Scituate Town Archives Restoration
$40,000 and $40,000
Every city and town in the Commonwealth is required by law to collect, store, and make available to the public its records of official business. These
documents include town meeting proceedings, land records, and birth, marriage, death information, assessing and tax records, engineering records,
minutes of various boards and committees and decisions regarding planning and zoning. These records are maintained in the custody of the Town Clerk and
must remain intact to ensure the legality of custody certification by the Clerk. These records are currently located in the basement of Town Hall.
insure the preservation of this historic and useful collection, many records must be either scanned or duplicated for preservation, or certain
volumes and records must be professionally deacidified, rebound, and occasionally encased in Mylar to protect them. This is the major goal for the
Community Preservation funding.
Included in the collection is the only
extant copy of "General Laws and Liberties of New Plymouth 1658-1691." In 1905 this volume was loaned to the State Archives, but by Town Meeting vote
of 1909, it was requested and returned to Scituate. Other archival records include, but are not limited to, land records (the first dated July 1633),
vital records (the first birth, Joseph Stetson, son of Robert, June 1639), the first marriage (Resolved White and Judith Vassall, November 5, 1640),
tax and financial records (1665), militia and voters lists, Selectmen and Town Meeting minutes (1665). Once restored these items will be available on
micro-film and discs for easy access to the general public.
This project fully meets the requirements of the Town’s CPC goals for historical resources by recognizing, preserving and enhancing the historical
heritage and character for the Town’s current residents and future generations.
This phase of the 5-year project funded an archival records prioritization catalog and began the preservation of the collection.
The Town Archives project became eligible for CPA funding through clarifications and amendment to the CPA in 2007. Since then, the Town Archives project
has proceeded with an environmental study of the area in which the records are stored to determine proper measures to eliminate potential damage to these
records, arranging for scanning and disc formatting of town records, and preservation of volumes of land and other records. Currently, the Town Archives
project is prioritizing volumes of records that will be sent for further preservation.
Photos (click on image to enlarge)