2009 ANNUAL REPORT

New London's Town Archives Committee collects and preserves letters, official records, photographs, and other information needed to document the town’s history. A volunteer staff manages the collection and assists researchers in its use.

Over the past year, we have focused on using technology to improve both the preservation and accessibility of the collection. We launched a new web site at NLarchives.org explaining the purpose, policies, and scope of the Archives. We installed a new computer for storing, searching, and retrieving digital images from the historic photograph collection, which now holds over 5,000 photographs. Selected interviews from our oral history collection are also being converted from cassette tape and added to these digital archives.

We have been pleased to work with Colby-Sawyer College faculty and students. Last spring CSC senior Kelsey Schieren developed an audio track to accompany our extensive collection of World War II posters, and this fall we hosted sixteen students from Prof. Brian Clancy’s “Local Time” course researching selected historic structures and sites in New London. With the cooperation of the Cleveland-Colby-Colgate Achives at Colby-Sawyer, we also published Judith Maria Burpee: Recollections of New London, New Hampshire, an engaging personal account of everyday life in the mid-1800s.

Research conducted with the assistance of our volunteers has appeared this year in a Kearsarge Magazine article on Dr. Anna Littlefield, an Adventures in Learning class on World War II, the Historical Society’s Main Street: Then & Now photograph exhibit and catalog, an Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust presentation, and the Historical Society’s Old Main Street Cemetery tour. In addition, the Archives co-sponsored a New London photography contest as a means of collecting current images of the town.

Enabling these accomplishments has been a dedicated group of volunteers, notably: Doris Cutter, Nancy Dutton, Debbie Hall, Peg Moreland, Connie Reece, Arrolyn Vernon, and Lindsay White. Also serving on the Town Archives Committee in 2009 were: Verne Barrett, Ralph Davidson, Connie Granger, Howard Hoke, and Bob MacMichael. Private donors have contributed letters, hotel registers, photographs, calling cards, magazine articles, and other items related to New London—without which we cannot record our unfolding history for future generations.

To those volunteers and donors, we owe our thanks and appreciation and look forward to continued progress as we expand and catalog the collection, improving access for both on-line and on-site visitors. 

Respectfully submitted,

James M. Perkins
Town Archives Committee / December 2009

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