An occasional column about town activities
by Tara Hughes
August 9, 2023. Did you know that Winchester has an Archival Center? And that anyone can donate artifacts to it? The Archival Center collects and preserves materials that document the history of Winchester and its residents. The Archival Collections include items such as artwork, maps and plans and photographs and cover subjects such as architecture, business and industry and parks and waterways. Most of the holdings were donated by individuals, businesses and organizations. To make a donation related to local history see the Archival Donation Form at https://www.winchester.us/DocumentCenter/View/82/Archival-Donation-Form-PDF?bidId=
Digital-born history items can be donated to a website called Legacy Winchester, a Winchester Historical Society project, not part of the Archival Center. In order to facilitate access to the town collections, the Archival Center holds open hours at the lower level of the Town Hall on Mondays from 1:00-7:00 (other hours by appointment), offers the services of Reference Archivist Ellen Knight and posts written histories, guides and links to assist in finding information. There is also an Archives Advisory Committee, that currently has a vacancy.
The collections may be accessed in person during open hours or by appointment and by visiting the online catalog, which contains a portion of the collection. The Center also has a webpage called Winchester History Online at https://www.winchester.us/480/Winchester-History-Online which provides a brief overview of Winchester’s history as well as summaries of several specific subjects.
Visitors to Town Hall may also view a changing exhibit of items from the collection outside of the Town Clerk’s office as well as see changing news from the Archival Center on their bulletin board outside the Center. For additional information visit https://www.winchester.us/130/Archival-Center
Legacy Winchester, on the other hand, is supported by grants from the Mass Cultural Council and the Winchester Cultural Council, and is working to create a digital archive of photos, videos, and sound files to preserve Winchester’s digital past and present. To learn more visit https://www.legacywinchester.org/
Tara Hughes is President of Winchester News Group and a Precinct 1 Town Meeting Member. In addition, two board members of Winchester News Group are also on the board of Legacy Winchester.