My task for this week is finding out what local archives exist.
I discovered that my college library is home to an archive of information about the college’s history, and it is also home to The Hoosac Valley Collection for Local History. I believe that the Hoosac Valley collection will be the most useful.
I also made the delightful discovery that I know the archives supervisor, Linda. I worked at the library last year so I feel quite comfortable speaking with her. This also made me remember that I have done some archival work at my job for the library. It was mostly some sorting, organizing, and relabeling, but any experience is helpful.
Some quick internet browsing led me to discover that there are several other local history archives located in the North Adams public library, which should be easy enough to access.
One collection in particular caught my eye as it pertains to the Hoosac Tunnel. The Hoosac Tunnel was a (for that time) prodigious construction project involving many explosions and deaths that eventually led to the tunnel’s completion and use as a major rail line through the Berkshires. This tunnel and the creation of it, featured prominently in the economy and local history of the area from around 1800 and onward, which is why I feel that this archive may be helpful.
I also found that the library keeps a lot of genealogy information on site, which may be helpful if we need or want to research individuals.
As I opened my archives search up to the state level, I found this interesting site that has links for several archives in each state and descriptive details about the type of information one can expect to find there.
I found the state level archives. Their website is very basic and just plain weird looking! I tried searching for North Adams specifically, but only found some area maps. I did find that they have a collection of ship passenger manifests that may be useful. Overall I don’t think I’ll be able to use this archive very much because it’s in Boston, which is about two hours from my college.
My archive search has been fairly successful, and now I’m better aware of the historical resources in the area.