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Spotlight on Collections: Colonial North American Project

Highlights from a November 2015 program presented by Harvard Library Preservation Services

 
Taylor Stoermer, GSAS Visiting Fellow in the History Department

Harvard Library archival and manuscript collections include hundreds of thousands of items dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, representing a major source of largely untapped primary sources for scholars of British and North American history.

From political commentary to scientific explorations to records of daily life, these collections are rich resources for the continuing study of the Atlantic world over these two centuries. Drawing from over 1,600 relevant collections at 12 Harvard repositories, we are undertaking a multi-year project funded by Arcadia to survey, process/catalog, conserve, digitize, and make this material freely available online. 

In November 2015, conservators, archivists, and scholars offered presentations on the history, preservation, practical application, and research potential of this treasure trove of manuscript material. The presentations were followed by a reception in Pusey Library where selected originals that have been digitized during this project were on display within the Opening New Worlds exhibition.

Speakers included:

  • Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, University Archivist
  • Alan Puglia, Senior Rare Book Conservator in the Weissman Preservation Center of Harvard Library
  • Diana Loren, Director of Academic Partnerships & Museum Curator at the Peabody Museum  
  • Taylor Stoermer, GSAS Visiting Fellow in the History Department

Slideshow

Diana Loren, Director of Academic Partnerships & Museum Curator at the Peabody Museum

Diana Loren, Director of Academic Partnerships & Museum Curator at the Peabody Museum, discusses the colonial history uncovered by archaeological excavations in Harvard Yard.

Franziska Frey opens event

Franziska Frey, The Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian and Head of Preservation and Digital Imaging Services, offers opening remarks for the event.

Audience

Audience members learned about the history, preservation, and research potential of Harvard's Colonial North American collections.

Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, University Archivist

Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, University Archivist, discusses elements and themes of the Opening New Worlds exhibition in Pusey Library.

Alan Puglia, Senior Rare Book Conservator in the Weissman Preservation Center of Harvard Library

Alan Puglia, Senior Rare Book Conservator in the Weissman Preservation Center of Harvard Library, explains how he and his staff repair colonial documents damaged by unstable ink, mold, fire, and more.

Taylor Stoermer, GSAS Visiting Fellow in the History Department

Taylor Stoermer, GSAS Visiting Fellow in the History Department, explains how he used Harvard's colonial materials to trace the lives of British loyalists in the America.

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