SHELBINA, Mo. -- The Shelby County Historical Society will hold an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at its new research library at 109 S. Center St.
The society's museum has been housed for years next door at 107 S. Center. But after the museum ran out of space, the historical society late last year bought the former restaurant immediately to the south and launched plans to convert it into a genealogical research center and library.
The building is now finished and houses many of the historical society's genealogical materials, books, old photos and family history collections. Several large tables also are available for the public's use while doing research.
Moving all the research materials to the new center also freed up space inside the historical society's museum, allowing more historic artifacts to be taken out of storage and put on display.
Kathleen Wilham, the historical society's longtime president, said the new research center has historical and genealogical records from the entire county.
"This includes extensive records on Bethel, Clarence, Hunnewell, Lentner, Leonard, Shelbyville, Shelbina and all the smaller towns," she said in a press release.
"We have the Roy T. Neff research records on the cemeteries, rural schools, and churches. We have thousands of area family genealogy files, Civil War records of 1,600 Shelby county soldiers, obituaries from 1870 to 1950s, many early maps of the county, and extensive World War I and II records."
Wilham, who has worked for years as a professional genealogical researcher, also is donating her 45-year collection of Northeast Missouri research to the society. All of this research is contained in 16 four-drawer file cabinets and 14 six-foot-tall bookcases that were moved to the new research center, including her extensive Civil War and Bethel collections. Wilham also is donating her extensive collection of local newspapers dating to the 1800s.
Any questions about the research center can be directed to Wilham at 573-406-8589.
More information about the historical society and its projects can be found at shelby.mogenweb.org.