City officials are considering a new home for the Hatfield Historical Museum

Posted: 04/27/2021 10:15:07 AM

HATFIELD – Most communities in the area, regardless of their size, have dedicated buildings to display and store their historical artifacts.

While the Hatfield Historical Society oversees the Hatfield Historical Museum on the upper floor of the City Library, members of the Hatfield Historical Commission are looking to initiate a process that could identify a separate building where the collection can be kept.

At a recent board meeting, commission member and real estate agent Micki Sanderson suggested that the city explore finding a suitable location, ideally in the city center, to store and display artifacts and organize various events.

“There was no site or communal center for these events,” Sanderson said.

One possibility, Sanderson said, would be to purchase an existing antique house in or near the city center that could be turned into a museum.

Select board chair Diana Szynal said all options need to be on the table. “I like the idea,” she said.

The discussion comes after a meeting in December in which questions arose as to whether the museum would be able to move its collection to Memorial Town Hall after the building’s extensive renovation or should instead continue to use off-site storage spaces.

There was also talk of having a space dedicated to the town hall for exhibitions.

Bob Osley, president of the Hatfield Historical Society, wrote in an email that the society is actively involved in efforts to safely store and display the collection, observing that for 50 years the society has managed the historical collections and historical and agricultural museums. .

“We are both exploring all options to better protect and share the articles,” Osley said of the joint work done by the commission and the company.

The company covers funding for curatorial staff, acquires grants to fund exhibits, artifact preservation and research, and arranges volunteers to catalog, search, and enter items into a digital database, and produces several exhibits each. year to share Hatfield’s story with the public and schools.

If a property is sought, the select committee would convene a task force focused on the space that would be needed and whether the Community Preservation Act could help bring it to fruition.

Scott Merzbach can be contacted at [email protected]

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