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Title: Buried in the Archives: Telling the Forgotten Stories of Poor Farm Residents in St. Clair County
Authors: Curtiss, Janet
Keywords: Subject::Public libraries
Subject::Local history
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2023
Publisher: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Series/Report no.: 88th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), 2023 Rotterdam;Satellite Meeting: Innovative approaches in engaging people with local history and genealogy
Abstract: For many years, the history of the St. Clair County Poor Farm relied heavily on oral history, with dates and facts that may or may not have been accurate regarding the early years of its existence. The purpose of this research is not to discount oral history, but rather to give a framework of facts that can support the valuable stories passed down through the years. The names and stories of those whose circumstances in life made them temporarily or permanently dependent on social welfare programs have remained largely invisible in the published material on St. Clair County’s history. The people who lived at the Poor Farm, whether for a short while or a lifetime, are an underrepresented population in St. Clair County’s history; often their stories and lives have been forgotten and are undocumented. The accessibility of this particular set of records allows a glimpse into their lives and the circumstances in which they found themselves and creates a broader perspective of the history of the county and the people who lived there in the early years of its development. Keywords: public library, genealogy, local history, poor farms, poor houses
Appears in Collections:World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) Materials

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