After leaving Hibbing Public Library (see the previous entry) Sara and I drove over to the Iron Range Resource Center at Ironworld in nearby Chisholm. There we met with Jessica Oftelie and Scott Kuzma.
With its collection of book, videos, and microfilm focused on the Iron Range, the Iron Range Research Center serves as a public library in the Arrowhead system and a research library for genealogy and academic studies. Jessica is the librarian. She has held that position for about three months and is assisted by volunteers, paid part-time assistants, and a full-time research specialist who handles research requests from their webpage and phone. We discussed services that are available to OCLC cataloging subscribers.
Ironworld's archive is located in climate-controlled rooms below the library. Scott Kuzma, the archivist, gave us a whirlwind tour, and we were impressed with the size of the collection and the scope of subjects it covers. The archive is the regional repository for state and local government documents and holds a large collection of maps, photos, oral histories, manuscripts, and realia (skis, shovels, musical instruments, etc.). Scott has begun work on digitization projects and hopes to do more. They have some images up on the web and open to the public and there is a link now on the BATS Web page on CONTENTdm to IRR’s digital collections.
In addition to the Research Center Ironworld has full-sized re-creations of period buildings, a view of an unused open pit mine, and a museum on local history and culture. Here's a picture from one of the exhibits.
When we left Ironworld Sara and I went directly across Rt. 169 to see the Iron Man -- a memorial to the miners of the Iron Range. It is one of the tallest free-standing monuments in the country . . .
but at the same time it has alot of detail. You can see his shirt buttons and the lamp on his hat.
That evening we had dinner at The Whistling Bird--a wonderful Jamaican restaurant in Gilbert.
Next Post: Mesabi Range Community College