Monday, September 27, 2010

The Governor's Academy Archives Posts Digitized Items on the Digital Commonwealth

The Archives of The Governor’s Academy has expanded access to some of its digitized historical materials through the Digital Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DCM). The DCM is a Web portal and repository service for online cultural materials held by Massachusetts libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives. The portal facilitates searching and browsing member institutions’ digital assets, including manuscripts, images, historical documents and sound recordings. The DCM site,, currently houses more than 20,000 searchable records.

The Governor’s Academy Archives has posted digitized copies of two items of historical significance: The Will of Lieutenant Governor William Dummer, which provided for the establishment of the school, and the academy’s Incorporation Charter of 1782, signed by both John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Posting of these items to the DCM repository was made possible by a grant from the Wilson Foundation. These items can be found by searching the term “Dummer Academy” on the DCM’s homepage.

Inclusion of The Governor's Academy materials in the DCM repository will allow researchers beyond the academy community to access its historical documents, and it provides an avenue for increasing awareness of the school as it approaches its 250th anniversary. The Governor's Academy Archives continues to seek funding sources for additional digitization efforts. For more information on the academy's Archives, please contact Laurie DiModica at or at 978-499-3347.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Gift of Appreciation

The Governor's Academy Archives recently received a donation from Duby McDowell, whose father, Edward Irvine McDowell, Jr., was a 1940 graduate of the academy and was involved in many activities while a student here.

Duby's gift--an envelope imprinted with a sketch of the Little Red School House--was mailed from South Byfield in 1938, the year in which the academy celebrated its 175th anniversary and in which the Little Red School House underwent restoration. While this imprint, as well as the 3¢ "Constitution Sesquicentennial" stamp that adorns the stamp's corner, make this gift interesting, equally valuable is the information contained in Duby's note that accompanied the envelope (below). This note reveals details of Edward McDowell's life that add color to the Archives' information on academy alumni: He was the grateful recipient of scholarship funds from the academy, went on to serve in World War II, and graduated from Yale University. He also shared "fond memories" of Governor Dummer Academy with his family.

We appreciate the effort made by alumni, their families, and friends, to bring these (and like items) to our attention!

Laurie DiModica
Manager of the Archives
1 Elm Street, Byfield, MA 01922