This month we’ve added a lot of new items to already existing collections, and we harvested 25 new collections from the Provincetown History Preservation Project! Make sure you check out the great new photographs, videos, manuscripts, artwork, and other materials added this month!

Group Portrait With Cat, from the Glass Plates Collection from Provincetown History Preservation Project.
Group Portrait With Cat, from the Glass Plates Collection from Provincetown History Preservation Project.

Boston Public Library 

Anti-Slavery (Collection of Distinction) : 500 items added to existing collection

Costume & Set Designs : 21 items added to existing collection

Emily Dickinson Collection, 1862-1907 : 6 items added to existing collection

Lincoln Public Library 

Lincoln Town Archives : 3 items added to existing collection

Provincetown History Preservation Project

25 newly harvested collections : 4163 items

U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center

Natick Soldier Systems Center Photographic Collection : 6926 items added to existing collection

By Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director and Curator of the Griffin Museum of Photography
Nantucket, Mass. from the Griffin Museum of Photography
Nantucket, Mass. from the Griffin Museum of Photography

 

The Digital Commonwealth has changed how Arthur Griffin is seen by our audience. Making Mr. Griffin’s images available on-line after digitizing of a portion of our archives has opened up interest by the public in ways we never thought would happen. We have had inquiries on images from the 1930’s – 1940’s like Connecticut Tobacco Farms, old Boston buildings, Boston Common nativity scenes, Mt Washington’s Weather Observatory to name just a few of the hundreds of requests we now get. We are grateful to the Boston Public Library and the Digital Commonwealth for their efforts and vision.

 

L Street Brownies from Griffin Museum of Photography.
L Street Brownies from Griffin Museum of Photography.

 

What we have learned from the efforts of the Boston Public Library and the Digital Commonwealth is that there is much opportunity located within our archives, that continued effort must be made to digitize the whole archive and that resources need to be put in place to manage and fulfill the image requests from the public. On-line our archive can now be enjoyed by everyone. Arthur Griffin would have enjoyed these times.

Not only have we added some awesome new hosted collections in February, we’ve also harvested 99 collections from UMass Amherst! Check them all out!

 

1919 Victory Graduation at the Wilbraham School from Wilbraham Public Library
1919 Victory Graduation at the Wilbraham School from Wilbraham Public Library

Boston Public Library

Boston (Mass.) Overseers of the Poor Indentures, 1734-1805 – 18 items added to existing collection

Emily Dickinson Collection, 18962-1907 – 135 items

Fore-Edge Paintings – 214 items

Tupper Scrapbook Collection: Scrapbooks of mounted views, portraits, etc., relating to Europe and Egypt, 1891-1894 – 35 items added to existing collection

Jamaica Plain Historical Society

Jamaica Plain Historical Society Photo Gallery – 9 items added to existing collection

Nantucket Historical Association Research Library 

H. Flint Ranney Collection – 3990 items

Needham Free Public Library

Needham Historical Picture File – 787 items

Roll of Members Essex GAR from Town Of Essex.
Roll of Members Essex GAR from Town Of Essex.

Sudbury Historical Society

Soldier’s record, Town of Sudbury MA – 90 items

 Town of Essex, Massachusetts

Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum, Civil War Collection – 11   items

Office of the Town Clerk, Civil War Collection – 196 items

 University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries Specials Collections and University Archives

99 collections – 152,956 items harvested

 Wilbraham Public Library

Gertrude Smith Collection - 9 items

 

From the Digital Commonwealth Conference Committee

Don’t miss another great Digital Commonwealth conference and our 10th anniversary reception. The conference will be held on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at the Hogan Center at the College of the Holy Cross.

This year’s keynotes addresses are:

Piles of Stuff: On the Challenges and Opportunities for Aggregating Digital Collections with Paul Conway

For the past 25 years, libraries, archives, and museums have been digitizing their collections for access and, increasingly, as a preservation alternative. The pace, scope, and scale of these activities have increased dramatically. So too have new efforts to combine digital collections from individual repositories into large scale aggregations that promise improved search and discovery capabilities.

The Archival Edge Revisited: Reflections on the Purpose of Archives in the Digital Era with Richard Pearce-Moses

Over the past several decades, archival practice has changed significantly to adapt to the digital information ecosystem.  The rise of born-digital records has raised interesting questions about the very nature of records, while also forcing archivists to rethink how they do their job. Cloud computing, data mining, open data, and other technologies have enormous potential for novel approaches to use.  As important, these new technologies reverse traditional archival questions of what to preserve: some individuals argue – seriously – that all information can be saved.

