One of our big projects this year involves putting items from the Charlemont Historical Society collection online. In keeping with our “Textiles” theme of this year, the first items we have digitized are quilts, coverlets, and flags.
We are using a tool called Omeka to share these materials online. Developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Omeka makes it possible for small historical societies and museums like ours to make exhibits and collections available to everyone, anywhere.
You can see what we have already digitized by clicking on the “online collection” button on the menu bar of this website. Another way to get to the online collection is to visit:
The total number of items currently online is small. We will be adding more materials on a rolling basis from now on, however, and hope that you will check back regularly to see what new materials have been digitized. Recently-added items are displayed on the right-hand side of the online collection website, as shown in the screenshot above.
This digitization project allows us to share materials that are rarely seen by the public and that may be of interest to researchers, regardless of where they live. If you are a genealogist with ancestors from the Charlemont area, you may find items of interest in this online collection.
For instance, two of the textiles currently in the online collection are signature quilts that show the names of women who lived in Charlemont in the past. One of these quilts dates back to the late 1860s and includes women’s names, the towns where they lived (in Charlemont and surrounding communities), dates, and, in one case, age and birthday details.
If you are interested in helping us with this digitization effort, please be in touch! We welcome volunteers for this and other projects.