Profiles of Impact: The Lorraine Duncan Special Collections Endowment

Surrounded by good friends and family, Lorraine Duncan recently celebrated her 91st birthday at the Davenport Public Library. While the Library might be an unexpected party location, to Lorraine it is a second home. She spent 40 years as a volunteer for the Scott County Iowa Genealogical Society and the Library's Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center.

Numerous dedicated volunteers work countless hours scanning, organizing, and cataloging historical documents related to the Quad City area. Lorraine's work concentrated on genealogy and cemetery records.

To commemorate Lorraine's birthday, and to honor her mother's tireless volunteer commitment, Pat Duncan surprised her mother with The Lorraine Duncan Special Collections Endowment, a permanent endowment at the Community Foundation. The Fund will benefit the Special Collections Center of the Library in perpetuity. Each year the Library will receive a distribution from the Fund in honor of Lorraine.

More than 14,000 users access the Center's resources annually--some are scholars, others are tracing their families' roots. City planners often turn to the Special Collections Center. For example, the Davenport Department of Public Works is relying on an 1853 map of Davenport for some current projects. The Library is in the process of acquiring and preserving this map. The Lorraine Duncan Special Collections Endowment will be a source of funding for similar acquisitions and other work of the Center.

"It's remarkable and wonderful that Lorraine's family recognized how much her work means to her," said Library Director LaWanda Roudebush. "Now, Lorraine knows that her work is going to be carried out in the future."

LaWanda says the Library will be able to do a lot with the annual distributions from this Endowment. "We'll be able to do more to preserve historic materials," she says. "It's a gift that will help our community for years to come." 

Pat Duncan's loving tribute to her mother is a lasting gift for everyone.

Click here to learn more about starting your own endowment.

Melanie JonesDonors