A Farewell to Archives

A crate of 30 or so labeled archive boxes

One of the post-construction projects that had to wait during the pandemic years was the effort to digitize the church’s paper archives. These are the paper records of the governance, correspondence, program work and history of the church since 1915, and they were cataloged expertly by member volunteers through the late 80s and early 90s. Note that these archives relate to UUC in general; archives for individual ministers are handled by their families.

After a good deal of research by Jessica Monahan, our Office Manager, she concluded that our best option to accomplish this was to ship the paper archives to the Harvard Divinity School Library, where they maintain archives for Unitarian and Universalist ministers and congregations as part of their effort to preserve the history of Unitarianism and Universalism in the United States. We just had to get them there!

Five large FedEx pallet crates later, the old archive cabinets are empty and the archives themselves are arriving crate by crate at the library for unpacking and storage in preparation for digitizing the contents. The goal will be an online catalog of UUC’s digitized archives available for anyone to review from anywhere in the world. Details of the process, including duration and final product, will be forthcoming.

Empty metal archive cabinets with shelves

For now, the church has seven empty steel two-door cabinets that we no longer need. Two are in very good condition, while the others are fair to poor. I’d like to put the call out to any members who would like to relieve the church of one or more of these cabinets, either to reuse or to take to a scrap metal recycling facility. If you have any interest in this effort to move the cabinets along to a better place, please contact me at byron.krystad@uuchurch.org or 206-454-7723.

Archive boxes and flats

In addition to the metal cabinets that need to find new homes, we have two dozen unused acid-free archive-grade storage boxes that are available for anyone who would find them useful. Great for safe long-term storage of important papers, printed photos, or just everyday organizing. Sizes 2.5” to 5” for letter and legal size paper, and several larger boxes for flat storage. We’d prefer they all go at once rather than piecemeal, but if you are at all interested at all, please inquire at the church office on a Sunday or contact Jessica Monahan at 206-454-7710 or jessica.monahan@uuchurch.org.

Byron Krystad, Director of Operations
July 25, 2022