Pioneers in Your Attic

Preserving the legacy of the overland migration

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About Pioneers in Your Attic

The Utah Academic Library Consortium, in conjunction with the Mountain West Digital Library, launched a pioneer legacy digital project in 2013, wherein 19th century overland migration is being examined from every aspect: transportation, trail and camp life, encounters with Native American tribes, diseases, medicine and surgery, politics and government, gold rush, religion, company organization, path finding and, wherever possible, perspectives from multiple viewpoints.

During the summer and fall of 2013, UALC libraries partnered with public libraries, historical societies and cultural heritage institutions to create a region-wide online collection of original pioneer manuscripts that still remain in private hands. These items range from single letters and photographs to diaries and substantial collections of correspondence between pioneers and their families at home. These first-hand accounts, often in fragile or deteriorating condition, are carefully guarded treasures that many families are reluctant to relinquish. By scanning these items and providing online access, the Legacy Project will allow individuals to retain their original items, yet preserve and share the intellectual and historical content of these valuable documents.

For information about setting up pioneer collections for harvest into MWDL, please see "Setting Up a Repository for Harvest."