UWs American Heritage Center Receives Two Awards

August 18, 2011

The University of Wyoming American Heritage Center (AHC) is the recipient of awards from the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Historical Society for two separate projects.

The AHC's recently completed oral history project, "Wyoming's Energy Boom, 1995-2010: An Oral History Program," received the Judge and Mrs. Percy W. Metz Memorial Award from the Wyoming State Historical Society.

The award is given to an individual or organization in recognition of outstanding contribution to Wyoming's history in either photography or oral history.  With funding from the Wyoming Humanities Council last year, the AHC conducted more than 40 oral history interviews with those involved in or impacted by exploration and development of natural gas in Sublette County.

The oral interviews, transcripts and related materials are housed at the AHC for use by scholars, students and the public. Program materials are available online at http://digitalcollections.uwyo.edu:8180/luna/servlet.

Since 1976, the Wyoming Library Association's Milstead Award has recognized a Wyoming library that has accomplished a significant project or offered an outstanding service which benefits children or teens. The award was created to honor the late husband of Agnes Milstead and reflects their interest in youth and children's literature. Agnes was a UW professor in library science and children's literature.

The AHC won the award as the administrator and largest sponsor of the Wyoming History Day program. Wyoming History Day, according to the national website, "provides teachers and students the opportunity to engage in real historical research that is not predetermined by a textbook but rather provides an innovative framework in which students learn by selecting historical topics of interest."

A plaque will be presented to the AHC at the Wyoming Library Association's (WLA) children's author luncheon during the WLA conference Sept. 30 in Cheyenne.

The oral history project was developed by AHC Associate Archivist Leslie Waggener, who also was the principle interviewer for the grant project. Associate Director Rick Ewing is the Wyoming History Days director with assistance from program coordinator Dick Kean. The AHC has sponsored the program since 1999.

"We are tremendously pleased to have these two activities recognized as important contributions to history and education of Wyoming," says AHC Director Mark Greene.  "Though the center's collections attract consistent nationwide and even international attention, we are first and foremost a resource for our state."

The AHC's collections focus on Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West and nationally on the topics of environment and conservation, the mining and petroleum industries, air and rail transportation, the performing arts (particularly radio, television, film, and popular music), journalism, U.S. military history and book history.

To learn more about the AHC, go to the official website at http://ahc.uwyo.edu.

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