After more than 30 years of supervising the Wilton Library History Room, Carol Russell has decided to hand the reins over to Julie Hughes and Nick Foster. \u201cAfter 35 years of volunteering regularly in the history room, I have decided it is too difficult for this old body to get there on a regular basis, so I\u2019m phasing out,\u201d Russell told The Bulletin. When the Wilton Historical Society decided to renovate in 1980, the library offered to house the society\u2019s archival collection. This was a good move, Russell previously told The Bulletin, because it provided the public with better access. The archives were moved in boxes to \u201can empty little room\u201d in the library, said Russell, who was recruited to organize the materials for a small sum on a part-time basis for six months. \u201cI came two days a week and started through the boxes,\u201d she said. After she finished organizing them, Russell offered to stay on as a volunteer to supervise the archives. As part of her \u201cphasing out,\u201d Russell said, Hughes and Foster have each agreed to serve as archivists in the history room at least once a week. Although she still has a few projects she wants to complete so the archives are left \u201cin good condition\u201d for Hughes and Foster to maintain and assist patrons in their research, Russell said, she trusts that she is leaving the history room in good hands. \u201cThey both are extremely capable,\u201d said Russell, adding that she and her husband, town historian Bob Russell, will still be \u201caround and willing to assist.\u201d Julie Hughes Hughes, who can be found in the history room on Wednesdays from 11 to 4, has been volunteering in the history room on a weekly basis for about a year. Last August, she stopped by the history room, looking for information on a house she and her husband had been renting in Wilton. That\u2019s when she met Russell, who asked Hughes about her background. \u201cWhen I told her I was an historian, she said the history room was always looking for volunteers, so I started out as a volunteer,\u201d said Hughes, who has a Ph.D. in South Asian history from the University of Texas. Like Foster, Hughes helps patrons find \u201cwhatever they\u2019re looking for\u201d in the history room \u2014\u00a0 \u201cwhether it\u2019s an ancestor\u2019s burial location, or an old folk recipe for cough syrup,\u201d she said. Hughes said she also processes \u201cold letters and other items that come into the history room as donations\u201d and also creates and maintains the history room\u2019s online finding aids, available through the Connecticut Archives Online at library.wcsu.edu\/cao. Hughes said she loves \u201cthe challenge of trying to find the exact right document or the exact right photograph to answer someone\u2019s questions and help them feel more connected to their family or local history.\u201d \u201cThe best part is seeing how much those answers can mean to our patrons, especially to those researching family history,\u201d she said. \u201cEvery day in the history room feels like a treasure hunt.\u201d Although she and her husband recently bought a home in Newtown, Hughes said, she still spends \u201ca lot of time\u201d in Wilton. In addition to volunteering in the history room, Hughes serves on the Wilton Historical Society\u2019s Collections Committee and has also been \u201cresearching and helping develop exhibition content for the Raymond-Ambler house at Ambler Farm.\u201d Nick Foster Foster is the Wilton Historical Society\u2019s collections and membership coordinator and has been working in the history room since August 2016. He can typically be found in the history room on Fridays from 1 to 4. In the history room, Foster said, his primary responsibility is to \u201ckeep track of and care for items from the historical society\u2019s permanent collection that are stored there.\u201d \u201cI\u2019m currently in the process of running a complete inventory of all the items that have been accessioned into the permanent collection by the society so that we can keep track of their location, as well as make sure the objects themselves are in good condition,\u201d he said. Objects like photographs and papers from the 18th and 19th centuries can \u201cdeteriorate very quickly if not stored and cared for properly,\u201d said Foster, so it\u2019s his job to \u201censure that they are being handled appropriately.\u201d \u201cThe secondary, but still vital, responsibility I have at the history room is to conduct research\u00a0\u2014 both for the society's own projects, as well as for visitors and researchers,\u201d he said. Foster said his favorite part about working in the history room is finding \u201cfun and interesting bits of history.\u201d \u201cIt seems like just in the course of looking for something else, you stumble into photos or documents that you didn\u2019t expect to find, and in doing so, I\u2019ve been trying to get them more involved in projects here at the society \u2014 either in an exhibit or simply sharing it on our social media accounts,\u201d he said. \u201cAny time I can get to explore some lesser-known part of the past \u2014\u00a0especially if it\u2019s somewhat odd or humorous in some way \u2014 is really enjoyable.\u201d Foster said the history room is \u201csuch a great wealth of information about Wilton\u201d and encourages people to \u201cstop in and explore.\u201d Click here\u00a0to learn more about the Wilton Library History Room.