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Background Image Inman Depot

Slides Rule

In 1987, in preparation for the centennial of Inman, Kansas, town officials put out a call for photos, documents, memorabilia, and other objects that could tell the south central Kansas community’s story. 

The response was enthusiastic. Inman residents scoured attics, barns, and basements for photos and “stuff” to share during the centennial. Former mayor Adolf Neufeld made slides out of all the photos and created no fewer than five presentations using those slides. Unfortunately, no one ever recorded the presentations and the century of stories presented in Neufeld’s slide shows died along with him in 2013.

The residents of Inman are nothing if not enterprising and they wanted those slides preserved. To do that, the Inman Museum Association applied for Humanities Kansas Culture Preservation grant to digitize the collection of 400 slides. 

The slides provide a glimpse of life in small town Kansas dating back to the 1870s. There are photos of band concerts, fairs, church celebrations, the grain elevator, the depot, and the grocery store. To recover the stories that accompany the images, a volunteer group of long-time residents viewed the slides and identified the people and places in them. Their memories will be used to add context to the slide show which the Inman Museum Association plans to present in a small, old-fashioned theater it created using seats salvaged from the Superior Township hall.

It’s that same type of volunteer effort that launched the Inman Museum Association in 1991, just a few years after the Inman Centennial. Rosetta Bartels, project director and Inman Museum Association secretary, notes that the museum’s growth over the years and the slide digitization project embody Inman’s volunteer legacy, stating “without the community spirit of ‘if you want it done, just get busy and do it,’ [we] probably would not have accomplished so much.”

“At Humanities Kansas, we believe that stories carry our culture and ideas change the world,” said Executive Director Julie Mulvihill. “Projects like Inman’s slide digitization project are at the heart of the movement of ideas. It’s a great example of how sense-of-place leads to stories, conversations, and community.” 

See the digitized slides and hear the stories in person when the Inman Museum Association hosts an open house to celebrate the slide project on Sunday, October 6

Join the Movement of Ideas

CELEBRATE National Arts and Humanities Month in October! Visit humanitieskansas.org for ways that you can join the movement of ideas: participate in over 70 events in 50 communities, be inspired by Kansas stories, spark a conversation with the Big Idea, be a Story Chaser and more. 

ATTEND the open house to celebrate the new slide exhibit Sunday, October 6 from 1:30-4 at the Museum.

WATCH a preview of the slides preserved by the Inman Museum.

 

 

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