Briggs Library receives historical collection

Shayla Waugh

Shayla Waugh

The Archives and Special Collections Department in the H.M. Briggs Library recently opened the George and Evelyn Norby Historical Collection.

The collection contains a nearly complete run of the Brookings Register and parts of other regional newspapers. Other pieces in the collection are histories of public offices, downtown businesses, databases, photographs and negatives.

George and Evelyn Norby started the collection around 1965 when the Brookings Register was tearing down its old building.

The beginning of the collection was mainly newspapers and images used by the newspaper. The couple started adding their own photographs and also collecting additional information. Soon others who heard about the collection began to donate to it.

The collection was donated to the library by their two children, David Norby and Diana Norby-Munger, in September 2003.

Steven Van Buren, the university archivist and special collections librarian, said the collection was brought to the Briggs Library for a number of reasons. He said one reason the library was chosen was because, unlike other facilities in the area, it has the space to handle such a large collection. He also added that the collection also provides a di-rect resource and cross-reference on events reported throughout the history of Brookings and SDSU.

“The collection benefits both the library and the university. It adds to the information available right here on campus, giving both historical information and photos about the university,” said Van Buren.

He said the archives department is still discovering new information in the collection. Although the project has been met with resistance as to whether the university is the proper place for the donation, he said it has been one of their most worthwhile projects in the past few years.

Van Buren said that in the future, through the information in the collection, it is hoped that an interactive map will be created where the viewer can click on any lot of the downtown portion of Brookings and a history will be provided on that particular area.

The archives department is currently receiving a lot of questions about the collection.

“For the time being, most people are absorbing the collection information off the Internet,” said Van Buren

An online information aid to the collection is available by following the archives and special collections link on the Briggs Library Web site.

The Archives and Special Collections Department of H.M. Briggs Library hosted an open house and reception celebrating the opening of the collection on Jan. 27.

Van Buren spoke at the reception, describing the collection and the process it took to get the collection in order. He said there was a very good turnout for the event.

George Norby worked for the Brookings Register from 1970 until his retirement in 1986, after which he continued to work part time for the newspaper for another five years. He held several different positions including pressman, cameraman and news compositor.

Evelyn Norby also worked for the newspaper from 1982 until 1986 as a cutodian.

For more information about the Norby collection , contact 688-5094.

#1.884708:470963914.jpg:librarycollection02_aa.jpg:The collection has nearly a complete run of the Brooking Register.:Amber Armstrong