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.