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By Caroline Gordon


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FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham History Center recently implemented two new resources; a finding aid
and The Reading Room at the Old Academy building.

Laura Rankin, Assistant Director of the Framingham History Center, said the the finding aid is called Framingham’s People of Color from 1600-1800.

“It’s [the finding aid] going through our entire collection, which we have never done before, to find every piece of Black, African American, and Indigenous history that we have any record of.,” said Rankin. “We found them in strange places, so we put them into this organized document called the finding aid that will help people pinpoint where they can search first.”

The finding aid was launched Feb 10, so there has not been any “major inquiries yet.”

Rankin said the idea of the finding aid was a collaboration between curator Stacen Goldman and director Annie Murphy.

The finding aid is “very helpful” said Murphy.

“It [the finding aid] is the start of finding information that has been hidden. A lot of people don’t even know there was slavery in Framingham – that’s kinda crazy,” said Murphy. “New England was not just this abolitionist area.”

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The Reading Room is a research area located on the first floor of the academy which contains archives.

“The Reading Room is a much easier way of getting into our archives,” said Murphy.

The Framingham History Center held an open house for the Reading room earlier this month.

The academy’s archives include; records of Framingham clubs, thousands of photographs of Framingham neighborhoods, farms, railroads, and trolleys. In addition to archives and photographs of major businesses, schools from 1706 – present, town directories, town annual reports, and records of high-profile families.

High profile families who lived in Framingham include; the Nixon family (1800’s era), the Temple family (who wrote the 1887 “History of Framingham”), the Gordon family (a Civil War general’s family), the Esty family (another Civil war connection), and Libby Frank (Framingham storyteller and historian who passed away in 2020).

The Old Academy is one of three buildings that belong to the Framingham History Center. The other two buildings are the Edgell Memorial Library and Village Hall on the Common.

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Caroline Gordon, a spring 2021 SOURCE intern is a senior English major with a concentration in journalism at Framingham State University. Gordon is the Arts and Features editor for Framingham State’s student newspaper, The Gatepost. During her free time on campus, she works as a Student Desk Attendant. Caroline enjoys photography, working out and spending time with friends. Connect with Caroline on LinkedIn:

Photos by Caroline Gordon for SOURCE

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.