March 26, 2018 – Haddonfield, NJ – The Historical Society of Haddonfield has received a $50,000 grant from the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation that will allow it to reserve space in its planned new building for Haddon Township Historical Society archival collections.
With this gift, the Historical Society of Haddonfield has raised more than $690,000 for a new archival center to be built on its property on Kings Highway East in Haddonfield. The Society is now more than three-quarters of the way toward its fundraising goal of $900,000, and expects to break ground later this year. A separate restricted endowment already in place allows the Society to employ a professional archivist and covers other expenses of the archives center as well.
“Haddonfield and Haddon Township share a long history, and we are fortunate to already hold a variety of archival materials related to the history of Haddon Township,” said Carol W. Smith, president of the Historical Society of Haddonfield. “This new grant will allow us, for the first time, to provide preservation and access to Haddon Township Historical Society’s archival collections as well.”
“This planned new facility will be a win-win for both historical societies,” said Sandy White-Grear, Director of Education and Community Outreach for the Haddon Township Historical Society. “We are thrilled to be gaining storage space in a state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant facility that will also be able to provide access for class visits and researchers – and at no cost to taxpayers.”
The Historical Society of Haddonfield was founded in 1914 and is committed to collecting and preserving the unique artifacts, documents, photographs, and other collection materials that help tell the history of Haddonfield and its environs in South Jersey.
The Haddon Township Historical Society’s mission is to honor the history of Haddon Township by honoring its residents, past and present, and to promote the knowledge and appreciation of local heritage among its citizens.
Historical Society and New Archives FAQs
A: Haddonfield and Haddon Township share a long history. In fact, Haddonfield was once part of Haddon Township! The Historical Society of Haddonfield is fortunate to already hold a variety of archival documents, including photographs, maps, correspondence, and other manuscripts, related to the history of Haddon Township. Now, thanks to a gift from the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation, we will also be able to reserve 80 linear feet of space for Haddon Township Historical Society’s archival collections in our planned new building. We are tentatively referring to the new building as the Historical Society of Haddonfield’s Archive of the Haddons to reflect this cooperative interest with Haddon Township Historical Society. As described below, the state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant building will allow significantly improved preservation and access to the collections stored there, including providing space for class visits and student researchers.
Q: Is the Haddon Township Historical Society merging into the Historical Society of Haddonfield?
A: Absolutely not. The Haddon Township Historical Society will continue to exist as a vibrant 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and will continue to hold its meeting, events, and exhibits at the Haddon Township Environmental & Historical Center, located at 143 E. Ormond Ave., Haddon Township. In fact, this new cooperation will allow the Haddon Township Historical Society to further its mission of honoring and protecting the history of Haddon Township. It will improve environmental conditions and security for Haddon Township Historical Society archival collections, and it will create regular public access to the collections with the oversight of the professional part-time archivist employed by the Historical Society of Haddonfield.
Q: How will people access Haddon Township archival collections?
A: Researchers are welcome at the Historical Society of Haddonfield’s archives center at 343 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, during public research hours (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 am, and the first Sunday of the month, 1-3 pm) or by appointment. There is no charge for admission. Haddon Township Historical Society archival collections will be transferred to the new building once construction is complete. We expect to break ground later in 2018. In the meantime, the two historical societies will be creating a formal agreement about how the storage space will be used, how the collections will be cared for, etc.
Q: Will Haddon Township residents or municipal government be required to contribute funding for construction of the new building or its operation thereafter?
A: No! Of course, donations are always welcome.
Q: How far along is the Historical Society of Haddonfield in the planning of the new Archives building?
A: The planning stage is completed, they have received town approval for the building design, and are now raising the money needed for construction. The new Archives Center will be built on the site of an existing garage on the Society’s property. The new two-story building was designed by Haddonfield resident Eduardo Guzman of DCM Architecture and Engineering, and reinterprets an earlier barn that had stood on the site. The design received acclaim from both the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board during the design-review process, and the Zoning Board approved the proposal in November 2015. As of February 15, 2018, the Historical Society of Haddonfield had raised more than $690,000 toward its fundraising goal of $900,000. It already has a separate restricted endowment that employs a professional archivist, Dana Dorman, and covers other expenses of the archives center as well.
Q: How big is the new Archives Center building? Will it give room to grow in the future?
A: The new building design offers 1416 square feet of finished space, with an additional 680+ square feet of unfinished basement space. The building will include a research area, an ADA-compliant bathroom, compact shelving units, and a basement for isolating new accessions and processing work. The new building will allow us to grow the existing collection by at least an additional 1,200 linear feet, providing a total of at least 2,000 linear feet of collection storage. That gives us more than 100 percent room for growth.
Q: How much will the new building cost, and how will you pay for it?
A: The new Archives Center will cost approximately $900,000. The Historical Society of Haddonfield is currently accepting donations in support of the new building to allow us to complete construction without the burden of a major loan. Fortunately, the Society received a major bequest in 2009 from Elizabeth A. Lyons that endows its archival work and enables the Society to financially sustain the new Archives Center. For more information about the building project and how to donate, visit www.haddonfieldhistory.org/archivescenter
Q: I have family papers, photos, local memorabila or other records about the history of Haddon Township. Who should I talk to about donating these items to your repository?
A: You can contact either the Haddon Township Historical Society to have your Haddon Township related material included as a collection in the Haddon Township Section of the Archives Building. You can also talk to the archivist at the Historical Society of Haddonfield to talk about how to make a donation -- particluatrly if the scope more concerned with Haddonfield history. You can reach Haddon Township Historical Society at email@example.com or you can contact the Historical Society of Haddonfield’s archivist Dana Dorman at firstname.lastname@example.org