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Grant number like: PG-51592-12

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Westminster Historical Society (Westminster, MA 01473)
Betsy Ann Hannula (Project Director: May 2011 to June 2013)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2012 – 6/30/2013

Preservation Assessment of Artifact and Archival Collections

A preservation assessment by a conservator and an archivist to plan for the care of artifact and archival collections that document the history of Westminster from 1737 to the present. Collections of furnishings, textiles and clothing, tools and equipment, photographs, books, and archives are used to examine the town's shift from an agricultural way of life to an economy based on industry, the importance of immigration to the town's development, as well as its social and cultural traditions. The assessment would help the society create a plan to unite its collections, now dispersed among four sites in town, into a renovated historic schoolhouse.

We will hire two conservators to conduct a general assessment of our collection and help draft a preservation plan with a particular focus on re-housing the collection. The Society is planning renovations to the historic Upton School as our headquarters. The collection of photographs, clothing, household objects, tools, books and archives will be gathered from many sites to this one. The collection documents life in a New England town since 1737; unique elements are a strong record of Finnish immigrants (1/3 of the town in the 1930s) and the cooperative movement they brought, Wachusett Mountain and Park, East Gardner State Hospital, primitive painter Robert Peckham and Civil War General Nelson Miles. An archivist and a museum conservator will help develop plans for the arrangement and storage of our collections in the new space with goals to create visible storage for objects and to recommend methods for controlling the environment for long-term preservation of the entire collection.