Historical Archives Taskforce

Overview


The Hingham Historical Archives Taskforce was established by the Town of Hingham in 2008 to ensure that all of the town’s important historical records are properly preserved and made accessible to the public. In 2009 the Task Force received grant funds for the Northeast Document Conservation Center to complete a preservation assessment of these historical materials. The following year it was able to work with the INLOOK Group to create the Master Plan for the Preservation of Hingham’s Historical Collections. The Task Force currently employs an archivist who is working with various town departments, as well as the Historical Society and Public Library, to preserve and share the town’s history.

The Task Force is composed of five individuals: the Town Clerk; the Superintendent of Schools; a representative from the Historical Commission; a representative of the Hingham Historical Society; and a representative of the Hingham Public Library.

Purpose

  
Hingham is a small town with a big history. This history details not only the progress of the municipality, but also that of the greater Boston area, northeast region, and nation from the 1630s to the present. Fortunately, many historical records dating from the 1630s to the present - including forms, letters, diaries, ledgers, objects, and textiles – have survived. The purpose of the Hingham Historical Archives Task Force is to ensure that all of these materials are properly preserved so that they can be accessible to the public now and in the future. In doing so, we will be preserving our history and the legacy of the town.

Members

 
Eileen McCracken, Town Clerk (Chairwoman)
Dr. Dorothy Galo, Superintendent of Schools
Steven Swett, Historical Commission Representative
Paula Bagger, Historical Society Representative
Michael Achille, Public Library Representative

Staff 


Jennifer Williams, Archivist williamsj@hingham-ma.gov

Historical & Genealogical Resources

 
There are many historical materials available to the public at Town Hall, the Hingham Historical Society, and the Hingham Public Library. An overview of the materials held by these organizations can be seen below. For information about other local, regional, and national resources, please see this comprehensive list provided by the Library. 
 
 
  • Hingham Historical and Historic Districts Commissions

     
    The Hingham Historical and Historic Districts Commissions hold records related to the history of important Hingham houses, properties, and families. There are also documents related to the development of the HHC and HDC as well as historic preservation in Hingham. These records, which were created between 1635 and the present, include photographs, genealogies, property plans, and correspondence. For more information about these records and how to access them, please contact archivist Jennifer Williams at williamsj@hingham-ma.gov
  • Hingham Town Clerk’s Office

     
    The Town Clerk’s Office holds a variety of historical records dating from the 1630s to the present which focus on such subjects as: Hingham births, deaths, and marriages; town meeting; the Overseers of the Poor; Zoning Board of Appeals decisions; Planning Board decisions; Hingham cemeteries; Hingham mortgages; local businesses; and elections. For more information about these materials and how to access them, please click here.
  • Hingham School Department

     
    The School Department possesses records dating between approximately 1794 and 2015 which relate to the history of the Parent-Teachers’ Association; School Committee; high school graduation; elementary and secondary curricula; school events; students and alumni; and building projects. Records include plans, correspondence, classroom registers, event programs, meeting minutes, yearbooks, and memorabilia. For more information about these materials and how to access them, please contact archivist Jennifer Williams at williamsj@hingham-ma.gov.
  • Hingham Historical Society

     
    The Hingham Historical Society collects and preserves archival materials and media of historical significance relating to the history of Hingham, its families, and its institutions. Its archival collection encompasses physical and digital documents, photographs, video, and books and includes a comprehensive set of local newspapers, family papers from the 17th-21st centuries, records of our town's political, social, educational, and religious organizations, and extensive information about the town’s historic houses and public buildings. The HHS encourages the use of its archives by those engaged in historical or genealogical research. For more information please view their website.
  • Hingham Public Library

     
    The Hingham Public Library maintains a diverse yet succinct collection of historic materials, including contains journals, letters, sermons, ledgers, scrapbooks, photos, and other assorted documents which relate to Hingham’s historic families, businesses, maritime history, churches, military history, and more. Additionally, complete runs of the Hingham Journal, Gazette, and Patriot along with the Julian Loring house histories are available on microfilm. Basic questions can be answered at the Reference desk at any time but researchers and those seeking access to the Library’s collections should contact Reference & Local History Librarian Michael Achille at machille@ocln.org or 781-741-1405 ext. 2603.
 

Important Documents

 
The NEDCC Preservation Assessment, conducted in 2009, details the steps needed to ensure that all materials at the Historical Commission, School Department, Town Clerk’s Office, Public Library, and Historical Society are properly preserved.

The Master Plan for the Preservation of and Access to Hingham’s Historical Records was completed in December of 2010 by the Inlook Group. This detailed document explains the various tasks necessary for the town government, Public Library, and Historical Society to create and maintain a collaborative archives and special collections program.