The Beverly Educational Archives is located in a large room within the Beverly High School Library. The archives contain documents dating from 1763 to present. Records collected by the archives include yearbooks, student publications, school committee reports, municipal documents, census records, letters, meeting minutes, microfilmed newspapers, and more.
From its inception, the Educational Archives has been a collaborative effort. The existence of documents in detrimental environments throughout the community led to conversations between social studies teacher Dean Eastman and myself over the form and function of such a facility. We enrolled in workshops sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society and run by Greg Collati, archivist of Tufts University. Through these sessions we began to realize that our situation was unique, not only in that we had a rich history, but also in the fact that we might be breaking new ground with this project. Our idea was to use archives as an educational tool; to use the archives as a laboratory in which students could learn the methods of determining historical value, how to properly handle unique and primary documents, with a goal of understanding the worth of archives and the greater worth of preserving our cultural heritage. Students would have as their own this laboratory in which primary research yields a treasure, and their own significant contribution, in the form of a research paper, to interpreting local history.
In 1998, I was approached by members of the class of 1994 with a monetary gift for the expansion and construction of a room adjacent to the library for the purpose of creating an archive for students, alumni, and the public. The civic virtue of these alumni, including Meredith Haviland, was instrumental in the archives creation. In the spring of 2001, masonry students from North Shore Regional Vocation School tore down a cinder block wall, and reconstructed another wall. These students, under the guidance of David Collins and Max Seaver, were commendable in their professionalism and workmanship.
In the spring of 2002, the Beverly High School library received a grant through its membership in the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System. This online description grant paid for the services of a professional archivist, Margaret Cornell. We consider ourselves lucky to have had the help of Margaret, who, in a remarkable short period of time, completed a survey of the collection and helped organize and describe the collection.
For More Information, Contact:
Barbara Fecteau Beverly High School Library 100 Sohier Road Beverly, MA 01915