Here's some great news if you're a history buff, a fan of all things nostalgic, or simply someone who wants to learn more about the backstory of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Thanks to the Berkshire Athenaeum and some very hard work by city staff, the recreational history of Pittsfield spanning the years from 1943 through 2007 is now available via digitized content courtesy of the Athenaeum's website.

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According to a media statement from the Berkshire Athenaeum, a look back into Pittsfield’s recreational history is made easier thanks to the digitization of Pittsfield Parks Department scrapbooks, information which can now be viewed through a link on the library’s website.

The content reflects 62 scrapbooks spanning materials from 1943 to 2007. Compiled by city staff, and totaling over 8,700 pages, included items consist of news clippings, documents, and programs with names and photos of local sports teams, parades, Winter Carnival Queen contests, diaper derbies, Easter egg hunts, local playground events, and a host of other significant happenings in Pittsfield’s history.

Jim McGrath, the city’s park, open space, and natural resource program manager, kindly donated the scrapbooks to the Athenaeum. The content was digitized thanks to funding from a Community Preservation Grant. The original scrapbooks remain housed in a climate-controlled vault in the library’s Local History Department.

McGrath had this to say regarding the entire digitization project:

We’re thrilled to have worked with the staff from the Local History Room to get these scrapbooks digitized. For too long, these important historical records sat at the Springside House, nearly inaccessible to the public. Now, anyone with internet access can be transported back in time to an earlier era in Pittsfield parks history.

I think that is very cool, indeed. For more info, visit the Berkshire Athenaeum's website here.

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