About the Archives

The New London Town Archives holds municipal records and manuscript materials documenting the history of New London, New Hampshire. It collects materials related to the government, landscape, events, and people of New London; it preserves, organizes, and provides access to the collection; it compiles and publishes town histories; and it assists in preserving the town’s historical resources.

The Archives is staffed by dedicated volunteers, all of whom currently serve on the larger Town Archives Committee. Its members are: Verne Barrett, Pam Bright, Nancy Dutton, Ginny Foose, Deb Hall, Will Kidder, Laurie Lauridsen, Linda Miller, Jim Perkins, Maureen Prohl, and Connie Reece. Two vacancies will be filled in 2018.

Year in Review

The archival collection grows through new donations from individuals and town entities. In 2017 we recorded 17 separate gifts comprising letters, photographs, postcards, books, maps, posters, minutes, memoirs, and more. The Franklin Historical Society contributed five glass negatives of images taken in New London around 1915, and we continue to collaborate with other institutions on a variety of projects.

This year we digitized a large collection of glass lantern slides for the Richards Free Library in Newport; these were subsequently published as a local history book. In August, we co-curated a World War I exhibit at Colby-Sawyer which featured New London’s Service Banner, now in care of the Town Archives. In the fall, we hosted a group from the Sunapee Historical Society as they prepared to open the newly-established Sunapee Archives in the former Abbott Library building.

We conducted four public presentations during the year. One focused on the Sesqui-Centennial Pageant of 1929, and the others on Jane Tracy’s Travels in Asia, 1914-15. Each drew heavily from the Jane Tracy Lantern Slide Collection, over 1,000 images digitized last year at the Archives.

In 2017 we photographed five historic dwellings, the former Peter Christian’s Tavern, and the New London Central School shortly before their respective demolitions. The pace of demolition has increased, gradually altering the character of the town, so the Archives attempts to record each structure before it disappears from the landscape.

Our visitor log shows 67 in-person visits to the Archives in 2017, and we assisted another 27 individuals with an even greater number of emailed research inquiries.

Volunteers logged 483 hours at the Archives answering research questions, processing new acquisitions, and completing other tasks: Nancy Dutton has been arranging the vast historical research collection of Mildred Tunis, our first town archivist; Maureen Prohl has transcribed recent oral history interviews and worked on updating Main Street house histories; Pam Bright has been compiling house history files for properties along Burpee Hill; Ginny Foose inventoried photograph albums and other materials donated from Tina Cricenti’s estate; and Linda Miller has been merging our backlog of newspaper clippings and miscellany into existing collections. Connie Reece has been on sabbatical this year, and we look forward to her return.

The Year Ahead

During 2018 we will observe two historical milestones, with exhibits, publications, and presentations drawing extensively on materials preserved at the Archives. After a full century, Whipple Memorial Town Hall and the New London Hospital continue to serve the community as their principal donors had envisioned. We look forward to telling those stories over the coming year.

To learn more about the Town Archives, please stop by the Old Academy on any Wednesday morning or visit www.NLarchives.org.

Respectfully submitted,

James M. Perkins
December 31,  2017

Copyright 2018, New London Town Archives