day of service
NEA Community Volunteer Projects
NEA is dedicated to helping the local archival community create access to collections through the annual Day of Service event. What first began as the "Why Worcester?" project at the Spring 2013 Meeting has become a popular way for NEA members to volunteer their time and archival skills helping local repositories with preservation and access projects. An important part of the NEA Spring Meeting, the Day of Service is hosted by a repository near the meeting location. This event creates valuable opportunities for the volunteers and the institutions alike. Participants are afforded the opportunity to expand their knowledge bases and professional networks as well as to actively support colleagues in preserving our shared history.
See our Current Meeting page for updates on our newest Day of Service event and how to participate.
For more information on how to participate in a Day of Service event or how to host one at your institution, contact the Representatives-at-Large at RepAtLarge@newenglandarchivists.org.
At the Bourne Historical Society, volunteers transcribed pages from one of three diaries kept by town undertaker Edward D. Nickerson, who in the early 1900s was the only undertaker on Cape Code. The diaries, dating from 1898-1930, contain photographs and handwritten descriptions of Bourne.
Organized by: Judith Farrar, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Archives and Special Collections
2016 | Maine Historical Society | Portland, ME
Using recycled materials, volunteers created phase boxes and other custom preservation enclosures for the MHS's 18th- to 20th-century bound manuscript and rare book collections, including diaries, ledgers, and early Maine imprints. Their work supplemented ongoing preservation work stemming from an Institute of Museum and Library Services conservation grant awarded in 2006 to the MHS, which provided the training and supplies.
Organized by: Martha Meacham, NN/LM New England Region and Meghan Bailey, University of Massachusetts Boston, Archives and Special Collections
2015 | Boston Public Library, Boston Pictorial Archive | Boston, MA
Using Google Maps, volunteers identified addresses and intersections for images in the Boston Pictorial Archive and converted the addresses to latitude and longitude values. This data enables digital objects to be precisely correlated through the map browse tool in Digital Commonwealth [digitalcommonwealth.org/map].
Organized by: Megan Schwenke, Harvard Art Museums and Meghan Bailey, University of Massachusetts Boston, Archives and Special Collections
2014 | Portsmouth Public Library | Portsmouth, NH
Volunteers helped scan and catalog materials from the Henry Clay Barnabee Collection to provide greater access to one of the Library’s most whimsical collections. Barnabee was a Portsmouth-born actor and singer, and the collection includes scrapbooks, correspondence, images, and assorted ephemera.
Organized by: Megan Schwenke, Harvard Art Museums and Camille Torres Hoven
2013 | "Why Worcester?" | Worcester, MA
As part of the NEA 40th Anniversary events at the Spring 2013 Meeting, NEA received funding from MassHumanities to organize an oral history project with the Worcester community called "Why Worcester?" Partnering with the Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester Cultural Development Office, Lutheran Social Services of New England, and the Worcester Women’s Oral History Project, NEA helped StoryCorps collect the oral histories of Worcester’s vibrant and diverse immigrant community.
As part of the project, NEA also documented the stories and experiences of archivists from the New England region. In addition to the StoryCorps oral histories, NEA organized a free public oral history workshop conducted by the Worcester Women’s Oral History Project to teach the basic skills of recording and preserving family stories. These oral histories have been archived in the Worcester Historical Museum, the New England Archivists’ archive, and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Visit the MassHumanities website to read NEA past president Alyssa Pacy's article, "Archivists, Immigrants, and Oral History," describing the project.
Organized by: Lisa Long Feldmann, Andrea Benefiel, Ed Desrochers, Shana McKenna, Alyssa Pacy, and Camille Torres Hoven