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Grant number like: PG-271633-20

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Town of Brimfield (Brimfield, MA 01010-7705)
Rebecca Wells (Project Director: January 2020 to October 2022)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$10,000 (approved)
$9,995 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2020 – 8/31/2021

Historical Room: Comprehensive Needs Assessment

A preservation assessment, a preservation workshop for staff, and the purchase of supplies to rehouse a collection of glass-plate negatives in the Brimfield Public Library. These photographic negatives depict life in Brimfield from the late 1800s to early 1900s and document the changes to and growth of the community, including buildings and landscape that no longer exist. In addition to a local early American history collection, the town’s library holds clippings and ephemera that trace the 50-year history of the Brimfield Flea Market, which, with over one million visitors three times a year, is the largest outdoor market in the United States.

The Brimfield Public Library houses a significant collection of photographs, glass plate negatives, oral histories, and documents, dating back to the 1700s, on the history of Brimfield, MA. Many are one-of-a-kind, which contributes to their importance and necessitates their proper care. This collection provides insight into the religious, political and daily life of a small New England town, records the accomplishments of town residents who achieved national fame, and documents the families, buildings and events that fostered the town’s growth. These records are accessed on a regular basis by genealogists, historians, authors, and town residents. The grant would provide funding for a professional preservation consultant to carry out a comprehensive needs assessment to assist the Library in developing industry standard methodologies for inventorying, preserving and storing these items in a format that still allows the contents’ availability to researchers and library patrons.