All posts by Timothy Salls

About Timothy Salls

Timothy Salls managed the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Manuscripts Department, which includes the Society's manuscript collections and archives, until 2020. Tim received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and an M.S. in Information and Library Science from Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library & Information Science with an Archives concentration.

Compiling knowledge

Applicants to the Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy (SDCC) must have “a proven lineal lawful descent from a clergyman who was regularly ordained, installed, or settled over a Christian church within the limits of the thirteen colonies prior to 4 July 1776.” Although not a descendant of a colonial clergy ancestor, I was invited to attend the SDCC business meeting on Saturday, 4 November 2017, because I was a speaker during their annual meeting luncheon. Continue reading Compiling knowledge


metadata-2-croppedMuch has happened with the Society’s Civil War digitization project, funded by the Cabot Family Charitable Trust, since Abbey Schultz’s last article on quality assurance. Our vendor completed all scans in June 2016, ending the imaging portion of the project. The focus then shifted to preparing the images to be uploaded into CONTENTdm software so they can be displayed  on our Digital Collections website. Continue reading Metadata

The Horace Augustus Knowles Papers

Knowles chart detailThe “Manuscripts@NEHGS” column in the Spring 2014 issue of American Ancestors contains extracts from each of the three collections processed by interns for the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections during the Fall of 2013. The collections were the Burnham Family Papers (Mss 1120), Charles Harold Floyd Family Papers (Mss 1118), and the Walker Family Papers (Mss 1119). While interns were working on these collections, the Special Collections staff began processing a fourth collection, the Horace Augustus Knowles Papers. This collection also contains interesting personal accounts, similar to those highlighted in the magazine article. Continue reading The Horace Augustus Knowles Papers

Special collections at NEHGS

manuscript_guide_storeAmong the holdings of the New England Historic Genealogical Society is an extensive collection of manuscripts dedicated to genealogical and local history material. Filling more than 5,000 feet of shelving and containing over 28 million individual items (some of which date back to the fourteenth century), this collection, known as the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, offers members an incredible repository of information.

Individual entries are arranged by call number, which groups the items according to format: Continue reading Special collections at NEHGS

Locating genealogical manuscript collections in the U.S.

Working with the papers of so many prominent genealogists here at NEHGS, I’ve developed an interest in the history of genealogy in America. An offshoot of this personal research interest has been an informal effort to identify the repositories where various prominent genealogists donated their papers. Over the years, this interest has broadened to a general interest in identifying “sizeable” genealogical collections and the repository where they are preserved. Data from this personal interest has supported several projects of the NEHGS Special Collections and vice versa. Continue reading Locating genealogical manuscript collections in the U.S.