For my first post, I would like to describe a new collection I was recently able to process. One of the main collecting areas of our department are collections related to agriculture and rural life, and this collection is related to both. The Wayne O. and Gayle Carns Burchett Papers contain records related to the Burchett and Carns families going back to the middle of the 19th century. Wayne Burchett’s grandparents purchased land outside of Grand River, Iowa in 1890. The ranch was designated as a century farm in 1990.
Although it is a relatively small collection (1.93 linear feet), it is amazing how so many details of a family’s history can be told within those several dozen folders. The collection includes diaries of various family members, documents of the farm’s cattle and general operations, account books, clippings describing the electrification of the rural area, genealogical and marriage records, and the 4H record books of one of Wayne and Gayle’s daughters. A unique document in the collection, although the most recently created (by one of Wayne and Gayle’s daughters), is a description of the item’s contents which contains the author’s memories related to those documents. This item, at least for me, brings the collection and the family’s history even more alive.
For more information on this collection, please take a look at the collection’s finding aid/description of the collection. If you are interested in finding out what other agriculture and rural life related collections are held in the department, please check out our subject guides and manuscript collections subject listings.