Hastings Historical Society Archive
Housed in a sunny, climate-controlled space on the site of the former Henry Draper observatory, the Hastings Historical Society archive is a virtual treasure trove of Hastings' past. It is run by archivist Muriel Olsson.
The Historical Society is currently in the process of computerizing the records of all its holdings, including storing all photographs as digital files. The seed money for the project came from the bequest to the Society of former archivist and Village historian Mary Allison, for whom it is named. The Society is currently working to raise an additional $200,000 for the project.
The archive is open to the public whenever the Cottage is open (Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and by appointment. Its contents include
- more than 10,000 photographs including
- 1863 "Moon over Hastings" by Henry Draper
- 1913 George Sackett photo of a car accident on Broadway and Warburton
- 1934-52 photos of Zinsser Co. outings and picnics
- more than a thousand photos by A.C. Langmuir portraying the Village in the 1920s and '30s.
- 138 oral histories from Aresta Alusio to Stephen Vavra.
- 35 videotapes from Anaconda's "Nerves of the Nation" to "Portrait of an Artist," about Jacques Lipschitz.
- more than 200 maps from 1837 map of Peter Nodine's property to the 1976 Hastings Zoning Map
- 80 Hastings High School yearbooks from 1918 to 2003
- 450 postcards including
- a picture of Bill Shay's donkey cart at Little Coney Island in Uniontown in 1908
- an ad for the April 19, 1917, performance of "The Mikado" at Devines' Theatre on Warburton Avenue
- an aerial view of downtown Hastings in the 1980s
- hundreds of artifacts from an arrowhead found in Hastings to the wooden whistle of Stephen Maher, the first Hastings policeman
- 81 books by authors who lived in Hastings including
- Frederic Upham Adams' The Bottom of the Well
- J. Otis Swift's Selected Poems
- 12 collections of family papers, from Mary Draper to Lawrence Tasker
- 13 file drawers of biographical and historical material covering subjects from "Actors, Billie Burke" to "Youth Organizations, Hastings Youth Council"
- and lots of other things.
For more on the archive, see this article written for The Hastings Historian by archivist Muriel Olsson.
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