City & Archives Partner To Preserve Documents

October 10, 2023 | 1 Comment

The City of Hamilton has partnered with the Bermuda Archives to preserve hundreds of old City documents which were uncovered during recent renovations at City Hall.

A spokesperson said, “The City has granted the Bermuda Archives a temporary custodial grant for the items which include 19th century newspapers, old City tax records, ship registers, minutes of Corporation meetings from over 100 years ago, old Bermuda law books and photographs. Among the items discovered during the renovation are stacks of well-preserved newspapers from 1853 and ledgers from 1917.”

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City CEO Dwayne Caines shared his excitement about these invaluable discoveries, stating, “These precious artifacts surfaced just last month as we prepared to breathe new life into the basement level at City Hall.

“In the process of shuffling boxes in a dim storage room, our dedicated team stumbled upon these treasures of the past. We’re thrilled to entrust them to the capable hands of the Bermuda Archives, who will meticulously catalog and unveil their secrets.”

Acting Government Archivist Karla Ingemann said perhaps the most exciting find was a ‘History of Hamilton’ manuscript, written by author J.D.B. Talbot in 1949.

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“Researchers often come into the Archives and want to see how money was spent back then, and by whom,” Ms Ingemann explained. “This manuscript details the history of Hamilton from its inception and will be of great interest to researchers.

“The newspapers which were discovered were also a really cool find. I have never seen old newspapers consolidated chronologically in scrap books and professionally bound like that before.

“Their discovery will enable us to fill in any gaps that exist in existing collections and digitally replace any water damaged ones. Reading these old newspapers and documents really brings history to life. They tell stories about what people were eating, wearing and selling back then, and really paint a picture of life at the time.”

The spokesperson said, “All items will be available for public viewing at the end of October, once they have been properly cleaned and catalogued.”

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  1. Hilarious! says:

    Every document, not just the water-damaged ones, and every newspaper page should be digitized in standard PDF, indexed, text made searchable, and put online.

    The original documents should preserved and have access restircted. Once digitized, there is no need for people to have access to the originals.

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