We are excited to announce that the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston, in partnership with Plimoth Plantation, has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access! This grant, Digitizing Plimoth Plantation’s 17th-Century Historical Archaeology Collections, will support the creation of digital catalogs of four important collections: the RM, Allerton/Cushman, Winslow, and William Bradford II sites. These sites were the homes of first and second-generation settlers in Plymouth Colony. Excavated between 1940 and 1972, these archaeological collections remain some of the most significant primary sources for interpreting the first 80 years of English settlement in Massachusetts.
This project will make the collections and data drawn from them accessible to scholars, educators, and the general public. The grant funded work, which will take place over the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival (1620-2020), will produce digital catalogs with accompanying photographs and on-line site descriptions and finding aids. In the process, the collections will be re-sorted and re-housed.
This project builds on the results of a Survey and Planning Grant completed for the Massachusetts Historical Commission which surveyed all of the Museum’s historical archaeological collections, and a Creative Economy grant from the University of Massachusetts which piloted the digitization standards and workflow that will be used in this project.
The project is directed by Dr. Christa Beranek at UMass and Dr. Kate Ness at Plimoth Plantation. UMass students will work on these collections at Plimoth Plantation.