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Grant number like: PW-259002-18

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University of Massachusetts, Boston (Boston, MA 02125-3300)
Christa Beranek (Project Director: July 2017 to March 2023)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$181,000 (approved)
$181,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2018 – 10/31/2022

Digitizing Plimoth Plantation’s 17th-Century Historical Archaeology Collections

Cataloging, digitization, and creation of access to the archaeological collections connected to the early colonists of Plimoth Plantation.  Focusing on historical artifacts from four key sites, the project would encompass field notes, plans, drawings, and photos associated with the excavations that took place between 1940 and 1972.  Materials would be made accessible for the public, teachers, students, and scholars via an online database and finding aids.

In the years since The Mayflower made her iconic voyage, American cultural identity and heritage have developed a complex mythology surrounding the ship and her passengers. The approaching 400th anniversary (1620-2020) of this voyage has generated renewed public and scholarly interest in this time period and the Pilgrims’ daily lives. This project will digitize Plimoth Plantation’s key 17th-century archaeological collections connected to these early colonists: the RM/Clark Garrison site (C-1), the Winslow site (C-2), the William Bradford II site (C-6), and the Allerton-Cushman site (C-21). When finished, the data will be made accessible via an online catalog and finding aids designed for both the public and scholarly communities. As a result, anyone with internet access will be able to explore and learn from the primary source archaeological record and gain a better understanding of the early colonists in Massachusetts who captured the national imagination.