This year’s sessions include:

  • Brookline’s Wild-Sargent House of 1822: New life through digital and physical preservation
  • Community Scan Projects
  • Update on the Digital Commonwealth Repository
  • Privacy Panel with Library Freedom Project and ACLU of Massachusetts
  • Preservation/Digitization
  • Back to the future – Digitizing the Next Generation of Historic Maps
  • SHRAB (Mass. Historical Records Advisory Board) and Roving Archivist
  • Digital preservation projects
  • Creating online exhibits

The 10th anniversary reception will take place at the Hogan Center, immediately after the conference.

Registration is available on the Digital Commonwealth web site at: http://digitalcommonwealth.memberlodge.org/DCAC2016

 

 

Wonderful feature on NECN about the Boston Public Library and the Digital Commonwealth! Tom Blake, the Digital Projects Manager at the BPL and David Leonard, Interim President and Director of Administration and Technology, did a wonderful job describing the project, with well-chosen examples showing the digitization process, the Digital Commonwealth site, and some examples of items that have been digitized by Boston, from bathing suits to butterflies!

Boston Public Library Digitizing Cultural Treasures — Watch the video on the NECN website

Receipt to Thomas Aspinwall for money paid for soldiersGuest Post by Anne Clark, Brookline Public Library

In 2015 the Brookline Public Library was able to have their manuscript collection digitized thanks to generosity of the Boston Public Library. Over 400 pages have now been added to the Digital Commonwealth website!

The Manuscript Collection consists of collections of papers related to the town of Brookline, including family papers, letters, deeds, wills, account books, political and military history, church and school documents and various miscellaneous articles.

murivianIn addition, The Murivian (short for Muddy River Annual), the Brookline High School Yearbook (1923-2014) was digitized and is available on the Internet Archive. The yearbooks look wonderful and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This was a project that was a long time coming, and well worth the wait!

What’s next? We hope to have our map collection and the Brookline High School newspaper (The Sagamore) join the yearbooks, photographs and manuscripts in digital form!

Make sure you check out the newest Digital Commonwealth collections, including images of popular Boston politician James M. Curley and a new medieval manuscripts from the BPL!

Boston Public Library

"Head shot waving hat."  Photograph.  1949.
Head shot waving hat.” Photograph. 1949.

Books from the Boston Public Library – 144 items

John D. Merriam Collection – 6 items

Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts Collection – 3 items

Jamaica Plain Historical Society

James Michael Curley Negatives – 956 items

Kingston Public Library

Emily Fuller Drew Collection – 209 items

Longmeadow Historical Society

Emerson Collection – 1458 items

Happy New Year! These awesome new collections were added to Digital Commonwealth in December. Check them out!

Boston Architectural College Library

Original works by Boston Architectural Club Members : 1 item

Publications of the Boston Architectural Club : 32 items

Boston Athenaeum

Hooded merganser duck from Yarmouth Town Libraries, West Yarmouth Library.
Hooded merganser duck from Yarmouth Town Libraries, West Yarmouth Library.

Boston Athenaeum, Cartographic Collection : 6 items

Boston College University Libraries

27 collections with 4950 items

Boston Public Library

John D. Merriam Collection : 16 items

Ziba B. Oakes Papers, 1852-1857 : 651 items

Fall River Public Library

Historical Postcards, c. 1880-1965 : 1312

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historical Site

Plans & Drawings, c. 1847-1979 (Bulk 1882-1970) : 68 items

Norwell Public Library

Norwell Historical Society Postcard Collection : 74 items

Perkins School for the Blind

Manual Arts and Vocational Training : 124 items

Physical Education at Perkins School for the Blind : 129 items

Westborough Public Library

Historical Records of the Town of Westborough: Administrative Documents, 1724-1929 : 134 items

Records of the Westborough Rifle Company, 1861-1870 :10 items

Records of Westborough’s Involvement in the American Revolution, the Massachusetts Militia, and the Continental Army, 1774-1792 : 45 items

Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library

Harry C. Belcher Lepidoptera Collection : 177 items

Yarmouth Town Libraries, West Yarmouth Library

Castonguay Carved Bird Collection at West Yarmouth Library : 34 items

 

 

Here are two photographs from the Digital Commonwealth of special Christmas dinners for people who would not be home for Christmas.

This 1921 photograph by news photographer Leslie Jones and shows Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan loading his Christmas dinner onto the ship Bowdoin before sailing for the frozen North. It’s from the Leslie Jones Collection of the Boston Public Library.

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This 1969 photograph of the Apollo VIII Christmas menu is from the Natick Soldier Systems Center Photographic Collection of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center.10869601_10152461357361722_859047187704865844_o