By Kelly Hangauer
The first items that got digitized and handed back to me were two cassette tapes entitled “Recollections.” Recorded in the 1960s, “Recollections” consists of an elderly John Gage recalling his childhood and family life in Kansas City. Apparently read from a manuscript, Gage’s lawyer-like delivery conjures up scenes of Civil War era Kansas City and the lively development of the early metropolis. It was fascinating to hear about Colonel Thomas H. Swope, guerrilla warfare, and the wild celebrations that occurred upon the completion of the Missouri-Pacific railroad and the Hannibal Bridge connection. Here is an audio clip from the story Gage’s father told him about the completion of the Missouri-Pacific railroad.
Equipped with a laptop, notebook, and headphones, I have immersed myself in the fascinating stories of “Recollections.” The goal of the finding aid I am creating is to strike a balance between enough information and too much information. This balance will enable researchers, and anyone else who may be interested, to assess the importance of the audio without having to listen all the way through. In the meantime, Marr Archives will store the hard copies of the John B. Gage collection, while the digital archival copies will be stored in the larger Missouri University server.