New London’s archival collection reflects over a century of generosity and care. In 1910, descendants of Elder Job Seamans (1748–1830) entrusted his papers to the town library, and in 1915, librarian Emma Bartlett reported that "a safe has been purchased so that rare and valuable documents ... may be carefully preserved." Thus began a commitment to the collection and preservation of the town's historical archives that continues today.

Current residents have inherited an enormous collection, and we are working to expand, preserve and share its contents at every opportunity. A few examples from the past year include:

Adding an archives blog to our website. Each month we publish a brief story that highlights some collection artifact or local event, connects it with the wider world, and provides an update on our work.

Creating “In Their Words: Selections from New London’s Archives.” This presentation combined materials from the Town Archives, the Colby-Sawyer Archives, and the Littlefield family collection to illustrate developments in manufacturing, transportation, education, and medicine during the 19th century as recorded in the diaries, letters, and memoirs of five New London women.

Building the Main Street Wiki, an online collection of information related to the building history of New London’s Main Street. This research informed the scripts performed by characters portrayed during the New London Historical Society’s Main Street Walking Tour. (Accompanying historical images were chosen from our digital photograph collection; you may view them at the exhibit gallery on our website.)

We will build on each of these initiatives during the coming year.

At the same time, our volunteers have been sorting, cataloging, and scanning printed pages and other items—from large-format maps to oral history transcripts to town reports. This effort has produced a new set of tools, giving researchers unprecedented search-and-retrieval from over 10,000 pages of text and over 10,000 digital images. As important as the technology has been to these projects, none would be possible without the contributions of the volunteers, visitors, artifact donors, and town employees supporting the effort.

We hope you will take a moment to learn more about the Archives, and the town of New London, by browsing www.NLarchives.org.

Respectfully submitted,

James M. Perkins
Town Archives Committee / December 2011

Copyright 2019, New London Town Archives