Oct. 31, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), in collaboration with the North Adams Public Library (NAPL) and the North Adams Historical Society (NAHS), announces it will hold an inaugural “History Harvest” this fall. This collaborative community event, scheduled to take place at the North Adams Public Library on Saturday, Nov. 3, in celebration of the history of work in North Adams, is being funded by a grant from Mass Humanities.

The event, which will be free and open to the public, will provide a face-to-face opportunity for community members to share and take part in recording their history. Community members are invited to bring their letters, photographs, and objects to be digitally scanned or photographed for online display. There also will be the opportunity for participants to record short oral histories to collect their personal stories and perspectives.

According to North Adams Public Library Director Mindy Hackner, the project co-director who will oversee the History Harvest event, “North Adams has an incredibly deep and rich history. Bringing the community together with MCLA scholars enriches both groups. We can’t wait to ‘harvest’ the history of work in our city, and share it with generations to come.”

A digital initiative, History Harvest will take advantage of innovative new technologies to engage community members to build history, reflect on change, and collaborate to create interpretive accounts of the materials they possess and to share what they find with others.

This year’s History Harvest theme will focus on those with a connection or story to tell of their or the past generation’s working life in North Adams. Future History Harvest events may focus on themes such as the Hoosac Tunnel and its impact on transportation, the opening of MASS MoCA and its impact on North Adams’ artistic community, or the changing lives of children in North Adams over the decades.

According to Dr. Ely Janis, project co-director and associate professor of history at MCLA, the History Harvest project aims to raise visibility and public conversations about history and its meaning, as well as provide a new foundation of publicly available material for historical study, shared experiences, community spirit, K-12 instruction, and lifelong learning.

Volunteers are needed to help with this event. They will receive training on how to run various stations to digitally scan, photograph, and archive community members’ materials into a digital database. For more information, contact Hackner, (413) 662-3133 or, or Janis, (413) 662-5342 or

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.​

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