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Archives, library receive state funds

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The local archive office and library recently received a financial shot-in-the-arm from the state. On behalf of Tennessee State Library and Archives, Secretary of State Tre Hargett recently announced that Bedford County archives and Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library are recipients of an American Rescue Plan Act Grant.  

Hargett said in a letter to State Rep. Pat Marsh earlier this month that his office is looking forward to seeing the progress these funds will help archives and libraries make. He said thousands of residents stand to be served, educated and helped as a result of this grant award.  

Bedford County archives office will receive $7,395. Funding comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and there are no matching dollars required locally. Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library will get a significant boost of $25,130, also funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  

Each library developed a grant proposal, based on local needs and every applicant received a grant, which received local support of up to 20 percent, Hargett stated.  

Categories of funding allowed by the grant include: computers (desktops, laptops and peripherals); website development and enhancement; training for personnel in conservation, digitization and other topics; and furniture to provide social distancing and ADA accommodations for visitors.  

Speaker Pro Tem Pat Marsh said, “Senator Shane Reeves and I are very excited to learn these well-deserved grants were awarded to the Bedford County Archives and the Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library. The archives and library are invaluable resources to our community and we look forward to seeing the great things they are able to do with this funding.”  

Carol Roberts, retired from the state library, serves as local archivist. According to the county, local archives also preserve permanent records from county government.  

Some records have survived such tragedies as the May 1830 tornado, which is a great feat in the area of archival history. Earliest records in Bedford County archives are Chancery Court bound volumes and loose case files from 1836 to 1900. 

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