Registration underway for Association of Records Managers and Administrators seminar

The Wyoming Chapter of ARMA (Association of Records Managers and Administrators) will host a seminar on March 20, in Cheyenne, from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Laramie County Community College titled “Surging Ahead with RIM, Social Media, and Disaster Preparedness for the Next Generation”.

The keynote speaker is Michael Salvarezza, who is a recognized authority from LRN, New York City, who provides expertise in the areas of culture and behavior, as well as records and information management and eDiscovery.

He will present a session on “RIM and eDiscovery for the Next Generation” focusing on the rise of social media platforms, the proliferation of mobile computing technology, migration to The Cloud and the challenges records and information managers are faced with. Salvarezza will review why old ways of managing information and records have not been, and will no longer, work in today’s world.

Salvarezza will also present a session on “Lessons Learned from Super Storm Sandy” regarding the impact to businesses with the destruction of infrastructure, flooded offices, destroyed records, damaged equipment and communication systems and how businesses can remain resilient and perform in times of crisis.

Additional speakers will be John Aquirre, a PHR Certified Human Resources Professional with more than 35 years of experience.  He will discuss converting paper personnel files to electronic files and the impacts of this to the City of Gillette and management of his office.

Raymond Johnson will present a session on “State of Wyoming Homeland Security GIS Support Operations for Emergency Management.”  He will be sharing the approach of the Office of Homeland Security, which takes a proactive approach, and to facilitate an orderly and efficient response and recovery to disasters. GIS provides a common operating picture to make decisions in relation to the five core mission areas of prevention, mitigation, response, recovery and protection.

ARMA Conference Information

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wyo State Archives has historical “Blue Books” for sale

blue bookThe Wyoming “Blue Books,” a comprehensive guide to the state’s history from pre-territorial days to 2007, is offered to the public from the offices of the Wyoming State Archives.

These comprehensive guides to Wyoming history and government are essential reference books for federal, state, county and city government offices, school libraries, personal libraries, businesses and industries.

Included in the volumes are historical timelines, biographies of elected officials, election results, legislation, historical articles, information on government agencies, historical photographs and much more.

Individual copies of volumes I through V are available for $25 each. The complete five-volume set can be purchased for $75. The set can also be purchased on  CDs for $35. All prices include shipping and handling.

The Blue Books make great gifts.   To order, visit the Archives offices or send a request and payment to Wyoming State Archives, Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82002. Credit card orders can also be taken at 307-777-7826.

Published in: on December 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

My oh my! What to do with those old photos!

Many people and businesses have large collections of photos and other visual materials stored in attics, basements and maybe even garages. The question many have is “what do I do with these materials and how do I preserve them?”

Registration is underway for a hands-on workshop that will help participants learn how to protect and preserve photos, home movies, and other audiovisual materials. The workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, October 5, at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs.

John Waggener of the UW American Heritage Center will teach the workshop, titled “Saving the Future: Photo and Audiovisual Identification and Protection.” The workshop will focus on various audiovisual formats including film, videotapes, reel-to-reel tapes, and CDs. Whether your photos are in a shoebox or on a hard drive, or your home movies are on 16mm film or avi files, the information presented in this workshop will help you to preserve and manage your records.

Waggener has been a faculty archivist with the American Heritage Center since 2001, where he works in the Reference Department assisting patrons. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in Education and Geography and a master’s degree in Geography from the University of Wyoming.

This workshop is sponsored by the Wyoming State Historic Records Advisory Board, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, Western Wyoming Community College, and the Wyoming State Archives.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required by October 1 and attendance will be limited to the first twenty registrants. For registration information, please contact Pat Newbern at the Wyoming State Archives at or 307-777-8907.

