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Published on February 15, 2016

New archive office is safeguarding our past

Gundersen Medical Foundation has a history of great deeds. One of its latest programs targets the preservation of Gundersen’s past.

New archive office

New archive office Former Health Sciences Library director Kay Cimpl Wagner has been called out of retirement and worked with A. Erik Gundersen, MD (Dr. Erik) for two years to collect, itemize and preserve Gundersen Health System and former Lutheran Health System archives, including objects, letters, publications, photographs and more.

“It’s exciting to bring things together that honor the legacy of Gundersen Health System,” says Kay. “This wouldn’t be possible without the Foundation’s commitment to the project.”

Those materials were housed at the Miller Street warehouse. Since August, Kay and the collection moved to the office in the Lindesmith Professional Center. Projects completed or in the works are:

  • Display in corridor adjacent to Imaging with historical medical objects
  • Display highlighting Gundersen publications for a particular year
  • Policies and procedures for acceptance of archival materials
  • Investigation of integrated digital database software for record entry and searchability
  • Interviewing retired physicians in conjunction with Sara Gundersen Battison and Medical Media, to record Gundersen’s past through those that created the history

“Several thousand letters dating back to the 1800s are in the collection and 118 have been translated from Norwegian to English,” says Kay. “A booklet was assembled with copies of the originals and translations and this was given to project donors.

Kay is working with a local company to scan and digitize the fragile letters.

The other two display cases in the Legacy Building corridor will also be filled with historically relevant displays. In addition to the display of historically relevant medical objects 10 cover pages of publications from 2014 highlighting Gundersen staff will be displayed to showcase the research accomplishments. The third case will include rotating displays.

If you have items or materials of historical relevance to the organization, contact Kay at (605) 351-9059 or by email The archive office is inside the Health Science Library, Lower Level, Heritage Building.

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