2014-12-30 / Front Page

Water Damaged County Records Returned To Archives At Armory

by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


Owen County Historian Tony Neff places a recently cleaned book of county records back into its proper place inside the county archives. (Staff Photo) Owen County Historian Tony Neff places a recently cleaned book of county records back into its proper place inside the county archives. (Staff Photo) Owen County’s archives are in disarray, but all materials are in tact and 114 record books have been thoroughly cleaned after water damage inside the county armory building in September.

DFD (Document Freeze Drying) Document Restoration Services recently returned the books to Owen County Historian Tony Neff, who has been tasked with ensuring all documents are accounted for and returning them to their rightful location.

The damaged archival record books were freeze dried, gamma rayed and additionally cleaned of loose debris for a reported quote not to exceed $9,500.

“The flood happened and it was triage, we had to move everything out and so everything is disorganized. Those books that got wet were sent off, but they didn’t refurbish them or anything,” Neff said. “So I’m putting them back in their proper places, and I have to inventory these, to make sure we get them all back. This is a good time to inventory everything, it is a tedious task.”

The water leak flooding also flushed out a variety of electronic equipment of the county, much of which is long outdated, but including the historian’s best scanner and computer.

“Almost everything we had is obsolete, except for those two items and I’m supposed to replace the scanner. The problem is it’s a 2003 scanner and they don’t make them like that anymore. There aren’t many companies who make them and their either high end or very low end, so I’ve had a hard time figuring out which scanner to get that’s compatible,” Neff added.

He said the inconvenience of not having books in order has caused a delay in requests from individuals for specific records.

“There are people who have requested me to find some things, but I’ve had to put them off, because I don’t have a large format scanner yet and they will be out of an order book (which aren’t organized),” Neff explained.

Archival record books cleaned include: a civil order book dated February 1923 through April 1925; a book of Insolvent Tax Records, Volume 1; Owen County Tax Records, Volume 2; books of Enumeration of White and Colored Males Over The Age of 21, Clay Township, Owen County, Form Number 2, 1913 and Form Number 1, 1919; Enumeration of White and Colored Males Over The Age of 21, Taylor Township, Form Number 2, 1931; and Enumeration of White and Colored Males Over The Age of 21, Washington Township. Also included are an Owen County ledger book, mortgages, register of receipts of school funds and an auditor book of Owen County dated December 1889 through March 1891.

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