Documenting Flyover Land

  • Carissa Hansen (West Fargo Public Library)
  • Mark Anderson (University of Iowa)
  • Jackie Beckey (Minnesota Historical Society)
  • Volodymyr Chumachenko (Kansas State University)
  • Roxanne Dunn (Southeast Missouri State University)


Fueled by images of flat plains, small towns, and harsh winters, the midwestern United States is often perceived as nothing more than “flyover land” by outsiders. Though the political climate of the last several years has brought increased attention to the region, it has also reinforced the notion that the Midwest’s small towns and industries have been forgotten. Featuring speakers from Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, this session will explore the relationship between archives and rural life in the Midwest. Together, the speakers will address how archivists can capture and share stories that challenge the notion that the Midwest is nothing more than “flyover land.” Mark Anderson will explore the connection between documenting rural life in the Midwest and digital collections curation. Jackie Beckey will talk about the availability of resources related to various aspects of rural life in the Midwest, including resources available at her institution that document radical rural midwestern politics, as well as the lack of available documentation for American Indian genealogy research. Volodymyr Chumachenko will present on the ways his institution has done outreach work around records documenting agricultural communities and ranching in Kansas. Roxanne Dunn will talk about overcoming challenges to acquire a collection about a farmer’s rights, which had a direct effect on federal bankruptcy code. Carissa Hansen will speak about her efforts to promote and work with members of a rural community in Minnesota to build awareness for literary manuscript collections that capture small-town life in ways that are often unexpected.

How to Cite:

Hansen, C., Anderson, M., Beckey, J., Chumachenko, V. & Dunn, R., (2018) “Documenting Flyover Land”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2018(1).

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Published on
22 Mar 2018