By Alan R. Havig
In this well-written and solidly researched study, Alan R. Havig provides the history of the first one hundred years of The State Historical Society of Missouri, which counts thousands of Missouri citizens as members and touches the lives of thousands more through its programs.
The book’s chapters are organized chronologically and coincide with the Society’s chief administrators’ terms of service. Havig addresses such key topics as the growth of the Society’s collections, which include the largest collection of local newspapers in the United States; the reference library, featuring nationally famous collections of rare books on Missouri history and western Americana; the Western Historical Manuscript Collection; and an extensive assortment of visual art, including a famed collection of works by Thomas Hart Benton and George Caleb Bingham. Havig also examines the Society’s collaboration with the University of Missouri in obtaining physical space for its operations; its work with local groups in promoting special events; its role in the placement of historic markers along Missouri highways; its sponsorship of History Day; and numerous other endeavors made by the Society to preserve and disseminate Missouri’s rich heritage to the state’s citizens.
A Centennial History of the State Historical Society of Missouri, 1898-1998 will be of special value to professionals working in Missouri history and in the field of state and local history. It will also appeal to anyone who shares an interest in the state’s fascinating past.
Alan R. Havig is professor emeritus of history at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where he taught for thirty-nine years. He now serves as the college’s archivist. His publications include From Southern Village to Midwestern City: Columbia, an Illustrated History (1984), Fred Allen's Radio Comedy (1990), “It's a Proud Business”: A History of the Shelter Mutual Insurance Companies, 1946-1996 (1995), and A Centennial History of the State Historical Society of Missouri, 1898-1998 (1998).
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