The Patrick Heath Public Library recently launched an online archive of thousands of documents and pictures related to Boerne’s history, marking a major milestone in a project that has been years in the making.
The library hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Dec. 1 to celebrate the launch of the Dietert Historical Community Archives and to recognize the years of dedicated work by staff and volunteers.
Library Director Kelly Skovbjerg said this vision has been several years in the making and couldn’t have been achieved without the help of organizations like The Boerne Star, the Comfort Public Library, the Genealogical Society of Kendall County, and the Boerne Area Historical Preservation Society.
“Archives access has really been a team effort across the county for both funding and sweat equity, and it’s so exciting that we can bring our vertical files and other material out into the world for easier browsing,” Skovbjerg said. “Kendall County has an incredibly rich history, and we are honored that the library is entrusted to house a large part of those collections.”
The archive, accessible through a new library software system called Biblioboard, allows local history research to be done through your home computer from anywhere in the world. While the entire archive online access is still at least two years away, nearly 2,500 images, documents, oral histories, and other items pertinent to the development of our region since the first settlers moved in around 1849 are available now.
"We believe the Dietert Historical Community Archives will prove to be an invaluable resource going forward to share with future historians, genealogists, curious family members, renovators of downtown properties, and others," Librarian Robin Stauber said.
Click here to visit the archive on Biblioboard.
The library works with local families and organizations to build records of their personal family photo albums, letters, documents, and stories that prove meaning is found in the lives of everyone. To that end, the library continues to build and grow its digital media lab resources, enabling anyone in the area with an interest in digitizing and preserving their own family histories the ability to do so with equipment that is easy to learn and to use. The archive software also provides a portal for community members to upload their own personal items. Details on that feature will be released in the future.
In addition to the work with Biblioboard, the library has been actively seeking funding to digitize county newspapers. Working through the Hancher Foundation, the library has been able to upload issues of The Boerne Star from 1940-1965 at the Portal to Texas History. Other funding will ensure that all editions of the newspaper from 1966-2009 can also be uploaded. In 2021, the Comfort Public Library also received a Hancher grant to digitize the Comfort News in its entirety. By the spring, Kendall County will have free online access to more than 100 years of news articles regarding local history.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for the archives was co-hosted by Boerne Radio as part of their monthly Boost Boerne Business networking events. Boerne Radio celebrated its 2-year anniversary with a ribbon cutting ceremony of its own.