The Phillips Library is pleased to announce that we have recently completed a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a Federal agency which Congress established to promote the preservation and use of America’s documentary heritage. This project resulted in the processing of over 300 linear feet of archival materials of national significance.
Collections chosen for the grant fell into three categories: military records; the papers of prominent 18th- and 19th-century Essex County, Massachusetts, residents; and maritime manuscripts, which include the papers of ship owners, ship captains, and those who contributed to maritime trade, navigation, and sea travel throughout the world.
We created 82 new finding aids, updated 82 catalog records, and made 82 finding aids available on the web. This is the first time that the military collections have been processed. Finding aids from the project are accessible from the library’s website and can also be viewed here.
Collections that were processed with NHPRC funds include the papers of William Bentley, noted Unitarian minister, scholar, and diarist; Captain Alexander Robinson, a Brooklyn, New York, merchant seaman who was a captain during the War of 1812; the Sons of Temperance, a group of men promoting the temperance movement; Henry Cabot Lodge, a United States Senator and historian; and Nathaniel Bowditch, early American mathematician and founder of modern maritime navigation. We processed over 9,400 Civil War patriotic envelopes and over 1,200 sailing ship cards.
These collections document personal relationships, professional lives, each of the national and international wars in modern history, and various cultural phenomena. Topics covered include banking, navigation, shipping, seafaring life, genealogy, military history, manufacturing, and the abolition of slavery. These 82 collections contain photographs, maps, drawings, and blueprints, as well as letters, diaries, account books, receipts, deeds, wills, and other legal papers.
We are pleased that these collections are now fully accessible for research, and we are grateful to NHPRC for their support. If you have any questions about these collections or the project, please feel free to contact Tamara Gaydos at firstname.lastname@example.org.