Gould Through the Years: Selections from the Academy Archives, Part II
In the spring of 2014, the Bethel Historical Society entered into an important collaboration with nearby Gould Academy to assure the long-term preservation of the “Gould Archives,” a wide-ranging collection of documents, photographs, books, and objects significant to the history of the school—founded in 1836 as “Bethel Academy” and, until the fall of 1968, the town’s high school. Society staff and volunteers coordinated with James B. Owen, retired head of the Academy’s art department, and Matthew Ruby, then Head of School, to transfer a large portion of the Gould Archives from crowded storage space on the third floor of Hanscom Hall to the Society’s recently expanded museum and collections storage facility on nearby Broad Street (just a short walk from the Academy campus). The Archives has been placed on permanent loan to the Society, which will monitor and maintain the collection while also making it available for display and study purposes. Currently being inventoried, items in the Gould Archives parallel the Society’s own rich holdings relating to the school’s past.
To mark this significant preservation effort, the Bethel Historical Society mounted an exhibition of Academy items from July 2014 through May 2016. On view for only one month (Sept. 18 through Oct. 19), “Selections from the Academy Archives, Part II” has been created to coordinate with a major announcement involving financial support for current and future maintenance of this collection.
Air-view photo by Dirk MacKnight, courtesy of Gould Academy