Beacon Street Diary blog

Reflecting on Last Year's Successes

The Congregational Library & Archives received five strong votes of confidence in 2015 in the form of grant awards from prestigious organizations. In this quiet time of year, we are reflecting on the successes of 2015, and gathering strength for the year ahead.

The New England's Hidden Histories program received two major grants in 2015, one from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the other from the Council on Library and information Resources.

These grants will help pay for NEHH processing and thousands of new digital scans, along with an online, fully searchable database of digital, transcribed documents. We are proud to partner with the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, the Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum, New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.

The H.W. Wilson Foundation has funded a vulnerability assessment for our collection, which will make sure our physical and online presences are secure. The assessment will help us understand the weak spots in our security, and will fund "first level" protection like stronger locks and video surveillance. Past grants from the H.W. Wilson Foundation have enabled us to upgrade and improve our technological capabilities, and we are grateful for the foundation's continued support.

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded us a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant for a preservation assessment. This federal funding, provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the MBLC, provides funding for the Northeast Document Conservation Center to conduct a preservation assessment on the library's collections. This assessment will form the basis of a five-year preservation plan to ensure our collections receive the highest level of stewardship and care for their long-term preservation and access.

Finally, Mass Humanities awarded us a grant to develop a walking tour mobile application (app) that explores Boston's early religious history, with a particular focus on the decision-making practices and contentious issues that characterized life in seventeenth-century Boston, with expert scholarship to help tourists understand the connection between American democracy and the Congregational tradition.

We are proud of what we achieved in 2015. Here's to making history matter in 2016!