The Michigan Alliance for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage (MACCH) is pleased to announce that Vickey Bloom, Director of the Grosse Pointe Public Library is the recipient of the 2009 Michigan Heritage Guardian Award. MACCH board members, Carol Fink and Josephine Shea presented the award at the Grosse Pointe Public Library Wednesday, November 11, 2009. The honor is given to recognize outstanding accomplishments of individuals or organizations in the preservation of cultural heritage in the state of Michigan. In the selection of Ms. Bloom, Jennifer Radcliff of the MACCH Awards Committee, said, “the effort to provide the information to a greater number of users, while protecting the original documents, was admirable and worthy of recognition.”
Ms. Bloom, in her capacity as the Director of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, created the Local History Archives, an online service providing access to historical materials once scattered around the community – often with limited accessibility. Under the guidance of Director Bloom, the Grosse Pointe Library Board, library staff, vendors, and other organizations throughout the community combined forces to digitally scan these resources. The effort to establish the Local History Archives has been applauded by many, including Edwin C. Fredrickson, library Trustee. Mr. Fredrickson, in a letter supporting Ms. Bloom, said she “has kept the Grosse Pointe Public Library a first class example of how a library can be a vibrant element in the growth and stability of a community.”
The Local History Archives online collection was expanded to include a variety of materials of interest to historians and genealogists alike. The benefits were numerous, fragile materials will no longer be at risk from handling, scattered resources have been brought together in a single location, and those at a distance from the community can now search for relevant records without ever leaving home.
Among the materials added to the Local History Archives are:
- Grosse Pointe News (1940 to the present)
- Grosse Pointe Review (1930-1952)
- Grosse Pointe Civic News (1923-1934)
- The Mansions of Grosse Pointe by W. Hawkins Ferry
- The Heritage Magazine (entire run)
- Various historical photographs showing the evolution of the library system
- Local area photographs and maps
To aid users, the new collections are fully searchable, which is particularly useful for searching obituaries and when searching for a specific person. The digitization process also permits the materials to be enlarged for easier viewing. Before taking the Local History Archives collection live on the Internet, the project was registered with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to protect the library should anyone object to any of the digitized materials. These materials can be accessed at http://digitize.gp.lib.mi.us.