The Garst Museum is pleased to announce it is a recipient of an Ohio Humanities OH CARES grant. Funds were made available through the Ohio Humanities Council in an effort to make emergency financial support available to worthy organizations impacted by COVID-19.
OH CARES funds will be applied towards the costs associated with continuing and improving the museum’s remote Research Center and Genealogy Library service. The Research Center contains a wealth of local family history and original historical records vital to researchers. Prior to the pandemic, many of the genealogy files were accessible, with assistance from the staff, to patrons. The staff of the Research Center is also the contact point for those wishing for more information regarding Darke County history and the primary source material behind the museum’s exhibits.
These valuable services provided by the Research Center are a source of income for the Garst Museum. Free Research Center access is given when individuals become members of the Darke County Historical Society. For non-members, a fee is applied. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the income normally generated from memberships and non-member fees has dropped and expenses due to remotely addressing research requests have risen.
In an effort to continue to serve the public and patrons, keep Garst’s research staff employed, and protect our patrons, staff, and volunteers, we are working to fulfill research requests remotely. This vital task requires head librarians, a Research Center technical assistant, and a Research Center assistant. It is a choreographed dance between these individuals that balances locating, organizing, accessioning, and researching various forms of information. This group of historical heroes works in unison to make certain that those that are interested in the stories, families, history, and legends of Darke County find what they are seeking.
Support has been provided by Ohio Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the federal CARES Act of 2020.
Thanks to the financial help and recognition from Ohio Humanities, the Garst Museum’s Research Center and Genealogy Library will continue to provide its valuable service to Darke County and beyond.