Preserving OH History: Raising Funds for the Relocation of the AMC Library & Archives

The OHA Steering Committee believes that it is critical to preserve and remember the storied history of the huts and the OH. That’s why, we have decided to match up to $5,000 in OH donations, in memory of Jim Hamilton, to help support the relocation of the AMC Library and Archives, and all of the OH history, from Boston to the Highland Center – we hope you can help us contribute!

A message from the AMC Archivist, Becky Fullerton:

Do you love the Huts? Do you love history? Well, you should because by being an OH, you’re part of both already! And you can be dually noted in the annals of the OHA by supporting the relocation of the AMC Library & Archives, and all of the amazing huts and croo history therein, from our Boston Headquarters to the Highland Center at Crawford Notch, smack dab in the middle of the Hut System.

In 2017, AMC moved its Headquarters to a new building at 10 City Square. Space is tight and the Archives lost ground in the transition. It’s hard to do the job of sharing our history when there is no grand library reading room and much of the collection is stored offsite. However, the challenges posed have opened the door to a marvelous opportunity. We now have a plan to relocate the Archives to Thayer Hall at the Highland Center during 2018, where they can serve as a forward-facing, public resource to all.

Space for the Library & Archives is all picked out! The northwest corner of Thayer Hall will be outfitted with appropriate climate control, a secure area for collections storage, and adjacent public space for visitors. Upgrading the space to accommodate the Library & Archives requires light renovation to enclose a storage area, the installation of shiny new high density shelving to accommodate nearly 800 cubic feet of records, and the redesign of a meeting space to act as a reading room for the Archivist and Archives guests. Heck, we might even hang some Hut pictures on the walls!

Basing the Archives at the Highland Center is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show off our rich and fascinating history at a public site, not in an office building. The Archivist will be able to help visitors find just what they are looking for in our collections, design and install exhibits onsite, keep up with outreach to every year’s incoming croo, and lead programs and tours galore. On-site lodging and meals can assist visitors who prefer not to deal with the headache of Boston driving! Plus, we’ll still have the capability to serve patrons who can’t make it to the mountains – pick up the phone or send an email and all kinds of historical material can be sent direct to you in digital form. The AMC Library & Archives will have room to breathe, room to grow, and room to let folks study and reflect on the past 142 years of AMC.

The Library & Archives are home to thousands of photographs, documents, artifacts and other pieces of AMC history. Although they cover everywhere the club has been, from Acadia to Zermatt, a large portion of our collections has to do with the White Mountains and specifically with the Huts. Snappy letters from Joe Dodge? Papers on the origins of the OH Cabin? Meeting minutes and other bidness from Steering Committees of old? We’ve got that. Oral histories from croo working in the 1920s? Hut logs dating back to 1889? The greatest collection of Huts photos ever assembled in one place? All right here. And wouldn’t it be better if all that history was close to the place of its origins?

Our current, illustrious Steering Committee has offered to run a $5,000 matching fundraiser toward a portion of the Archives Relocation Gambol! (ARG! – my new acronym for the project, which reflects how great and crazy all of this is!). But we need YOU, ordinary-OH, extraordinary-OH, Y-OH, over-the-hill-OH to help us get there! The Library & Archives are committed to keeping your stories alive and serving as the endless pack trail that connects all huts and all croo across the decades. Help us move a real, live mountain (of history) and come see it for yourself at the next Fallfest when I hope to welcome you all to the Library & Archives’ new home.

Interested in learning more? Contact Becky Fullerton at bfullerton@outdoors.org or 617.391.6629

To donate – you can make checks out to the Appalachian Mountain Club and send to our treasurer Moose Meserve at 17 Brenner Dr., Newton NH 03858

Sincerely, Your Archivist, Becky Fullerton