Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Paranormal??? Or Just Abby Normal?

The Agawam Paranormal Group recently visited NCCHP. Their findings? "Inconclusive." Meanwhile work continues on the Research Library. See today's photo below. Have we stirred the spirits of Building 15?

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Challenge Ahead

Imagine if you will.....

A New England manufacturing company founded in 1854 that has saved virtually every record and document since 1889 (the year of the fire that destroyed the original complex), and every document from 1854-89 that was not destroyed in the fire. Now imagine it was all boxed and stored, year after year, in the dusty recesses of the 85,000 square foot Noble & Cooley manufacturing complex.

This collection is a unique history running from before the Civil War through the present time, documenting not only the Noble & Cooley company but also telling the story of late 19th and early 20th century life in the Pioneer Valley, Yankee ingenuity, and the lives of the many Granville families who worked at the drum factory generation upon generation.

But there's a catch. The collection has never been cataloged and is in dire need of cleaning, restoration and protection from the further ravages of time. In its current state it is unusable as a historical resource. Bringing the collection back to life and making it available to researchers is the mission of the NCCHP Research Library.

Just a few of the cardboard boxes of records located on the 4th floor of Building 15.

Boxes containing material from 1909, 1918 and 1926, waiting to be inspected and cataloged.

More mysteries at the museum.

Child's toy drum kit and old toy banjo, among hundreds of artifacts waiting to be cleaned and cataloged.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Roving Archivist Rachel Onuf Visits NCCHP Research Library Project

On October 11th Rachel Onuf, Roving Archvist for the State of Massachusetts, visited NCCHP to take a look at the Research Library project. Rachel passed the first test with flying colors by not immediately running back to her car and driving away!

The Roving Archivist is made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and offered via the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB).

The meeting and tour of the facility was extremely informative and we were more than impressed with Rachel's expertise and initial suggestions. We were also pleased to note that she appeared to genuinely enjoy viewing the museum collection and found the museum's mission worthwhile.

Next steps include the SHRAB report with written recommendations along with possible future visits to help guide the Research Library in the right direction.

Roving Archivbist Rachel Onuf and NCCHP President Matt Jones inspect an early 20th century loom currently in the storage area.

Work Begins on New NCCHP Research Library!

October and November saw the first steps in the creation of the new Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation Research Library in Granville, Massachusetts.

The goal of the Library is to gather all of the historic Noble & Cooley company records dating back to the mid-1800's, restore as many as possible and organize them so they can be accessed in connection with historical and genealogical research.

New home of the Research Library on the 3rd floor of Building 15. Cabinets and shelves are being collected from various donor sources. The space is unheated so winter work will proceed as weather permits.

Noble & Cooley's collection captures a unique, first-hand look at the United States' transition from an agrarian society, through the industrial revolution, and the impact it had on the people, towns and culture of the times.

Cabinet full of documents dating from late 1800's to early 1900's.
Content of the various journals and records is unknown.
The Research Library is sponsored by the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation, a 501(c)(3) organization located at 42 Water Street, Granville, Massachusetts.

For more information on NCCHP and hours of the NCCHP museum, please go to