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About this collection

Preserving the story of modern-day ranch families is an important area of interest of Utah State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives. In 2009, we embarked on a three-year collecting project to gather the voices, photographs, and associated materials of ranch families from four counties in the Intermountain West: Elko County, Nevada; Box Elder County, Utah; Cache County, Utah; and Rich County, Utah. The Ranch Family Documentation Project consists of 61 interviews with 79 ranchers with photographs taken during the interview or fieldwork and digital photographs supplied by some ranch families. The project took place from August 2009 through February 2012. This project received USU Institutional Review Board approval: Protocol #2400. Principal Investigator: Randy Williams, USU Fife Folklore Archives Curator.

 

We are indebted to Cliff and Bertha Gardner, Elko County ranchers, for interview help and amazing insider contacts with Elko County ranchers; their generosity of spirit got this project going. In Box Elder County, we had wonderful community support from Lynn Palmer (Park Valley) and Gordon Tanner (Grouse Creek). Along with many fieldwork trips to vast and small ranches, we hosted two collecting days during the project where ranch families came to a central location to meet with us and share their story and photographs. We held the first collecting day, in partnership with the Western Folklife Center (WFC) on Saturday, 30 October 2010, in Elko, Nevada. We appreciate the generous help from Meg Glaser, WFC Artistic Director, who put us in contact with local ranch families and hosted us at the WFC. The second collecting day took place at the Park Valley School, in Park Valley, Utah on Wednesday, 26 January 2011. Lynn Palmer helped with this effort. During both collecting days, we also scanned photographs from local ranch families. The scanned images are in the Ranch Family Documentation Project photograph collection, 1878-2009 (SCAUSU_P0467) and some are in this digital collection. Check out our robust finding aid.

 

We house other notable collections on ranching and rural subjects which tie-in with the impressive Ranch Family Documentation Project:

We hope you enjoy the Ranch Family Documentation Project that gives voice to the rich history and heritage of Intermountain West ranching traditions.

~ Randy Williams, Project Director and Lead Fieldworker

 

Interviewers

  • Mary Branscomb (Reporter, Elko Daily Free Press)
  • Brad Cole (Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives, Utah State University Libraries)
  • Dan Davis (Photo Curator, USU Special Collections & Archives)
  • Lisa Duskin-Goede (Folklorist, Bear River Association of Governments)
  • Cliff Gardner (Elko County Rancher, Community Scholar)
  • Bob Parson (University Archivist, USU Special Collections & Archives)
  • Elaine Thatcher (Independent Folklorist)
  • Rosa Thornley (USU Graduate Student)
  • Todd Thornley (Box Elder County Businessman, Community Scholar)
  • Randy Williams (Fife Folklore Archives Curator, USU Special Collections & Archives)

 

Transcriptionist

  • Susan Gross (Susan Gross Transcription)

 

Photographers

  • Brad Cole (Associate Dean for Special Collections, USU Special Collections)
  • Daniel Davis (Photo Curator, USU Special Collections & Archives)
  • Kevin Fuller-Martini (Photographer)
  • Liz Kline (Staff Assistant, Special Collections & Archives)
  • Randy Williams (Fife Folklore Archives Curator, USU Special Collections & Archives)
  • Terry Williams (Cache County Educator)

 

Digital Collection

  • Shay Larsen (Graphic Designer, Libraries Administration)
  • Andrea Payant (Metadata Librarian, Cataloging & Metadata Unit)
  • Darcy Pumphrey (Digital Library Coordinator, Digital Initiatives Unit)
  • Sara Skindelien (Metadata Specialist, Cataloging & Metadata Unit)
  • Seth Westenburg (Metadata Cataloger, Cataloging & Metadata Unit)
  • Randy Williams (Fife Folklore Archives Curator, Special Collections & Archives)

 

ENTER THE COLLECTION

 

Box Elder County Utah (19 interviews with 26 people)

 

Cache County Utah (11 interview with 14 people)

 

Elko County Nevada (19 interviews with 26 people)

 

Rich County Utah (12 interviews with 13 people)

 

Grouse Creek, Box Elder County, Utah

 

Historic Utah Construction Company Ranch area tour (2010)

 

Randolph, Rich County, Utah

 

Rock Springs, Elko County, Nevada

 

San Jacinto Ranch, Elko County, Nevada

 
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