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Overton Trying To Preserve Historical Books

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Overton County will have a new archivist to help preserve the county’s books.

The Overton County Commission approved creating a paid position to work two days a week. Executive Ben Danner said the county could not find volunteers, so the pay rate was needed.

“Before, we had a person that volunteered and helped to do that,” Danner said. “It is really hard to get people to help volunteer. The archivist we had, he retired. The archives we are moving to the new building. Right now, more than ever, it is really important.”

Danner said the new position’s first task will be to transport 400 books from the annex to the new county building. Danner said the state archivist will help give guidance on how to transfer the books safely.

“The archives are in pretty bad shape,” Danner said. “Right now, there is a lot of mold in the books we got. The historical society has agreed to come help. Used to, that is who ran the archives before, the historical society.”

Danner said the oldest book in the collection dates back to 1810. The books currently rest on wooden shelves and have damage to the bindings from poor air quality in the basement.

“We are going to get some rolling shelves like these books are supposed to go in,” Danner said. “We are going to have to do a lot of cleaning. All the county court minutes, all the marriage licenses and some of them I do not know if they will be salvageable.”

Danner said keeping the history of Overton is important. The new county building will have the appropriate air system and humidifiers to maintain the books.



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