Map of the Town of Weymouth, Norfolk County, Mass.Weymouth Room and Local History Collections
Map of the Town of Weymouth, Norfolk County, Mass. Weymouth Room and Local History Collections

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.

South-western view of LeeLee Library Historical Collection
South-western view of Lee Lee Library Historical Collection

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:

 Roseate spoonbill from the Boston Public Library's The Birds of America collection
Roseate spoonbill from the Boston Public Library’s The Birds of America collection

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.

 Cattleya Snow Queen from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library's Edwin Hale Lincoln Collection
Cattleya Snow Queen from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library’s Edwin Hale Lincoln Collection

Berkley Public Library
Berkley Public Library Local History – 1 item

Boston College
15 collections – 2,985 items (Re-harvested; numbers for new items only)

Boston Public Library
The Birds of America: From Original Drawings by John James Audubon – 547 items
James McBey (1883-1959). Prints and Drawings – 1,065 items
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts – 1 item added to existing collection

Framingham State University
Henry Whittemore Library – 8 collections, 824 records

Hingham Public Library
Governor John D. Long Letters – 151 items

Jamaica Plain Historical Society
Jamaica Plain Historical Society Photo Gallery – 25 items added to existing collection

Lee Library Association
Lee Library Historical Photograph Collection – 1,027 items

Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library
Edwin Hale Lincoln Collection – 1,298 items

Phillips Academy Andover
Abbot Academy Photographs – 1,249 items added to existing collection

Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library
Bates-Weston-Chapman Collection – 2 items added to existing collection
Civil War Personal Papers and Currency – 3 items added to existing collection
Fifield Family Collection – 23 items added to existing collection
Fifield Music Collection – 1 item
Pamphlet Collection – 1 item added to existing collection
Weymouth Map Collection – 3 items