Historic Moments -- Collecting History
A portion of a 4-foot-wide panoramic image donated by the Rotary Club of Rapid City Rushmore, South Dakota, USA, shows Rotarians in front of the First Baptist Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa, during a 1928 conference. Rotary Images
From Paul Harris's typewriter to the shillelagh used – albeit symbolically – to keep order at RI conventions, the Rotary Archives is filled with one-of-a-kind artifacts, photographs, and documents.
Generous contributions from clubs and individuals have created a valuable collection that chronicles more than 100 years of Service Above Self.
Donations have included letters written by Paul Harris, sheet music for songs about Rotary, and scrapbooks documenting club and district activities.
The Rotary Club of Rapid City Rushmore, South Dakota, USA, donated three photographic panoramas from the 1920s. Among them is a photo taken during the 1926 RI Convention in Denver, Colorado, that is more than 4 feet wide.
Luis Casero Guillén, who served two terms as president of the Rotary Club of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, in the 1930s, documented his family life and Rotary activities in 29 scrapbooks. After his death, his family donated sections of the scrapbooks that illustrated club and district events through the 1950s.
These kinds of donations were added to Rotary’s archives because they provide information about areas of interest that were not well represented in the collection.
The archives also keeps documentation of RI Board decisions and publications produced by Rotary International, including The Rotarian and convention proceedings.
Have a Rotary treasure hiding in your attic that you'd like to donate? Contact Rotary History and Archives at email@example.com. Early convention materials, papers from past RI presidents, and many other items help tell Rotary's story. In anticipation of Interact's 50th anniversary in 2012, the Rotary Archives is especially interested in artifacts, documents, and photographs related to the early history of the program.
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