Day Eighty Eight of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

We have said before: digitization of resources is  a lot more work and time and effort than people may realize. So it is inspirational to see smaller libraries working to preserve their history using these neat tools! Sharing resources with their communities is always the mission of all libraries.

Derry Public Library efforts save history in digital form

“Many people have kept scrapbooks detailing life moments, special occasions and historical events.

Derry Public Library is now on the preservation bandwagon, taking on projects to preserve past memories, town and library history while keeping it safe on digital files for patrons to enjoy.

Library staff members recently discovered several scrapbooks compiled by past librarians and directors, filled with newspaper clippings, photos, letters, and special community programs that describe Derry’s history dating back decades.

Reference librarian Courtney Wason said it’s the library’s goal, as well as the goal of many libraries today, to preserve historical documents and artifacts in digital form and make them available online — making it easier to access the information.

The library’s New Hampshire Room, opened to the public in 1990 when an addition was built onto the original 1927 library building, is one space where much local and state history is already kept very secure in books, binders and on shelves. That includes town and state records, photos, yearbooks, news sources, books, and other periodicals that are often called upon when someone needs to do family research or other historical work.

“It’s a wide breadth of information,” Wason said.

Shelves are full of town and school reports, burial records, American Legion war records, Pinkerton Academy yearbooks, and histories of Derry and surrounding towns. There are also papers and documents on Alan B. Shepard Jr., and poet Robert Frost, and now digital issues of The Eagle-Tribune’s sister publication, the Derry News, dating back to 1891.

The scrapbooks, dating back to the 1920s, will also be put into digital format, according to Wason. Finding the added bits of library history in the classic scrapbooks was a great discovery, showing the effort past library staff took on to preserve history, Wason said.”