Nodaway County Recorder of Deeds Sandy Smail is hosting an open house for the general public from 1 to 3 pm, Wednesday, December 6.

The past year, the Nodaway County commissioners gave Smail $45,000 for book restoration. Many of the books in the recorder of deeds office are in dire need of repair. Many of the older books are handwritten, dating back to 1856.

Jim Mori with Country Binders, Waukee, IA, scanned all of the index books, creating an online archive. He also rebound approximately a dozen books for preservation.

Mori also preserved the 1856 Plattes or Original Entry book. The handwritten document was beginning to be eaten by acid, developing dark spots on the pages, making the wording hard to read.

He took the book apart, treated the pages and bound it in archival laminate.

The restored books will be showcased during the open house event.

Smail also applied for the Local Records Preservation Grant through the secretary of state to purchase a $12,000 microfilm machine from RK Black Inc., Olathe, KS. She has been creating digital images from the microfilm to create an online book of marriage licenses, beginning with those in 1845. She plans to continue as she has time.

“I wanted to invite the public in to show them how I spent their money,” Smail said.

Smail stated she wants the public to know what the recorder of deeds office does and why it is important to the county.