Area's historic mining brought to life in new MSSU archive

JOPLIN, Mo. — Diving into Four States history is getting much easier, thanks to a donation to a local archive.

“We want to preserve this history of this local area as much as possible,” said Whitney Hamm, MSSU Archivist.

And the Missouri Southern Archives are getting some help to make that happen.

The Webb City Area Genealogical Society and the Webb City Historical Society are donating about 30 photos to the Missouri Southern Archives.

“They have dates and they have the names of mines and they’re very interesting. You can kind of see you can see them and their conditions that they worked in to some extent, but also, the different I guess reactions to them being photographed as well are really interesting,” said Hamm.

Whitney Hamm with Missouri Southern says they deal primarily with mines in the Webb City area, but also include images from as far away at Picher.

But not all of them are in great shape.

“Since photographic print doesn’t last forever, some of them have broken apart and are flaking apart. So those are the images that we would not necessarily bring bring out for the public to see their scan now. So they’re available to look at but not necessarily in person,” added Hamm.

The images are just the latest to be added to the University’s Special Collection.

“We do have a whole range of them and there is ones very specifically devoted to mining we have the TriState mining collection here, which is about 5,000 maps of mining in this region. So this really perfectly complements that broader mining collection,” said Hamm.

She’s also working with the Joplin Museum Complex to digitize historical mining documents like drill logs.

“Because they’re focusing more on the museum exhibit pieces rather than the archival documents,” said Hamm.

Another donation from Carthage is more military in nature.

“The Powers Museum, for example, they they transferred their Veterans History Project Collection here,” said Hamm.

And, of course, plenty of digital images documenting the history of MSSU.

You can check it all out online through MSSU’s website.

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