The man responsible for conceiving the initial idea for the Papers of William F. Cody documentary editing project, “one of the most significant scholarly works in the history of the Center,” is leaving the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (BBHC) to take a new post as Director of the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. Kurt Graham has, in four years of phenomenal expansion at the BBHC, made possible the digitizing of “tens of thousands of historical photographs, documents, correspondence, and maps…” Graham spearheaded the launching of the digital project–now available on line–throughout the U.S. and Europe. Graham’s tenure also brought new staff and equipment, updated space, and a remarkable $1.5 million in grant monies to the BBHC. The Papers of William F. Cody launched with editors throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Graham, the Housel Director of the McCracken Research Library and Co-director of the Cody Institute for Western American Studies at BBHC, is the creative force that made it all happen. So says Maryanne Andrus, Director of Education and Co-director for Western American Studies.
According to Andrus, as managing editor, Graham “…assembled a team of editors in the United States and Europe who are producing edited print volumes and a digital archive of Cody-related material. This papers project will literally take Bill Cody and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West to the world once again and will be a feather in the cap of the Historical Center for many years to come.” The project, she says, is among the most significant scholarly works in the BBHC’s history.
Graham, who was raised in Wyoming’s Big Horn country, says he’s not leaving because of a sense of running his course at the BBHC; rather, an opportunity to direct the Salt Lake institution “fell out of the sky.” He says he and his family will miss Cody and the experience of being such an integral part of the BBHC’s evolution as a potent cultural presence.
“Kurt’s myriad contributions to the Center in leadership and scholarship have been stunning,” Andrus continues. “His vision for extending the reach of the Center beyond the walls of the museum will be sorely missed. Under his direction, the McCracken has taken on a completely different look and feel. The McCracken is a completely different institution than it was before.”
For more information, phone the BBHC at 307.578.4014. To see the BBHC’s digital collections, click here.