Archive Project

Camden Alumni Association Archive Project

Background:  The archive project was conceived when it was realized there existed a wealth of Alumni memorabilia in a highly fragile unprotected state.  The memorabilia needed immediate attention so that it might be preserved for the future, and at the same time be made available for the enjoyment and enlightenment of Camden Alumni and anyone with an interest in the history of Camden schools.

Of most immediate concern was a photo album containing original photographs of graduating classes, beginning with the first graduating class in 1889.  The set of photographs covers the range from 1889 to about 1939, although it appears to have been compiled and assembled in conjunction with the celebration of the opening of the then new 1931 High School building on Union Street.  Photos from subsequent years (1932 through 1939) have been added since.  The inventory lacks pictures from several years.  A search will be conducted in an attempt to locate copies of the missing pictures.  Donations of photos will be solicited.  Permission will be requested to copy these photos, whether they are donated or not, so that a complete inventory of digital copies can be achieved.

A set of High School yearbooks has been assembled, starting with the first yearbook in 1943.  The majority of the years from 1943 on have become part of a collection housed in the Camden High School Library.  Several years were missing from this collection, but copies have been borrowed and donated to make the collection complete.  However, copies from several of the years have been somewhat mutilated with the removal of pictures at some point in the past.  Pristine copies will be solicited to complete this part of the memorabilia, following the same approach as with the missing photographs.

A State grant was awarded to the School District covering the period from July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005, that enabled formal archiving to be conducted.  This process involves scanning each page of the documents, and converting the images to microfilm.  Microfilm is deemed to have a life expectancy of at least 100 years.  The digital copies will enable the complete library to be accessible by computer.  It is expected that copies of the complete library of digital images will be on file at key locations in the community, including the High School, the Village Library, and the Carriage House Museum.  Copies will also be made available to any interested parties at some modest cost of duplication.  Eventually this library will be fully searchable so that information from across the years will be easily available in a manner never before possible.

Current Status:  The State grant has provided a means to scan the entire library, and to provide the environmentally appropriate materials to store the memorabilia.  Much of it will be available on display for controlled, limited direct use on an “as needed” basis, under the direction of professional librarians.  Eventually the scanned images will be microfilmed.

The Alumni Association Board recently authorized the establishment of a five-member Archive Committee.  The committee membership is now complete and consists of:  Pauline Siwarsky, representing the Camden Library Association; Eleanor Seckner, representing the Carriage House Museum; Sue Hite, representing the Camden School District; Len Hite, representing the Camden Community; and Jack Higham, representing the Alumni Association Board.

Work completed as of this date (7/10/2005):  The entire contents of the photo album have been scanned, and materials have been ordered for storage.  Work to be completed this Summer include: scanning of yearbook pages, and formulation of a comprehensive plan by the Committee for additional phases of the project.

For the most recent status of the archive project, please click the link below:

Current Archive Status Report

Project Contact:  You can obtain additional information by contacting:  Jack Higham, or at 607-748-9015.