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Grant number: PG-258247-18

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Town of East Haddam, Connecticut (East Haddam, CT 06423-0295)
Michael J Gilroy (Project Director: April 2017 to present)

Shelving Replacement for the Rathbun Historical Room, Rathbun Free Memorial Library, East Haddam Library System

The purchase of storage shelving for a collection of 648 published and handwritten archival volumes associated with the town of East Haddam, Connecticut.  Holdings include family genealogies, war participation records, cemetery records, architectural surveys, historical photographs, and an Arctic exploration archive.  This project focuses on the preservation of 30 account books and ledgers from East Haddam businesses and local farmers; 13 diaries; two hotel registers; the letters and business correspondence of the Sisson-Balen family; 39 scrapbooks; and minutes of various town committees including the local chapter of the American Red Cross, the Women’s Progressive Club, and the Middlesex Chapter of the Temperance Society.  Materials are used by genealogists, historians, students, and town residents.  The activities proposed were recommended in a 2012 preservation assessment.

The grant would support the acquisition of shelving appropriate for the local historic materials currently under the care of the Rathbun Free Memorial Library. These collections reside in a dedicated storage room (The Rathbun Historical Room) on the library's top floor. Books held in the Local History Collection include a mixture of published volumes and handwritten archival volumes, many dating from the early 1800's. Storage space for these local history materials is at a premium, and the current wooden shelving is too narrow to fully support archival boxes and large books, which currently hang a few inches past the edge of their shelves and are at risk for damage through being accidentally bumped. A detailed preservation needs assessment identified the need to replace the wooden shelving with deeper shelves (some of which need to be at least 16" deep) made of powder-coated steel.

Project fields:
Cultural History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$4,710 (approved)
$4,710 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019