What's In Your Attic?

Secluded to the comfort of our homes for these coming weeks, now would be a great time to visit your attic and see what Cape Ann-related historical documents, photographs and videos might be hiding! Documenting history is like putting together a puzzle—without all of the pieces, you can’t see the complete picture. But the more documentation, correspondence, images, and texts we have and share, the more complete the puzzle becomes.

The goal of the Library & Archives within the Cape Ann Museum in the coming years is to purchase and implement an online catalog system that will give users remote access to a comprehensive list of our holdings. From that point forward, we will begin digitizing the collection which will enable us to share these documents with you. If the last few days have taught us anything, it’s that having access to these materials digitally will be immensely important.

During the coming weeks, we will be sharing new digital content with you, to continue our mission of fostering an appreciation of the quality and diversity of life on Cape Ann, past and present, as well as furthering the knowledge and enjoyment of our region’s history and art. There are some exciting things coming down the line, so please make sure to watch this space, as it should be a really enjoyable digital look into the past and an important connector for us all and our community.

Integral to the Museum’s mission is to collect and preserve significant information and artifacts and to encourage community involvement with its programs and holdings. As you revisit your old treasures, please share your discoveries with us and keep the Museum and the Library & Archives in mind, as we are always looking to enrich our collections as we strive to expand the Cape Ann puzzle.

—Posted March 25, 2020 by Trenton Carls, Cape Ann Museum Librarian & Archivist


Image credits: The Casket, June 3, 1848, and March 19, 1849, written by Amanda Babson (1811–1857), Cape Ann Museum, Gift of Amanda S. Davis, 1927 (acc. #352); Certificate from M. E. Hayes (b. 1801) to Amanda Babson (1811–1857), January 1823, Cape Ann Museum; Reward of Merit Card, Cape Ann Museum; Procter Brothers “Old Corner” Bookstore at 121 Front Street, Gloucester, Photograph by W. A. Elwell, ca. 1862, Cape Ann Museum; Amanda Babson, unattributed daguerreotype, Cape Ann Museum; Azor Knowlton’s (b.1789) annotated The Farmer’s Almanack (Boston: Published and sold by G.W. Palmer & Co., 1838), Sandy Bay Historical Society and Museums.

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