BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE - The Adirondack Historical Association, the governing body of the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, was established in 1948. The museum itself opened to the public in 1957.
For 60 years a growing "internal" archive of materials related solely to the museum and its work has been maintained. In the past several years it has become apparent that the archive had outgrown its space. The need to re-organize and re-house the records and ephemeral history of the regional museum was imperative.
In the past six months the museum has received funding to support the project. The Bay and Paul Foundations granted $8,000. $6,000 was received in early December from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.
The Bay and Paul Foundations, Inc. was formed in January 2005 by the merger of two foundations, The Bay Foundation and the Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation.
For over 20 years the two operated as sister organizations with evolving, common interests yet distinctly differing program areas, overlapping mostly in elementary and secondary school initiatives. Areas of interest include pre-collegiate education, conserving biodiversity, Native Americans and indigenous people, music, and collections care and conservation.
Monies received from the combined grants have been used to purchase steel shelving units, map cases, archival file folders, and storage racks for 8mm and 16mm film. A temporary archivist was hired to organize and label the re-configured archive space.
Jerry Pepper, Director of the Adirondack Museum's Library and Conservator Doreen Alessi have had joint responsibility for the archive project.
The internal archives document the establishment of the Adirondack Historical Association in 1948, the purchase for Blue Mountain House Hotel (the site on which the Adirondack Museum now stands), and include the 1957 construction plans for the new museum.
Hundreds of photographs illustrate the development of the site from a resort hotel to a regional history museum, the transportation of large artifacts and historic structures to the museum grounds, special events, and distinguished visitors.
Deeds record the various restrictions on the dozens of parcels that make up the current museum grounds. The archives also include: 50 years of guest and visitor registries; board of trustee proceedings and transcriptions; and financial and human resource related documentation.
The internal archives are open to the public by appointment with the Director of the Library. Images from the archives have often been used in articles, as well as for press releases, especially during the Adirondack Museum's 50th Anniversary year in 2007. Images showing the transport of historic structures and large artifacts to the museum grounds have been used in publications, lectures and exhibits.