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Vasa Star March 2017

Greetings from the Vasa National Archives,

Our winter season has ended and the 2017 tourist season has just begun. The archives began the season by opening a new exhibit and offering refreshments to visitors. What a great way to start another successful year with plenty of activities for visitors.

This winter the archives researched and installed a new exhibit looking at Swedish and Swedish-American arts and crafts. The new exhibit includes many favorite pieces returned to display after a year of storage and conservation. The new exhibit also allow us to show off pieces that have been tucked away in storage for years. This exhibit will be up for two years.

Game Nights has been a success and routinely attracted around 10% of Bishop Hill’s residents. Participants enjoyed the weekly opportunity to visit with friends and neighbors during this past winter. It also provided a wonderful opportunity for me to get better acquianted with local people and learn more about the surrounding area.

Another winter accomplishment has been making the bathrooms more handicap friendly. While the Vasa National Archives is under no obligation to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we can be more ADA friendly. We installed handrails in all the public restrooms and replaced a vanity sink with a wall mounted one. The old vanity sink blocked access to one of the restroom stalls and hindered the ability to use larger mobility devices. Replacing it with a wall mounted sink increases access to the stall and makes the sink more user friendly for those with mobility devices.

Our internship application period has just ended and we will be selecting a summer intern in the next few weeks. The intern will be primarily responsible for scanning collection pieces and entering them into a database that will be available online. The intern will be scanning old membership cards because most of our research requests concern genealogical and/or membership information. We will keep you posted on the progress of the digitalization.

Storage space in the basement has been expanded again and reorganized to accomindate our increasing collections. Inventoring collections has resumed after a brief break to research for the new exhibit. We have about 200 boxes remaining to receive an itemized inventory and hope to be done by December. An itemized inventory increases access and helps us better answer research requests. This will also make processing our materials easier and quicker in the future.

Many Districts are preparing for their conventions. While we cannot attend as many as we want, we can provide information, brochures, or presentation materials for your convention. The Vasa National Archives can also provide ‘Collection Feature’ articles for District newsletters. Let us know if you are interested in having special articles for your newsletters.

If you have any questions about the collections or the archives, feel free to contact us at or at 309-927-3898. For more current information on Bishop Hill or the Vasa National Archives, like us on Facebook.

In Truth and Unity,

Kathy Cuff, CA

Vasa Archivist

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