This month’s display highlights some of the historic documents that are being scanned into ‘Digital Wellington.’

Following is an article which appears in the September/October issue of The Library Ledger.

In 1899, the twenty dedicated young ladies of the Prentis Club started a public library for the citizens of Wellington on a few shelves in the back of a local shoe store.

Today, ‘Digital Wellington,’ found at https://wellington.digitalsckls.info/ hosted and supported by the South Central Kansas Library system, allows books and documents no longer available in the library to be read and accessed anywhere in the world.

It began in 2017 when librarians became concerned about some books and documents too fragile to be on the shelf, including one book from the 1800’s with the original Prentis Club library’s stamp inside the front cover.

The library enlisted the aid of Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society Vice-president Sherry Kline, and Kline pursued a grant from the Humanities Kansas Council; the library was awarded a $3,500 grant for the project.

“This grant was important to help us get our digitization project started,” said Jo Plumb, Director of Wellington Public Library and grant project director. “It gives our collection an added dimension and allows access to historic documents.  We hope to pursue additional grant funding to support the growth of this project.”

The Humanities Kansas grant allowed the Wellington Public Library to begin its digitization project and create an online extension of the library at ‘Digital Wellington.’  The grant assisted with digitizing and uploading two books published in the 1800’s, more than seventy club booklets, an 1886 and a 1907 Wellington city directory,  two Sumner County High School yearbooks, a November 1928 Kansas Veteran’s magazine that contains the names of Kansas World War I veterans buried in France, an 1871-1971 newspaper clipping scrapbook put together by former Wellington historian, Dorothy Dey, four library scrapbooks and several other one-of-a-kind historic documents containing Wellington and Sumner County history.

The Humanities Kansas Council, www.humanitieskansas.org, is a nonprofit organization that supports community-based cultural programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities.