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Genealogy Museum Getting Few Visitors

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- An 82,000-piece genealogy library isn't attracting much interest.

Fewer than 200 people visited between the opening, Oct. 10, and the end of 2006. City officials are wondering if the benefits were exaggerated when they agreed to display the Everton Collection in an empty courtroom in the Justice Building.

"Maybe it's too early to tell, but it doesn't seem to be panning out from the projections," Councilwoman Tami Pyfer said. "I think it validates our initial concern with accepting this donation."

The collection of Everton Publishing Co. was one of the largest privately owned genealogical archives in the country when Logan acquired it two years ago.

Everton got its start in 1947, publishing a bimonthly magazine, Everton's Genealogical Helper, and editions of Handybook for Genealogists.

The collection has information about people and places across the country: family histories, family tree charts, manuscripts, books, 50 years of Genealogical Helper issues, old maps and county atlases.

"The numbers are not high, but the ones that are using (it) are pleased with the collection," library director Ronald Jenkins said. "I think it takes a little time to have it develop and have people know about it."

He said a group from the San Francisco area plans to visit in summer. The collection is open for no more than 30 hours a week.

Mayor Randy Watts wants to relocate City Hall into the Justice Center. Councilman Steve Thompson said officials need to determine whether the collection should remain in its space.

"It's a tough discussion, but we really do need to keep the taxpayers of Logan city in mind and determine what is the highest and best value," he said.

City Finance Director Richard Anderson said the fate of the Everton Collection shouldn't be based on dollars.

"It's not a question of a financial investment. It's a question of whether we want to have a collection," he said.

Information from: The Herald Journal

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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