Events, Research

Temporary closure of research center!

If you’re a Columbia history researcher, here’s news you need right now! The Research Center of the State Historical Society of Missouri is going to close on April 19 until it reopens Aug. 12, 2019.

Other options are listed below. But where will you turn? Share some other ideas and resources in the comments or on the Facebook page Comohistoricplaces.

Another reason to get going now is new building openings are often delayed, it might actually open a bit later than Aug. 12.

The Society’s other research centers will still be open, but that means a drive to Cape Girardeau, Kansas City, Rolla, Springfield or St. Joseph. Not that far, but not across the street either.

Here’s more information about this temporary suspension of services.

Other options:

  • Columbia Public Library — Don’t freak out too much. The Columbia Public Library will still be open with its research offerings in house and online from home using your library card to log in or online resources at the library such as

Not ready to research on your own? The library offers free classes including one on how to use HeritageQuest. The next one will be 9:30-11 a.m. There is also drop-in genealogy help at various times and days. Check out the library’s website for more information.

  • The Boone County History and Culture Center — In addition to exhibits and a large bookstore, the BCHCC has a research library available by appointment. The research library is staffed by volunteers, so call ahead to make sure it’s open. You can also contact the research library volunteers to ask questions and get guidance. (Full disclosure: I’m a volunteer there one afternoon a week and am always finding new resources.)
  • The Genealogy Society of Boone County & Central Missouri is also housed in the Boone County History and Culture Center. The website for the GSBCCM includes a list of the resources available there. Again, it is staffed by volunteers to check to make sure someone is there so you can access the materials

So what resources do you use for historical research? Hit me in the comments or head over to the Facebook page Comohistoricplaces for this website.




Depressed? History could be the cure

On Feb. 17, 2011, The Story of Blind Boone, will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Daniel Boone Regional Library. Mike Shaw will discuss ragtime musician John William “Blind” Boone, one of Columbia’s most famous residents and give an update on the restoration of his historic Columbia home.

How could this be the cure to depression? The house at 10 N. Fourth St. is literally a monument to endurance, caring for each other and going beyond limitations. Boone, born in 1864 of a union between a former slave and a Civil War soldier, is proof that care and concern stepped beyond what should be. There is some evidence that his father sought to return to the mother of his child despite the chaos and demands of his military service requirements during the Civil War.

Then at 6 months old, Boone developed a fever and his eyes were removed. However, through the largess of his mother’s employer, Boone received an education, as outlined in a National Register of Historic Places document: “Francis Marion Cockrell — a former Confederate general and future U.S. Senator residing in Warrensburg in whose household Rachel was employed as a domestic — to accede to the mother’s petitions to facilitate her boy’s eduction by sending him to the Missouri School for the Blind in St. Louis.”

Again, signs of care and concern.

The list could go on but even the home shows the way to believing in a better life.  Boone’s home until 1927 at 10 N. Fourth St., once nearly derelict now has been renovated through the efforts of Columbia’s community members and is slated to become a museum with interactive displays.

On Thursday, Feb. 17, hear more about continuing renovation efforts and get rid of any remaining winter time blues by learning that care and concern can overcome any limitations. The presentation will be in the Columbia Public Library at 100 W. Broadway.