Conservation Photo Feature – Vega Papers Processing at Wistariahurst Museum

Vega Papers Processing (Wistaria Hurst)
Project archivist Emily Toder holding one of the newly labeled boxes on the last day of processing (photo courtesy of Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, MA)

Last winter, Wistariahurst Museum of Holyoke, Mass, was awarded a Mass Humanities grant to process the papers of Holyoke activist and community organizer Carlos A. Vega.  As the collection arrived in plastic bins, binders, and all sorts of acid-full paper cartons and boxes, one of the first stages of the project was to identify and acquire the archival supplies needed to suit the large task of rehousing and properly accommodating the various sizes and formats of the collection’s different materials.  Its administrative records, clippings, photographs, posters, plaques, memorabilia, a diverse assortment of buttons, and one pez dispenser turned out to span 43 boxes (24.5 linear feet) of University Products’ 60 pt. buffered acid-free document containers, corrugated bulk storage cartons, and photos boxes. The collection demonstrating Vega’s tireless commitment to social justice, and documenting myriad facets of the Latino experience this culturally unique area of Western Massachusetts, is now open for research at the Museum’s Carriage House Archives.

Wistariahurst Museum is dedicated to preserving Holyoke’s history and inspiring an appreciation of history and culture through educational programs, exhibits and special events.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Wistariahurst is the former home of William Skinner, a prominent silk manufacturer.