The seventh annual Tea 43206 event presented by the German Village Guest House was held Aug. 19, and just days before we donned our hats and placed our silent-auction bids, as one of the very first investments of the Tea's fundraising was being completed.

Mark Aug. 10, 2017, as the day a major, mission-centric project of the German Village Society wrapped.

The archives project is done.

To view the online collection, go to: germanvillage.pastperfectonline.com and scroll down and read the "tips for searching."

You might discover some images of your house, your neighbors, or even yourself.

Whether you're looking for Hal & Phyllis Duryee's 2003 PreTour menu (hint: it had a Spanish flair), or want to figure out when the last time the Society hosted a Fasching -- just type "Duryee" or "Fasching" into the keyword search. You'll waste many happy hours down this rabbit hole.

The society's long-collected archive of photos, event programs, awards, house files, art and more can now be found in-person and online.

Each and every piece of memorabilia and document were assessed for their relevance to the society's history; digitized both for ease of finding at the Meeting Haus, and to make searchable online; and then coded into appropriate collections and stored in fire- and water-safe boxes for us to care for for posterity.

We are proud of the history of our organization that dates back to 1960. We have been carefully collecting records of our impact for all of those years. But we didn't have an organized way to find those items; and we were frankly holding onto things that held no relevance.

In 2013, members of the committee who looks after the funds raised at Tea 43206 (led by Darci Congrove) saw an opportunity to really look at those items in the collection.

The Fund for Historic Preservation chose to invest in the database appropriate to help us manage our collection, and to make it searchable from the internet. Tea money bought the software called PastPerfect, and we were underway.

Along the way, OSU history intern Mark Spigos, Graham School intern Nick Moriarty, and German Village Society volunteers Bob Furbee, Agnes Krivicich, Silvia Rodrigues, Pam Bayer and Lisa Brownley, together contributed more than 400 hours of quality work on the database input.

For the past 18 months, the interns and volunteers have been under the guidance of Alan Renga, a professional archivist on contract to complete the Society's collection.

An important aspect of the project was the creation of a policy and manual, which lays out the scope of what will be accepted into the collection and how it will be cared for. These documents will guarantee that this valuable German Village historical resource will be safe for generations to come.

Another important outcome of completing this project is its direct support of other projects. The archive is supporting phase II (the storytelling phase) of the interpretive trail project. It is also relevant to the amendment to our National Register nomination.

And finishing the collection helps move forward our Visitors Center and Scheurer Room refresh in two ways:

* The collection will now move from the Scheurer Room to the attic, making way for some freshening up in the board room.

* The stories we choose to tell in an improved Visitors Center will come directly from our archives.

These are your Tea donations and membership dollars at work making this neighborhood a little bit more historically relevant and a lot more fun to live in as we share our community's rich history.

German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column .