Celebrate the Century: Historical Surveys
Dates:  1998-2000
Accession Number:  20001231; Sm. D.C. 26
Description:  Four document cases and one small document case

Project History

In 1998, a "Celebrate the Century" steering committee was formed to develop a year-long series of programs, events, and special projects in 1999 to celebrate the end of the 20th century. The steering committee was comprised of community leaders from various local institutions and organizations and included Betty Martin, Chris Schellenberg, and board member Dorothy Jerse from the Vigo County Public Library.

The mission and goals developed for the entire project are as follows:

Mission:  Celebrate the past, enjoy the present and meet the wave of change in our future


The Historical Survey Project was developed as one major component of "Celebrate the Century." Susan Dehler (Special Collections Archivist, Vigo County Public Library) drafted three separate questionnaires or surveys to be sent to local churches, businesses, and organizations. The objective was to obtain historical information about community institutions that could be deposited in the Community Archives at the Vigo County Public Library as a valuable resource for future generations.

The steering committee finalized the format of the questionnaires to be sent out. Institutions were encouraged to donate original materials, photographs, and printed histories to complement the information provided by the survey.

Approximately 800 surveys were sent to local businesses; the mailing list was developed from the 1998 membership directory of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce. Approximately 316 surveys were sent to local clubs and organizations; the mailing list was developed from the Vigo County Public Library's clubs and organizations database maintained in the Community Services Department. Approximately, 208 surveys were sent to local churches; the mailing list was donated by community member, Dick Pierard.

Additional surveys were distributed by some steering committee members to a few random local organizations not on any of the mailing lists. Some institutions (such as, Gibault School for Boys and Covered Bridge Girl Scout Council) were on both the business and organization mailing lists and received two surveys, but there is very little redundancy in the collection beyond this.

A total of 233 surveys were returned to the Vigo County Public Library (23 churches, 133 businesses, and 77 organizations). These historical surveys along with some of the original material donated with them have become a permanent collection in the library's Community Archives. Throughout the year 1999, a Timeline of Vigo County History was displayed in the main lobby of the Vigo County Public Library. Historical information for the timeline was based on the information provided by the historical surveys, additional material in the Community Archives, and data supplemented by local historian Dorothy Jerse.

The Timeline has become a part of the Vigo County Public Library's WEB page and the information and materials that were part of the original Timeline display have been deposited at the Historical Museum of the Wabash Valley.

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection contains the 233 returned historical surveys and any additional historical material included with them by the responding church, business, or organization. The survey includes the name, title, and date of the person who filled out the form and the amount of information submitted by each institution varies widely. Some forms contain scant information while others are fairly complete and include printed institutional histories, original programs or brochures, company logos and graphics.

The surveys are arranged by type (church, business, organization) and within each category are presented in alphabetical order by name of organization. Also included with the collection are the master mailing lists, the inventory lists of surveys as they were received, and the working file of Susan Dehler, Project Archivist.

Document Case 1






Project background



Folder 1

Background information on historical survey project from Susan Dehler, Project Archivist





Folder 2

Master mailing list for Church survey





Folder 3

Master mailing list for Business survey





Folder 4

Master mailing list for Organization survey



Church Surveys:






Folder 5

Inventory list of returned Church surveys
(Total = 22 plus 1 unidentified)





Folder 6

Barbour Avenue United Methodist Church





Folder 7

Centenary United Methodist Church





Folder 8

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints





Folder 9

Eastside Church of Christ





Folder 10

First Church of Christ Scientist




Folder 11

First Congregational Church





Folder 12

Lost Creek Baptist Church





Folder 13

Maple Avenue United Methodist Church





Folder 14

Memorial United Methodist Church





Folder 15

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church




Folder 16

New Hope Community Church of God





Folder 17

Prairie Creek Wesleyan Church





Folder 18

Rio Grande Full Gospel Church





Folder 19

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church





Folder 20

St. Benedict Catholic Church




Folder 21

St. George Orthodox Church





Folder 22

South Vigo Congregational Christian Church





Folder 23

Terre Haute Bible Center





Folder 24

Union Baptist Church





Folder 25

United Church of God




Folder 26

United Methodist Temple





Folder 27

World Gospel Church, Inc.


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