New Bedford Cultural Heritage Grant

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The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center was recently awarded a $12,000 Cultural Heritage Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant will support a project to digitize the cultural heritage of New Bedford’s fishing community.

The project is a collaboration involving the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (NBFHC), University Archives and Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts Boston, UMass Dartmouth Archives and Special Collections, MIT Sea Grant, the New Bedford Public Library, and New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

The project will digitize commercial fishing materials through a day-long public event in combination with “house calls” to digitally document materials from individuals who are unable to attend the event.

The project will be bookended by a variety of public programs which will serve to inspire community participation, evoke memories, and provide an interpretive framework for materials that are brought forward.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding which will further our efforts to document and preserve the rich heritage of New Bedford’s fishing community. We look forward to engaging active and retired fishermen, shoreside workers, and their families in this project.” (Laura Orleans, Executive Director).

Following the digitization event, UMass Boston will process images and metadata and will provide storage and public access through the University’s online repository. The materials will be included in the Digital Commonwealth and Digital Public Library of America.

In addition to UMass Boston’s online repository, the resulting digital collection will be publicly archived as part of digital collections at the UMass Dartmouth Archives and Special Collections, the New Bedford Public Library, and the Massachusetts Public Library Digital Initiative, and shared as part of digital exhibits on the NBFHC website.

source: New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center