Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Big News for CCC Researchers in Arizona!

In the coming weeks, Chapter 44 of the Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy will donate to the Arizona State Archives a complete set of the available Happy Days newspapers on microfilm!

The film contains issues of Happy Days from 1933 to 1940 and cost just over $500, purchased from the National Archives and Records Administration. The acquisition of this film and its donation to a local repository has huge implications for anyone wanting to do CCC research in Arizona, but as important as it is, the microfilm is only a tool and without a proper finding aid or index, this volume of material is little more than a novelty and a place for researchers to scan randomly with the hope that they will stumble onto information that is useful to their project.

Enter Bob Audretsch, U. S. Park Service retired. Bob has very kindly given his time and talent, devoting hours to scanning the entire six-roll collection to catalog and index every story in the Happy Days film with an Arizona connection. Bob estimates that the work of indexing the Arizona Happy Days stories took six months, working an average of 4 hours a day. Bob’s not new to this, having already indexed CCC stories in two Flagstaff papers and one Williams paper from the 1930s. And, amazingly enough, Bob’s not done; he’s begun work indexing papers from Winslow, Holbrook, Springerville, Camp Verde, Kingman, Prescott and Phoenix. When Bob’s done, much of the heavy lifting will have been accomplished for any researcher hoping to glean CCC stories from Arizona’s major newspapers from the New Deal era.

So, in this project we have the beneficial intertwining of a CCC Legacy chapter with the interest and hard work of a local CCC author and researcher. Chapter 44 has provided the funding for the purchase of the Happy Days on microfilm and Bob Audretsch has provided the sweat of his brow to produce an index that will make the microfilm that much more useful to Arizona researchers.

I’ll provide an update here, once the microfilm is handed over to the Arizona State Archives.