The Hastings Historical Society has embarked on an exciting new project that will enhance our mission of preserving the past for the future and bring Hastings history into the digital age. Since it was founded in 1971, the Historical Society has worked diligently to record and preserve documents, photos, oral histories, videos, maps, artworks, and artifacts that concern Hastings past. Our collections have proved to be an invaluable resource for the students, historians, government officials, and ordinary citizens who use them for their research.
The Mary Allison Archive Project, named in memory of the former Village Historian and Society Archivist (photo left), takes advantage of digital technology to create a computerized index of the Society's vast and diverse holdings, which are now housed in several separate and separately indexed collections. This single, easily searchable index will make it possible for a visitor to our Observatory Cottage who was researching, for example, Hudson River steamboats to easily find his way to all the many items we have related to steamboats: photos, books, original Hudson Day Line timetables, videotapes, and even personal reminiscences. Our dream is to eventually make our collections accessible to those both near and far by putting our index on the Internet.
Since we began the project two years ago, we have come far. We have developed a searchable database that is uniquely suited to the Society's collections. We have cataloged nearly 3,500 items, including the entire Draper Family Collection, which includes photos, letters, books, pamphlets, artifacts including astronomical equipment, and other items. We have made digitized images of more than 6,000 of our vast collection of photographs, all at original size; this will this make it easier for researchers to use our photographs and easier for us to preserve the delicate originals.
Now we need your help. To continue our work and secure the equipment and expertise we need, we want to raise $200,000 for the Mary Allison Archive Project. Please consider a donation to the Hastings Historical Society to allow this important work to continue. Please click here for a pledge card. For a complete donation kit, including a short videodisk, please email us or call 914/478-2249.