Every year there is a first substantial snow of the year. As I type this, snow has just started falling in Boston. Over the course of the Thanksgiving weekend, the prediction has gone from “up to 12 inches” to 6-12″, to 4-6″ to “wintry mix”. I have no idea how much snow we’ll get in the end. It definitely will make a difference if you’re in the Berkshires, Greater Worcester or south of the Pike.
Two things I do know: media forecasters will talk as if this is a never-seen-before event in Massachusetts and drivers across the state will drive like they’ve never seen snow before. Come on, people. We have snow every year. Some storms are historic, like the Blizzard of ’78 or the Blizzard of ’88. This time, though, the timing is everything. The Blizzard of ’78 occurred in February, in 1888 it was March.
This time it’s Thanksgiving weekend. One of the busiest travel days of the year. No matter how much snow we get, it couldn’t come at a worse time. So be smart, slow down, be careful and be safe.
Digital Commonwealth partners Weymouth Public Library and Lee Library Association were in the news last month.
Wicked Local Weymouth in an article entitled, Weymouth Public Libraries announces programs, reports on the Weymouth Public Libraries adding more digitized items from the Weymouth Historic Collections to the Digital Commonwealth. Highlights include more items concerning abolitionism and the Civil War, as well as maps of Weymouth dating from 1854 and 1880. The map from 1853 (left) is especially interesting because it marks the locations of houses with the names the residents. The items featured on Digital Commonwealth are a selection of the materials in the Weymouth Room and Local History Collections. Finding aids describing the contents of the collections in detail are viewable online here. Original materials are viewable in person by appointment. What’s available on Digital Commonwealth is viewable anytime, anywhere you have Internet access.
The Berkshire Eagle’s article, Lee Library Association: A history lesson, just a click away, extols the Lee Library Association’s efforts to identify, preserve and provide online access to its collection of photographs, postcards and prints. Over 25 years ago, local volunteers organized and categorized the collection over 5 years. When Mary Philpott, president of the Lee library, learned about Digital Commonwealth in 2013, she immediately signed up to begin what became a 4-year process of getting the collection digitized. Digital Commonwealth staff really appreciated all the hard work done by the Lee volunteers. The more data cultural institutions can supply, the faster Digital Commonwealth can process their collections. For the Lee Library Association the reward was that their historical collections were no longer “sitting in boxes”. Now everyone with an interest in Lee history can see them.
If you were a little sad to see your feathered friends head south last month, take a gander (pun intended) at the John James Audubon The Birds of America drawings digitized by the Boston Public Library in November. You won’t want to miss the weirdly wonderful Roseate Spoonbill below:
There is, once again, something for everyone in this past month’s additions: large collections and small; photos, letters, music; artwork, nature, history. You want it? Digital Commonwealth’s got it! Special mention has to go to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library’s Edward Hale Lincoln Collection of flora in nature photographs. The photos are in black and white, but are so sharp and clear that winter weary Bay Staters may find inspiration for their spring gardens in these photos. Never ask me to choose a favorite orchid, but the nearby Cattleya Snow Queen seems an appropriate choice for a December post. And if you need some color, try Mass Hort’s previously digitized Botanical Prints collection. Gorgeous, even to us non-gardeners.