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Lehi Historical Society launches online library

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If you’ve ever wondered what the Lehi Historical Society and Archives has to offer, it just became a lot easier to find as the local non-profit has launched its new online library today. It is accessible to the public at no charge at LehiHistory.com.

“This is such an exciting step into the 21st century,” said Lara M. Bangerter, director of the historical society. “We are now searchable online, much like the Lehi City Library.”

Once you’ve entered the society’s website at LehiHistory.com, click “View Here” in the upper left-hand corner below, “Browse our library.” This step will take you into the library, where readers can search by keyword or use the pre-set tabs to search by Popular Topics, Collections, Creator or Subjects. Use the “Books” tab to search for books.

“For the last 18 months, we’ve been learning our new computer system and working feverishly to get as much information entered as possible. That information includes descriptions, locations, photographs and computer links where applicable. And now we finally feel ready to present it to the public so it can see what we have from the comfort of home,” said Bangerter.

Viewers will find information on everything from collections about Lehi veterans, residents and downtown homes to Lehi Round-Up Rodeo, Lehi newspapers, yearbooks, clubs and the collections of Lehi historians John Haws and Richard Van Wagoner.

“Although many entries won’t have images or detailed information just yet, patrons will be able to see which topics are represented in which collections and requests can be made for us to make the items available online or in person,” said Bangerter. 

Robb Strong, the scanning technician, said, “I’m excited for people to check out our yearbook collection, which goes back to the 1913 yearbook. You will see that the 1913 class only had 35 graduates. Now we have two big high schools.”

Strong has worked to enter all Lehi yearbooks into the new system and links to their digital copies. In 2019, Ancestry.com digitized the historical society’s Lehi High School and Lehi Junior High yearbooks up to 1989 and is now making them available on its website, all at no cost. Through the Archives’ new online library, patrons can access Ancestry’s digitized copies and determine the physical copies found at the Archives.

Judy Hansen, another Archive volunteer, has been interviewing Lehi veterans and collecting information on them for the Archives for more than five years. “All of the interviews are listed in the new system and any other things the veterans have donated, or we’ve found,” said Hansen. Although not all of the Archives’ veterans’ information is online, Hansen’s efforts are. If you have a military story or biography to donate or would like to be interviewed, call or email the Archives at 801-768-1570 or lehihistory@gmail.com.

The Wayne E. Clark, Lehi City Fort collection is another treasure trove that should be investigated by anyone who has ancestors in early Lehi. Clark identified everyone he could find who lived within the fort and plotted where they lived on a map. “It’s a goldmine for anyone looking to know where their ancestors lived,” said Bangerter.

“There is so much good going on here, and we are pleased to finally share that online,” said Bangerter. “This new library is definitely a work in progress. There will always be more information that could be added, and every week more is added. But with that, I’d like to put a call out for more volunteers. The more people we have entering information, the faster our online library will grow.”

The new collections management system, which is called ArchivEra, is a product of Lucidea Software Solutions. Unlike traditional methods, it allows archives to offer public portal access to its holdings easily, provides in-depth descriptions of collections, leverages efficient workflows and adheres to archival standards.

The new system is made possible through funding from Lehi City, a Utah County Cares Non-profit Grant and the generous donations of those who value and want to preserve Lehi history. 

Those who would like to assist in this work or desire more information, call 801-768-1570 or lehihistory@gmail.com. The Archives is located at 34 E. 100 North in Lehi. 

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