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Archives Project Near Completion

November 10, 2020 Published By Julie Arrison-Bishop

NEH grant makes important archival work possible at The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables is excited to announce the completion of the archives processing project, funded by the National Endowment for Humanities CARES grant to improve the organization and long-term care of its unique archives. The receipt of the $102,434 grant is especially significant due to the stiff competition for the funds and the urgency of The Gables’ needs. The NEH received over 2,300 applications for the CARES grant. The Gables was one of only 317 organizations to receive funding and is in the final stages of meeting the goals set out in the grant application.

It is rare for a small institution to receive NEH funding such as this, says Kara McLaughlin, executive director of The Gables. The importance of this National Historic Landmark site and its settlement mission to the country and internationally, as well as the documented need for assistance with archival work, justified receipt of the generous funding. A previous survey conducted by an archivist with the State Records and Archives Board documented the extent of the need for this archival work.

 

“This grant is a wonderful thing,” says Susan Baker, Gables’ Collections Manager and the project’s director. “We have a rich archival collection. This is an amazing opportunity and our work will serve the museum and the community.”

Baker detailed the work has led up to the completion of this important project:

  • Inventory of archival (paper and books) materials
  • Proper storage of archival materials (including purchase of proper storage materials)
  • Creation of an archival policy
  • Inventory and organization of institutional records
  • Creation of an institutional records policy
  • Digitization of key materials for greater accessibility to staff, researchers, historians, students and the community at large
  • Collaboration with the Gables’ website developer to learn how to post materials on the website and make data available to the public
  • Transfer VHS and cassette media related to the site’s history to digital format

Among the notable archival holdings are letters and first edition books by Nathaniel Hawthorne, most of the settlement program founder Caroline Emmerton’s writings and notes, former mansion owners’ papers and documents, and a large cache of materials relating to the historic house itself.

To learn more about this amazing project and to enjoy the newly digitized collections, visit https://7gables.org/archives. Click here to learn more about the collections at The House of the Seven Gables.

Donations to support our historic preservation work including the care of our collections are always gratefully accepted.

 

 

 

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This post was written by Julie Arrison-Bishop