ST. CLOUD – The Stearns History Museum has received a $21,444 federal grant to update its archival catalog system.

The project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will allow students, researchers, family historians, and others greater access to regionally-focused information.

“Our primary focus is on accessibility,” said Steve Penick, director of archives at the Stearns History Museum. “We have an amazing archival collection of more than 500,000 photos, 1,800 oral histories, 1,800 WPA interviews, and over 18,000 family histories. The new catalog will enable users to search for materials in a much easier way – from family names to various subjects.”

“With the onset of COVID-19 limiting in-person visitation, this project is extremely timely,” he added. “We want to make sure that our patrons can find their history wherever they are, and this will allow that to happen.”

Over the next year, the staff will prepare to move data from the old system to the new one. Once the data has been moved, members of the public will be able to order photos and materials online.

To keep up with the project, visit the Stearns History Museum’s website, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.