The New Jersey Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) is proud to announce the recipient of this year’s Innovative Archives Award is the Morristown National Historical Park, Library and Archives located in Morristown, New Jersey.
MARAC is the regional professional society for archivists and special collections professionals. It spans from New York to Virginia and includes Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The New Jersey Caucus comprises those members of MARAC living or working in the state of New Jersey.
The Morristown National Historical Park, Library and Archives, with a staff of three, has made great strides in promoting the history of the site that George Washington chose as his winter encampment for two winters during the Revolutionary War, and making the Library’s collections an active site for research and discovery. In addition to offering a series of lectures, partnerships, and online articles, the curatorial staff collaborates with universities and secondary schools to make historical manuscripts accessible and relevant to young learners.
The Library and Archives has pioneered several programs to reach out to secondary schools in the region and engage those students and teachers in the complex concepts of historic documentation and scholarship that are involved in writing our nation’s history. Having designed programs which include example lesson plans to help schools to integrate the resources of the Library and Archives into their curriculum needs, they also offer on-site programs to further engage the young students in the joy of historical discovery.
Their partnership with local schools and universities have had a very high impact; most recently displaying information related to the Shakespeare Folio that visited Drew University in the Fall of 2016. One popular topic was the art of transcription using their own records to discuss and demonstrate the challenges of reading cursive writing.
The staff have developed, with the help of high school and college-age interns, a variety of ways to engage young adults in the research process. This creative thinking along with the shear excitement communicated by the staff for their topics is felt by those who participate in these projects.
For these reasons, MARAC- NJ Caucus is pleased to recognize the Library and Archives of the Morristown National Park as this year’s recipient of the 2017 Innovative Archives Award.
MARAC – New Jersey Caucus Innovative Archives Award Committee