Trustees Report March 2015

Workshop:  Caring for Historical Records: An Introduction

The New England Archivists (NEA), Boston Park Plaza Hotel, March 19, 2015

Workshop Report Prepared by Gloria Parkinson for the Board of Trustees Meeting on April 16, 2015

On March 19, 2015, Trustee Gloria Parkinson attended a very informative day-long workshop that covered many aspects of developing a historical records collection. The workshop was designed for staff and volunteers who work in libraries, museums, historical societies, and municipal governments but who have little or no formal training. Although the focus of the workshop was unpublished material, all the information was applicable to the current BFPL Trustee’s assessment of the Clinton library’s old collection.

As well as its relevancy for the old collection, the workshop also provided useful guidelines for other aspects of the BFPL, such as developing a deed of gift policy. In addition to the presentations and discussions, the workshop provided participants with information about online links that contained a wealth of information about the topics discussed in the workshop.

The workshop material and the additional resources were an excellent complement to the ongoing assessment of the BFPL old collection by the trustees, from which will come the development of a BFPL historical collection. As well as assessing the old collection in terms of the BFPL’s historical collection criteria (see reminder below), the ongoing assessment of the BFPL old collection includes gauging the availability of the older library items in other libraries and the immediacy of free digital access for the BFPL items. Furthermore, the BFPL recently started to work with the Boston Public Library’s (free) digitization program.

Reminder of the criteria governing the BFPL historical collection project that is currently underway. The information below was made available to the public in a BFPL Trustee Report of August 2014, which may be found on the library’s web site at

“Development of a BFPL Historical Collection: Currently, the Trustees are identifying representative items in the older collection that are of historical interest to the library. These representative items will remain in the library and become the BFPL’s historical collection that will be on display on a rotating basis (see the BFPL 2014 Five-Year Strategic Plan). The selection criteria for these items are based on how they represent the history of the:

  1. Formation of the BFPL (its evolution from an early private collection to a free public library)
  2. 19th and early 20th century BFPL collection
  3. Printing and illustration techniques of the 19th and 20th centuries
  4. Town of Clinton and surrounding area
  5. Culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries (classical and popular cultural examples)”