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Museum seeks photo identification
March 10, 2011 Jerry Purvis    Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen

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From left, Barb Jolliffe, Deanna Zweifel, Jan Van Newkirk and Barb Netherland inspect some of the photo collection at North Platte Valley Museum.

Volunteers at the North Platte Valley Museum are asking for help from the community to identify many of its historic photos.

“Puzzles from the Past” begins on Friday, March 11 from 9 – 11 a.m. and continues the third Friday of the month for the rest of the year.

Barb Netherland, director of the North Platte Valley Museum, said there are thousands of photos in the collection and few of them are identified by place, time or event.

“The photos cover so many different eras and topics,” Netherland said. “We have photos from World War II air bases, local schools, Oregon Trail Days and a lot more.”

The museum recently received a collection from Joe Fairfield, which includes photos from many of the smaller surrounding towns.

“We have unidentified pictures from A.B. Wood, Joe Fairfield and from the Paul and Helen Henderson collection,” said museum volunteer Jan Van Newkirk. “We’d really like to put some identification to those.”

The “Puzzles from the Past” project came about from three area “old timers” came to the museum to identify any pictures they remembered.

“They were having such a good time reminiscing about the past and it grew from there,” Netherland said. “We really need to get some information on these photos before it’s lost.”

Every picture has a fascinating story to tell of people and their celebrations. They tell of the local history and how the community has grown over time. In effect, those pictures are a time capsule into the past.

“When we identify local people in the pictures, they take on another layer of interest,” Netherland said. “That kind of information is invaluable to some people.”

Van Newkirk said she hopes that after the first session, people will tell their friends, who will also come in to look over the collection.

For more information, call the museum at (308) 436-5411.

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