January 25, 2012

Jefferson City, Mo. — Today Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced a new video available online for Missouri’s third and fourth grade students, providing them a virtual tour of the Missouri State Archives.

“There is nothing like a field trip for an in-person tour of the Archives with your teacher and classmates,” Ashcroft said, “but I hope this online virtual tour can make the Archives available to any child in any type of schooling program and provide an opportunity for every child to learn about Missouri’s history during our Bicentennial year – the 200th anniversary of our state.”

Since March of 2020, school children have been unable to visit the Archives in person due to COVID-19, school closures and social distancing requirements. Each year, thousands of students from all across the state would visit the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center– just down the street from the State Capitol – and learn interesting facts about Missouri history as well as take a tour of the impressive State Archives.

“If there ever was a year we wish to be open to Missouri students to educate about Missouri’s history, the Bicentennial is the year. I hope teachers will make use of the virtual tour to help expand the education our students receive about our state’s rich history,” Ashcroft said.

The tour included an in-person viewing of the original Missouri state flag and three paintings of Jefferson City illustrating different periods in history, a visit to the public research room, an introduction to government records and access, preservation microfilm and digitization, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the closed Archives stacks. Students also had the opportunity to view one or two original records along with numerous facsimiles of records related to famous Missourians. 

The virtual tour is now online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnCZVtfN5XQ&t=3s. Links to the video will be available on the State Archives website at https://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/education. If you are an educator or school administrator, and want more information about future tours of the Archives, please email archives@sos.mo.gov.