Published in: on September 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

State Historical Record Advisory Board to meet in Encampment

Members of the Wyoming State Historical Record Advisory Board (SHRAB) will meet at the Grand Encampment Museum in Encampment from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on September 20.
The meeting is open to the public and topics will include recent grants and workshops sponsored by the Board.
The SHRAB is made up of individuals who are concerned about the identification and preservation of the State’s historical records. Each year the Board sponsors workshops focusing on topics of preservation, publishes information on records management, and provides grants for organizations and individuals working with the State’s historical records. Funding for the SHRAB is provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Members of the Board are: Coordinator Mike Strom, Cheyenne; Courtney Bohlender, Riverton; Carol Thompson, Cheyenne; Judit Olah, Ph.D., Cheyenne; Venice N. Brown Beske, Cheyenne; Julie Freese, Lander; Scarlet Skorcz, Rock Springs; Representative Rosie Berger, Big Horn; Rick Ewig, Laramie; Lokey Lytjen, Jackson; and Tony Adams, Cheyenne.
For further information please contact Mike Strom, Wyoming State Archives manager, at 307-777-7020 or e-mail

Published in: on September 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Buffalo Bones: A Tale of Two Ministers


(To those unfamiliar with “Buffalo Bones” in past years we have provided a series of historical articles written by members of the Wyoming State Archives staff and other such as UW’s Phil Roberts. These periodical articles are generally interesting historical tidbits about Wyoming people, places and events.)  

            Throughout Wyoming history, ministers have been usually portrayed as upstanding community figures. As spiritual leaders of their respective congregations, they were held to a higher principle. Some have distinguished themselves not only in leading their respective congregations but also in service to their communities. Of course, in reality, not all were so stellar and remarkable. And then, somewhere in between these two extremes, were two Baptists ministers, Charleton Harris and Arthur Tipton, of Gillette.

Harris was an avid crusader against vice. He once claimed that he could count the number of boys and girls ruined by the evils there. Some residents found his accusations exaggerated and tiresome, but in time, the targeted rougher element had had enough of his unwanted attention.

One night several masked men broke into Harris’ residence, assaulted him, and threatened him with harm if he didn’t immediately leave the city. Despite the warning, Harris remained determined to stay and carry on his crusade. However, he now realized that some measure of personal protection was necessary. To that end, he obtained a firearm permit and procured a gun.

Carrying the sidearm around town brought him some peace of mind. However, instead of meeting his nocturnal antagonists, he encountered trouble from an unlikely source.

On March 7, 1913, W.E. Luton, the city marshal, arrested Harris for carrying a concealed weapon. Harris was quickly brought before the local justice of the peace, found guilty, and was fined $25.. Believing he had been unfairly treated, Harris appealed his case before the district court.

Elwood Anderson, the county and prosecuting attorney, investigated Harris’ case.  Anderson found several witnesses who claimed that Harris’ weapon was not concealed. Even more damaging was the revelation that Luton did not like Harris. Luton even claimed that anyone who assaulted Harris would not be arrested.

Based on his investigation, Anderson concluded that the charge against Harris was without merit, and should be dismissed, which it was on October 27, 1913.

Harris’ counterpart in Gillette was Arthur Tipton. Tipton was a Baptist colporteur from Indiana. After his arrival in September 1910, he initially conducted revival services in northeast Wyoming but later settled down to serve a congregation south of Gillette.

Like Harris, Tipton also ran afoul of the law but under different circumstances.  He was arrested on April 3, 1913 for check fraud in the amount of $5.45. According to The Gillette News, Tipton had received the check in confidence from another party, but chose to use the money for his personal use. The paper readily questioned Tipton’s reverent status and assailed him as a religious hypocrite. Apparently, these accusations were not unusual as a mutual feeling of animosity existed between Tipton and the News.  Moreover, the News felt justified, more than ever, in its crusade to “find an image to break or a religious hypocrite to expose.”

But justice was not hard on Tipton. The paper was incensed to learn that Tipton was allowed to post bond and be set free. If a drunken cowboy or sheepherder had committed the same crime, the paper railed, they “would have been in jail instead of being permitted to run about the country to defame the name of people better than he.”

Once again, Elwood Anderson was called upon to investigate the facts and once again, he found no credible facts to indict Tipton. J.W. Parchman, the previous county and prosecuting attorney, believed Tipton was not guilty. Parchman also recalled that he was inebriated at the time he signed and filed the complaint, making the charge against Tipton even more doubtful. Apparently the check itself was not reviewed. Given what he knew, Anderson refused to press charges, and the case was summarily dismissed on August 4, 1913.

The Gillette News criticized Anderson for letting Harris and Tipton get off so easy when the evidence said otherwise. No doubt, Anderson was now under the paper’s watchful eye.

As for the two ministers, they continued their spiritual service. Harris soon left Gillette to serve congregations in Manderson and later Worland. In April 1915, he left Wyoming and moved to Freeport, Illinois.

