The Arsenal Museum's Resource Center: a dry name, for a deep pool of historical insight. Inside, scholars and museum workers hunt down answers about artifacts.
"If I need to reference something or look up something, I come down here first," said Jodie Wesemann, Arsenal Museum.
It's the pursuit of knowledge that sends museum workers searching for the truth behind things like a spittoon can, which builders discovered in the 1980s while digging on the Arsenal.
"Somebody had the foresight to bring it to the museum," she said. "And the museum had the foresight to say ‘hey – this is an everyday object. It may be important, it may not, let's hang on to it.'"
It wasn't until later when they realized what looked like trash ended up being treasure.
"Later while going through photographs in the collection," she adds. "They came across a photograph of the spittoon sitting on the floor next to the desk of one of the engineers at the Rock Island Arsenal and that's the early 1900s."
And it's not just pictures in the vast library; the Resource Center stores everything from maps to more than 10,000 technical manuals.
"We use these books to help us answer those questions," said Wesemann.
Workers like Jodie say the process isn't easy but it pays off when you find the answer.
"We call that ‘the eureka' moment," she explains. "That's the feeling that makes it all worthwhile"
The Resource Center is a closed–stack facility, meaning only museum workers can explore the archives. But anyone can come to the center and ask questions.
Coming up next week, we show you the intricate tunnel system that helps heat many arsenal buildings.
By: Christine Souders email@example.com An Iowa State Trooper has gone above and beyond the call of duty to save a man's life. During a welfare check November 26th, the trooper found the man underMore >>
Many homeless people in the Quad Cities are spending winter nights outside in the cold.More >>
By Natalie Zarowny firstname.lastname@example.org A first time gala for a very good cause. Thursday night was a semi–formal gala for SAAM, or sexual abuse against minors. Enjoying drinks, food, and music, peopleMore >>
By: Kyle Kiel email@example.com It's being called one of the largest investments in Quad Cities history, Genesis Medical Center will be renovating and expanding its East Campus. But, it's not onlyMore >>
Genesis Health System announced the construction and renovation of it's East Rusholme Street in Davenport. With hundreds of construction and trade jobs coming throughout the four year project, businesses nearby are looking forward to more customers.More >>