Beacon Street Diary blog

Happy Archives Month!

October is American Archives Month, an opportunity for us to share the Congregational Library & Archives' incredible resources, demonstrate the value of archival collections, and make connections with patrons and potential researchers far and wide. Celebrated since 2006, the Society of American Archivists hosts Archives Month as an outreach opportunity for archivists to share our work and demystify what we do all day. A popular feature of Archives Month is "Ask an Archivist Day", a Twitter hosted event that allows patrons, archivists, librarians, and the general public to interact. This year, the CLA's archivists participated via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As a result, we saw engagement increase and had an amazingly fun day.

We decided to continue featuring our collections throughout the month in the most fun way we know how — through food. To help celebrate Archives Month we will be featuring recipes and food-related materials from the library and archives collections. The goal is to share information about our collections, not only with regular patrons and researchers, but also with a general audience in mind.

Food is sustenance but it's also an engaging way to talk about cultural shifts, globalization, diversity, community, economics, anthropology, and more. Our NEHH collections highlight lists of presents presented to ministers in lieu of payment in Colonial America, as well as discourse on cider and cranberries. Other archival collections include cookbooks, such as Winnowed Gems from Summer Hill, NY in 1899 as well as food related advertisements buried between church records such as a ca.1955 roaster oven advertisement from East Chicago, IN. Our Local Church Histories collections feature numerous cookbooks like the Kettle and Kirke from Littleton, NH in 1978 and the Monroeville, OH community Congregational Church Commemorative Cookbook from 1932-1982. Our library has both primary and secondary sources featuring food, menus, and food culture from the 17th through 20th centuries.


Follow us on these platforms to see the food related collections and recipes we will be highlighting all month!

Twitter: @Congrelib