Where Are the School Records? by Karen Hansen


by Karen Hansen
Walnut Genealogy Society members Barb Butcher, Gayle Stuart, Ruby Andersen, Karen Hansen and Jim Hansen made multiple trips to the Loess Hills Area 13 Education Agency west of Treynor this fall. We had learned that the microfiche school records, which they stored, would soon be relocated. We took laptops and entered as much information as we could find from Layton and Lincoln Townships in the limited amount of time remaining. The records were incomplete, with many of the schools having no information. Lincoln Township school records were found and copied for Lincoln #1, #4, #6, #8 and #9. We are very appreciative of the cooperation of the Area 13 employees. Jamie Reid kindly sent the following letter to us, explaining the plans for centralizing Iowa’s rural school records.



October 23, 2007

Thousands of rural schools records are currently being transferred to the UNI Museums in order to preserve them for generations to come. To better protect these records while making them accessible to a wider audience, we will be organizing, cataloguing, and digitally copying them over the next several years. At this beginning stage of the project, we are asking people to bear with us as we prepare organizationally to better assist requests to access the information. However, we understand that some requests have urgency and so we will attempt to assist people in this case. At the present time, the following priorities will be in effect for access to the collection:

High priority: requests to establish American citizenship or to obtain proof of birth through attendance at a rural school

Low priority: requests to do research within the collection or make copies of substantial amounts of records


NOTE: Progress on this project will be available through the UNI Museums website at www.uni.edu/museum

May 2008: Transfer of all records from AEAs to UNI Museums completed. Requests for small quantities of information can be made by phone, letter or email. (WGS has contact information.)

Dec. 2008: Organization of materials (by county, township, era) completed.

June 2009: Computer catalogue of all materials completed. Detailed academic and genealogical research within the collection will be allowed.

Dec. 2009: Basic information about the collection available on-line through the Museums’ web site. Rural school information housed in other locations (libraries, historical societies, etc.) available on the Museums’ website

June 2010: Phase I of digitization completed (fragile & oldest materials)