NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 23, 2013

Shining a light on Archival Center

New group aims to promote Newburyport Public Library's collection

(Continued)

As it turns out, the Archival Center is better off than similar venues at 15 surrounding public libraries, according to a survey by head librarian Cynthia Dadd.

“We wanted to get a sense of what other communities were doing,” Dadd said. “I’ve always thought it was so great that we’re able to have staffing, so we wanted to see how typical that was and found out it wasn’t typical at all.”

Unlike the Archival Center, which has a full-time staff for a total of five-and-a-half days a week, Dadd said other libraries often rely on reference librarians to gather material for patrons and require people to make an appointment.

The Archival Center may also see next year the first step toward digitizing the collection of microfilm, which, for example, holds the Newburyport Herald (1797-1844) and the Newburyport Daily News (1889-present). Dadd said she will explore sources to fund the initial stage of the project, estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

“Most of what we do is not upgrading material, but making people aware of what we do have,” Dadd said.

To Gill, the thrill of the job is not only the documents themselves, but the spirit of collaboration among the patrons and the volunteers.

On a recent Friday morning, Herbert Crooks, a local artist, stopped by to give one of his paintings — eggs lined up on bar stools — to genealogist Cecile Pimental, who had helped him the day before, researching ships built in Newburyport and surrounding areas.The gesture nearly made Gill speechless.

Said Gill, “We rarely get credit so for her to get a painting painted with her favorite color is ... it’s a big deal.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Special Features