Hamilton East to digitize more historical documents

Mayor docket books will be digitized using grant money. (Submitted photo)
Mayor docket books will be digitized using grant money. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

The Hamilton East Public Library in Noblesville was just awarded $3,489 in grant monies supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The monies are provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act and administered by the Indiana State Library. The grant money will be used to digitize 10 volumes of early Noblesville Mayor docket books.

“I applied for the LSTA grant because we had docket ledgers in the storage area in the Indiana Room that had never been scanned,” said Nancy Massey, the Indiana Room supervisor. “I want to scan those to make them available online for historians researching legal cases or early Noblesville history.”

The books are documentation of the criminal court cases that were heard by the mayor. The ledgers can also assist students or genealogists wanting to research their family histories.

The equipment has been ordered, and once it arrives at the library, staff will start scanning the ledgers.

Massey, who has been with the library since 1992, said the dockets were in the Indiana Room when she arrived at the library.

The docket starts from the moment Noblesville became a city in 1887, when the first mayor heard the cases, and that continued for several years. The books cover the court history up to 1950.

Scanning the books and making them digital not only helps preserve the documents, but it also makes them much easier to access via the Internet.

“With those early years, the 1890 census should have documented some things, but it was lost in a fire so this covers a time period we don’t have a lot of records for,” Massey said. “That makes them really unique.”