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Canfield historical museums open to researchers only

CANFIELD — The Canfield Historical Society will start opening by appointment only, but not for tours — just for researchers.

“We started the researchers’ appointments only last week,” curator Laura Zeh-Vazquez said. “We have been closed since March.”

She said the society did have a program for third-graders in Canfield. Each year, toward the end of the school year, the third-graders take a walking tour in town and visit the Bond House and the Mahoning Dispatch, which are both museums operated by the Canfield Historical Society.

Because the pandemic had all the children stuck at home, Zeh-Vazquez came up with an alternative. She brought in one of the third-grade teachers with a video camera.

“We taped a tour as I went from room to room,” she said. “The teacher then let the third-graders go on a virtual museum tour.”

Zeh-Vazquez said it felt good to be able to share the Bond House and Dispatch building with the students, even if only through a computer monitor.

Other than making the virtual tour, Zeh-Vasquez has been doing a lot of work from home as she records the museum’s accession records into Google Docs. She said when done, she will be able to access the records on her smartphone.

When Zeh-Vazquez does spend time at the Bond House, she usually is upstairs handling another project that will forever preserve the history of the Mahoning Dispatch.

“We are cooperating with the Ellsworth Historical Society and a handful of volunteers to scan old copies of the Mahoning Dispatch newspaper,” she said. “Those papers will then be placed in the Library of Congress under the ‘Chronicling America’ project.”

She said the project involves scanning complete vintage newspapers page by page. To handle the project, she said the Ellsworth Historical Society helped obtain a large-format machine capable of scanning an entire newspaper page in one piece. Some of the Dispatch papers already are online at chroniclingamerica.gov.

The only other activity will be to change the display case in the Bond House.

“Camp Stambaugh is going to get an Ohio historic marker later this year, so we pulled all of our old Boy Scout material for a display,” Zeh-Vazquez said.

jtwhitehouse@tribtoday.com

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