plains.
Digital Horizons' collection contains items from all over the state, but they are looking to enhance their collection relating to western North Dakota. That's why the State Library reached out to Williston Community Library Director Andrea Plachard to set up a ScanDay. The organization is hoping residents will be able to provide some items of interest to their growing collection.
"Basically they're looking for anything and everything," she explained. "If you have something that is of historical value from your family or friends that you think may be of interest, they want it. It doesn't have to just be pictures, it can be objects as well. Anything that has a historic value or a story to go with it about the Northern Plains."
Any items are welcome, but the organization is most interested in items that have a North Dakota connection. Participants may bring 10 to 15 items to the library, and staff members will work with the owners to digitize and and record information on each item. Items will be returned to the owners, along with a flash drive with the digital files. The caveat, Placher said, is that participants must agree that any items they bring in to be scanned may be displayed on Digital Horizons.
Interested parties can sign up for 30 minutes time slots throughout the event to get their items digitized. Local museums and historical societies are also invited to take part, and may bring 20 to 30 items for digitization and are allowed to sign up for two consecutive time slots. ScanDay is free to the public, so Placher encourages everyone in the area to bring in their items. She added that if there is significant enough interest, the State Library is willing to return for more ScanDay events.