This month we welcome AgitArte, an organization of working class artists and cultural organizers, who added the scroll, one of their community art projects, at left. Almost unbelievably, the Medford Historical Society & Museum has added several hundred more Civil War photos and the Chicopee Public Library has allowed the harvest of two more collections.
As last month, I want to highlight one of Digital Commonwealth’s mainstays, the Boston Public Library. The Press Photography from the Brearley Collection has grown exponentially. The 1,222 items added this month nearly double the size of the collection. The BPL also added a new collection of 394 items, the Edmund Blampied (1886-1966) Prints and Drawings collection, which includes the exquisite crayon drawing, Beach Scene (10) below.
Agitating for the community or a virtual beach visit may warm you up this December. Happy holidays to all!
March came in like a lion and then refused to leave like a lamb. Can we get a refund from Mother Nature? Perhaps a few extra days of fall? Digital Commonwealth never sleeps, though; witness the many additions to the collections last month.
My personal favorite proves that bad hair days are not a 21st century phenomenon. This unidentified gentleman (left) comes from the Granville Public Library’s Unidentified People and Places collection. I am sure he is happy to be unidentified. Wouldn’t you be, with this look?
The remaining collections are from some old reliable contributors and some new ones. Kudos to the newbies who added large collections and the vets who added to existing collections. I personally know some folks who will be delighted that the Medford Historical Society is adding to its Civil War photo collection.
I admit my taste runs more to the Art Nouveau cover for Beverly’s Balance (see below), a play given by the Waban Women’s Club on May 4th 1917. Which only goes to show that Digital Commonwealth always strives to provide something for everyone.
I hope to see you at the Annual Conference tomorrow in Worcester – another instance of Digital Commonwealth providing something for everyone!
As we pack away the ghosts and goblins of Halloween and prepare for Thanksgiving, let us give thanks:
…to the Annisquam Historical Society for sharing a lovely sketch of the I Am Here schooner amongst its 86 historical documents.
…to the Boston Public Library – and especially to the Leventhal Map Center – for continuing to add too many wonderful items to mention individually.
…to the Medford Historical Society & Museum for adding a superb collection of Civil War photographs, ranging from cartes de visites to battle scenes to fortifications to the haunting photo of a devastated Charleston, S.C. (Left)
…to the Sharon Public Library for a wonderful variety of photos, including photos taken after the Blizzard of ’78. “Foot of my driveway” is exactly the kind of titles I give my photos, but the Cobb’s Corner photos give a better idea of the scale. (Below)
Take a look and let us know what you’re thankful for.
Amber Clooney, Electronic Reference Services Librarian at Chicopee Public Library, provided the following information about the archive’s collections and future plans:
Chicopee Archives Online was developed to enhance access to some of the city’s unique historical items. The site was initially developed to host the Soldiers Record, which is a handwritten ledger that contains the personal stories of over 500 local men who served in the Civil War. The stories contained in the Soldiers Record seem to be primarily based on interviews with the soldiers themselves, or based on contemporary records and accounts from friends and relatives if a particular soldier died during the war.
According to an article in New England Magazine from 1898, most of the records were compiled by George Dexter Robinson, who lived in Chicopee after the Civil War, before he became Governor of Massachusetts (Robinson is also famous for being Lizzie Borden’s defense attorney). Transcription of each page is an ongoing volunteer project. There is a full description of the Soldiers Record here: http://www.chicopeepubliclibrary.org/archives/soldiers_record
In addition to the Soldiers Record, the site includes scanned copies of a partial run of the Chicopee Weekly Journal from the mid 1860s; and a year long run of The Olive Leaf from 1849, a literary newspaper for local factory girls.
In near future, we will be adding scans of the local City Directories. The Directories are the most used items in the local history room, and are showing a lot of wear and tear as a result. When the Directories are added to the site, patrons will be directed to use the digital copies so the print copies can be preserved. We also plan to add a photo collection from the 1920s , and we hope to add some items from the collections of the Chicopee Historical Society.
For further questions, contact Amber Clooney at Chicopee Public Library.