Tipton continued to serve his south Gillette congregation for many years. Over time, he and The Gillette News made amends. In 1919, he and his family left Wyoming for Hardin, Montana.

Harris and Tipton made history by serving fledgling congregations and establishing a religious foundation in their community. But they also made history in another way. They have the ignominious distinction of being the first and second criminal cases respectfully to be heard in newly formed Campbell County District Court.



(Carl V. Hallberg is a reference historian at the Wyoming State Archives. The historical information provided in the Buffalo Bones articles is provided by the Wyoming State Archives.)



Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wyoming State Preservation Awards Presented

Dave Kathka, Ph.d., a former director of the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Department, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2012 Preserve Wyoming Conference held recently in Pinedale.

Dr. Kathka was presented the award by Bobbie Barrasso.

The Preserve Wyoming conference was presented by the Wyoming State Historical Preservation Office in conjunction with Wyoming Main Street, Pinedale Main Street, Alliance for Historic Wyoming, Sublette County Historic Preservation Board, Sublette County Historical Society and the Wyoming State Historical Society.

In addition to Dr. Kathka, several other entities and individuals were honored by the State Historic Preservation Office with Preservation Awards for their outstanding work and efforts.

This year’s Preservation Award winners are Jonita Sommers of Pinedale for her efforts in preserving valuable pieces of Wyoming and Sublette County history; the Sublette County Historical Society for their commitment to historic preservation; Lucille Clark Dumbrill of Newcastle for 30 years of preservation activities at the local, state and national levels; Weston County Barn Tour, a project by the Weston County Preservation Board, involving tours featuring the history of local barns; and Douglas Historic Preservation District for their efforts in preserving the Douglas POW Camp Officer’s Club and the murals within the building.

Held annually, the Preserve Wyoming Conference features workshops and speakers providing insight and education enhancing the state’s historical and preservation efforts.

Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bracero History — the History of the Mexican Farm Labor Program in Wyoming

What follows is text from the Bracero History Archive from the University of Texas El Paso’s Oral History Program.   At the bottom is a link to all of the oral histories wherein any of the Braceros discuss working in Wyoming.    While this portion of the site is meant for teachers, we can all learn something from the massive amount of information collected.

The economic and social upheaval stemming from both the Great Depression and World War II forced the United States to seek out a source of inexpensive labor to meet its manpower needs in both agriculture and railway maintenance.

Due to this need, a treaty was signed in 1942 between the United States and Mexico to alleviate the shortage of labor. With many American men sent off to fight in Europe and elsewhere, the recruitment and processing of an available pool of laborers from Mexico created what is called the bracero program. Bracero is a Spanish term which can be defined loosely as “one who works with his arms”, or as a close equivalent, as a field hand.

Under this program, Mexican workers, many of whom were rural peasants, were allowed to enter the United States on a temporary basis. Between 1942 and 1964, the year the program ended, it was estimated that approximately 4.6 million Mexican nationals came to work in the U.S. as braceros.

Many laborers faced an array of injustices and abuses, including substandard housing, discrimination, and unfulfilled contracts or being cheated out of wages. Nevertheless, the impact of the bracero program on the history and patterns of migration and settlement in the United States remains an important area to explore and assess, particularly in the contexts of civil rights, social justice, and Latino history in the United States.

Key facts and moments in bracero history include:

  • August 4, 1942 – the Mexican Farm Labor Program Agreement is signed by the governments of Mexico and the United States, the first establishing the legalization and control of Mexican migrant workers along America’s southern border area
  • April 29, 1943 – the Mexican Labor Agreement is sanctioned by Congress though Public Law 45
  • The agreement guaranteed a minimum wage of 30 cents per hour and “humane treatment” for workers
  • With many braceros remaining in the United States after their contracts ended, the Immigration and Naturalization Service began Operation Wetback in 1954. Many US-born children of Mexican braceros were wrongly repatriated, along with their parents.
  • The Bracero program ended in 1964

Several short-term labor agreements existed until 1951, when Public Law 45 passed and was reluctantly signed by President Harry S. Truman. Although many labor groups viewed the program as a temporary fix to the labor shortages during WWII and considered the presence of Mexican workers as a detriment to employing American laborers, many large farm owners were still able to lobby Congress to change the agreement between Mexico and the United States and create Public Law 78. This law had to be renewed by vote on a biannual basis, until the program ended in 1964.

