As recently reported in this newsletter, long-time genealogy publisher Everton's Publishing recently closed down. The company's assets have been sold with one exception: Everton's extensive library of 60,000+ genealogy books, pedigree charts, manuscripts, periodicals, etc. was donated to the city of Logan, Utah. You can read more about that at http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2004/09/everton_publish.html and at http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2004/10/followup_everto.html.
Now the City of Logan is wondering how expensive this "free" gift may turn out to be.
In theory, the gift will create an extensive library that will attract visitors from all over the world. The books and other material are valued at $1.7 million, based upon an appraisal done by rare book specialist Orrin Schwab of Providence, Utah. Logan city officials originally felt the value would increase from national recognition among genealogists. Additional benefit to the city would come from hotel rooms and restaurant meals purchased by the visitors to this new library.
The Logan city council has now realized, however, that storing, cataloging, and making the collection available to the public will cost money. The city already has allocated $25,000 to move and set up the genealogy library. More money will be needed for library space and for the salaries of new staff members that need to be hired before making the collection available to the public. Meanwhile, the collection is being kept in a city storage room, unavailable to the public, while it is being cataloged. ''I think it's a good idea to go into this with our eyes open,'' Logan City Councilman Steve Thompson said. ''It's a marvelous collection, but it's not free.''
Thompson said he's worried over expenses revealing themselves ''once we peel away the onion.'' He also questioned the independence of the appraisal and has requested a second opinion on the collection's value and the cost of maintaining it.