We as a nation are defined by our cultural resources.
They are our history, our memory, our symbols, and our shared identity.
Many collections are in urgent need of conservation treatment and digitization, and America's cultural organizations still struggle to identify sources of funding to help preserve these collections.
Our nation’s collections at risk far outnumber funding opportunities currently available through federal, state, and foundation grants. Increasingly, the responsibility for preserving our history is in ALL our hands.
In March of 1649, three colonists stood on Sachem's Rock in the historical town of Bridgewater, and purchased 196 square miles of land from the Wampanoag Native American Tribe. The land they purchased today consists of the towns of Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Brockton (previously North Bridgewater), and parts of many more.
This is the original document signed on that historic day by Constant Southworth, Samuel Nash, Pilgrim Myles Standish, and Massasoit, Sachem of the Wampanoag Tribe.
This thirty-four page booklet contains Reverend Jonas Clarke’s manuscript of the sermon he gave on April 19, 1776 “to commemorate the murder, blood-shed and Commencement of Hostilities, between Great-Britain and America” begun at the Battle of Lexington exactly one year before. Clarke (1730-1805) was the minister in Lexington from 1755 until his death, and he was present at the parsonage (the current Hancock-Clarke House) with visitors John Hancock and Samuel Adams during Paul Revere’s visit in April 1775. Clarke stood as a stronghold of Revolutionary ideals leading up to, and in the aftermath of, the Battle of Lexington. This document is an important part of the Jonas Clarke Family Collection of personal papers and sermons held by the Society.
Treatment needed: Cleaning, disbinding, mending and repair, deacidification, reassembling, creation of custom made housing, digitization.
The Sandy Island Family Camp Archives is working to repair two historic landscape plans prepared for Sandy Island by the famous Olmsted Landscape Architects Firm and dated 1952 and 1938. "The plans are drawn on paper that is too old and brittle for us to handle safely, so we would like to have the plans repaired by paper conservation professionals," says Sara Clarkson of the Archives Committee. Once the plans are repaired, the plans will be digitized. Both the original plans and the digitized images will be available to interested Sandy Island viewers, to Sandy Island and YMCA historians, and to Olmsted historians.
The Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site recently posted images on their Flickr collection that show on-site photographs of the Sandy Island "Mens" Camp in 1938 and after the hurricane in 1939. The first visit seems to correspond to one of the plans being conserved in this project. Amazing to see the photos snapped by the Olmsted team! View the Images Here - Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, FAIRBANKS, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, Oral History Program
The Alaska and Polar Regions Archives at the University of Alaska recently discovered four 78 RPM glass-based discs in the collection of Anthropologist Dorothy Jean Ray. Robyn Russell, Collections Manager of the Library’s Oral History Program says: “I opened the archival box, and inside there were four 78 rpm glass-base records in faded paper record jackets. The only information we had was the hand-written labels. For example, “Aleut (ATTU) #7 12/4/1945 ‘Song sung by father to child upon return after long absence.’”
Robyn explains, “With audio collections, you can’t look in the table of contents – you can’t thumb through them like a book to find out what it contains. You have to have playback. We knew that these recordings were unique and we could see that they were extremely fragile. We didn’t dare put a stylus to them. They were essentially hidden gems.”
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Kansas State University Libraries’ Macaroni Pudding and a Good Cake is a two-year project that will enhance international scholarship pertaining to the history of food and medicine, women’s culture, comparative literature and epidemiology. Over 10,000 pages of manuscript cookery books dating from 1650-1896 will be available in an institutional repository as well as a crowdsourced transcription interface.
As these manuscripts are digitized, the most fragile will be selected for conservation treatment. Please make a donation toward these conservation efforts.
These oversized books of insurance maps are an invaluable resource for finding where a house or business used to be located, as well as the changes made to Nashua’s Streets and neighborhoods. Of interest to those studying maps, historic urban planning, and early 20th century New England cities. Interesting use of paper patches to keep the maps current!