Historical documents will be accessible on the Web with UA Library help
Historical documents from 18th and 19th-century Arizona and neighboring Sonora, Mexico will be given a technological facelift by the UA's Arizona State Museum, thanks to a grant of more than $200,000.
The Institute for Museum and Library Services awarded the grant for $210,786 to the museum to support the AGES Project: Preserving and Sharing the Sonoran Archives. The project will involve making copies of the parts of the archives that covers Mexican and Spanish relations with American Indians in Arizona, and the Mexican-American War that led to the American' takeover of the region.
Tracy Duvall, assistant curator of ethnohistory at the museum and project director of the AGES undertaking, said the archives are useful as early Arizona family and legal records - as well as for presenting a tumultuous time in Southwestern history in a non-textbook way.
"Beyond that, it is just plain interesting," Duvall said. "There is a lot of warfare going on. It's not the driest historical document that you'll ever find."
The center in Hermosillo, Mexico that houses the documents - the Archivo General del Estado de Sonora, from which the project also derives its name - is damp and lacks climate control, leading to the deterioration of the aging papers, Duvall said.