Sturgis Library: Preserving and Sharing Barnstable’s Rich Histories

By Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist at the MBLC

1. Lucy Loomis, Director of Sturgis Library, in front of Lothrop Bible (1605).

For ALA’s Preservation Week 2019, we are rolling-out a series called “People of Preservation,” highlighting the people taking care of interesting library collections across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The biggest driver of successful preservation and curation is having dedicated and knowledgeable staffs. This series is going to show why, while celebrating their successes!

I’m going to start off by highlighting some recent work by Lucy Loomis, Director of the Sturgis Library in Barnstable.

  • Barnstable Patriot and Register newspaper digital archives updated for 2019: Read about some of the collaborative work necessary to pull off digitization of nearly 200 years of Cape Cod history. The two papers cover Cape Cod and the Islands, with 20th century emphasis on the towns of Barnstable, Dennis, and Yarmouth.  The Patriot archive covers the years 1830 to 2017, and the Register covers the years 1836 to 2017. See more at Sturgis Library’s Newspaper Indexes.
  • Understanding history is a process, not an equation. A key part, in my opinion, in the process of better understanding history is being able to interact with the physical objects of the past. On a recent visit with Lucy, I learned the Sturgis Library held a strong collection of historic whaling volumes. With grant support from MBLC through IMLS/LSTA funds, selections from these primary source materials are going to be reproduced and shared with high school students in support of history curricula at Sturgis Charter Public School. (The grant category is called “First Contact.”)
  • It’s obvious there’s a great commitment by Lucy, staff, and the community to collect, preserve, and of course better understand the history of Barnstable. It’s a pleasure to have visited and learned more about their work. Here’s just three more examples (among many others, too!) that I’d like to share and celebrate:

 

Thanks for all your excellent work, Lucy!

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