New! Boston Globe Donation

Last week, we received a special visit from Richard Pennington, a former librarian for the Boston Globe. Mr. Pennington and Lisa Tuite, the Globe’s Head of Library, donated seven boxes of newspaper clippings from the Globe’s newspaper clipping morgue. The clippings date from 1900 to around 1977 (with some from the 1980s) and include interesting news stories and information pertaining to Cambridge. The stories come not only from the Boston Globe, but from other newspapers and publications, including the Boston Herald and the Transcript.

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The newspaper clippings are arranged by subject, and they run the gamut of topics related to Cambridge history: from specific Cambridge buildings (of particular interest to the Commission), to local politics, to schools, historic riots, and Cambridge businesses.

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According to Pennington, “The Globe was clipped from around 1900 until it went electronic in 1977 – it was  the first newspaper to store its content in a computer for retrieval.” The content of the clipped, indexed and filed newspaper clippings often depended on the preference of the librarian at the time.  Pennington also added that, “The city desk also had a decades-long policy of sending ephemera to the library to be added to the clipping files, and this included small photographs. Occasionally odd book chapters and magazine articles were added to the files.”

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Pennington helped with the recent and ongoing transition of the Boston Globe Library’s collections to new institutions, as the Globe relocates from their Morrissey Boulevard location back to downtown Boston. Pennington was assistant librarian at the Globe when he left in 2007. The large majority of the Boston Globe clippings collection was transferred to Northeastern University — however, the Cambridge Historical Commission was fortunate enough to receive a great portion of this collection for our research files.

The newspaper clippings will be processed, cross-indexed with our architectural inventory files, and a finding aid will be created for researchers. The collection is currently not open for research.

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