When the Silvio O. Conte Archives and Records Administration facility, located on Dan Fox Drive, closes on September 30, access to their microfilm room resources will not be closing with it. The Berkshire Athenaeum is making arrangements for the transfer of these resources to the library. The collection includes 71,000 rolls of film that contain census records, passenger logs, and other items of interest to those researching their family history.
The National Archives and Records Administration is closing the operation at the end of the Federal fiscal year, September 30, 2011. At some point before that time, possibly during the summer, the transfer to the Athenaeum will take place. A basement level room in the Athenaeum has been designated to house the materials. Preparations of the receiving space will include relocating book storage shelves and painting the walls.
The Athenaeum was the first choice of the NARA to receive the collection. The Athenaeum and Conte facility have worked cooperatively since the facility first opened ten years ago, often serving researchers who traveled between the two sites as their research developed.
Once at the Athenaeum, the collection will be available to researchers via delivery to the library’s first floor, where state of the art digitizing microfilm readers/scanners are available. The Athenaeum will be encouraging existing and new volunteers to assist with offering this valuable service.