The story of the Bracero labor program can inspire students to explore a wide range of subjects, including immigration, history, geography, economy, and world culture. The following activities are intended to supplement your curriculum and encourage students to practice historical research skills.

Published in: on January 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stiner to Discuss Hunters of the European Late Lower Paleolithic


As part of the 13th Annual George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology & anthropology and Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month lecture, Professor Mary C. Stiner will discuss the late 

Lower Paleolithic (400,000 – 200,000 years ago).  Her talk will focus on animal remains of Qesem Cave in Israel on Thursday, September 22nd, 3:10 p.m., University of Wyoming, Ag Auditorium.


Stiner is a professor in the Department of Anthropology, and curator of Zoo archaeology at the Arizona State Museum of the University of Arizona.
Analysis shows consistent patterns of large game — mostly fallow deer — hunting, hearth-centered carcass processing, and meat sharing. The narrow, redundant nature of butchering tasks at Qesem Cave raise new hypotheses about the use of the site, cooperation and meat sharing during the late Lower Paleolithic that speaks directly to what it means to be human.


A reception will follow in the Department of Anthropology foyer.

Published in: on September 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

State Museum Archaeology discovery trunk available

A discovery trunk featuring artifacts highlighting Wyoming Archaeology has been completed by the Wyoming State Museum and is available to public, private, and home-school teachers in Wyoming.

Created by staff at the museum and the State Historic Preservation Office, the trunk features more than 30 reproduction artifacts including a variety of stone points and tools found at various archaeological sites, dig kit items, tree round samples, books, a video, and a comprehensive teacher’s guide.

Topics covered in the trunk include:  the job of an archaeologist, prehistoric vs. historic sites, early archaeologists and important world finds, conducting research, excavation and post-excavation, basic categorizing of archaeological evidence, basic artifact analysis methods, and major Wyoming finds.

The trunk is designed for sixth grade students; however, teachers can easily adapt the information to suit a variety of age levels.

Wyoming State Museum Discovery Trunks are designed to complement the teaching of Wyoming history and history of the American West. Hands-on experience with historical objects creates a unique and challenging learning environment that enhances traditional classroom instruction.

Currently, the museum has trunks available specific to the following topics:  Plains Indians, Mountain Men, the Frontier Army, Wyoming Trails, and Wyoming Archaeology.

There is no fee to borrow a State Museum Discovery Trunk.  The museum pays for transportation of the trunk to your institution.  However, the cost of returning the trunk to the museum is the responsibility of the borrower.  To reserve a trunk, please contact the Wyoming State Museum at 307-777-6670.

Published in: on September 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Registration Underway for State Archives’ Records Retention Workshop

Registration is underway for the Wyoming Archives Day annual workshop on electronic records management scheduled October 7, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The workshop is held in observation of Archives Month and will take place at the Cheyenne Business Center, 1510 East Pershing Blvd., in Cheyenne.

The workshop, offered in partnership with the Wyoming State Archives, the Wyoming Chapter of ARMA and the Wyoming State Historic Records Advisory Board, features Geoffry A. Huth, manager of the New York State Archives’ Records Service Development Unit. Huth’s duties include overseeing retention scheduling and the development of records management workshops, publications and web-based resources for state and local Government.

His primary focus is to develop new services in electronic records management including documenting eGovernment transactions, preserving electronic records and identifying records in geographic information systems. He is a highly respected presenter in the management and archival of historic records and the records and information management (RIM) environments, with special emphasis on electronic records.

For this Archives Day Workshop, Huth will focus on important information and address the challenges and processes that archivists, It professionals, and records managers must use daily in order to create, use, capture, and maintain electronic records for operational, historic archival, and legal compliance of their everyday business operations.

Registration fee for this all day workshop is only $20 per attendee, which includes handouts, breaks, catered lunch, beverages, and an afternoon ice cream social. All attendees must pre-register and registration will close Sept. 26.

It is anticipated that registration will fill quickly and everyone is urged to please submit their registration as soon as possible.

For more information please contact: Pat Newbern [, 307-777-8907] or

Barbara Thomasee [, 307-777-4494].

Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm  Leave a Comment