The Chatham Historical Society has received a grant to create a database and for tracking artifacts.
The grant is administered by the Morris County Heritage Commission for the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It was funded by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
The Chatham Historical Society's Mission Statement includes "sharing the rich history of Chatham Borough". To fulfill this promise, over the last 13 years Historian Melda Pike’s and Curator Susan Allen’s focus has been preservation, organization, shelving and storage of the society's collection.
As use of the internet grows, the number of inquiries seeking information grows as well. The society’s intent is to establish a database to document and track artifacts, paperwork and photos in order to facilitate availability and access for the community.
Allen prepared and submitted the grant application in December of 2019. The Morris County Heritage Commission agreed and awarded a $3,173.00 grant to assist the society in achieving this goal. Already, members of the society have offered to help. There is a lot of work ahead since as of 2009 over 600 artifacts have been donated to the society. These artifacts include a generous donation of 229 items from the family of Mrs. Marian Genung Lum Schroeder (1894-1984), past resident and descendant of founding families of Chatham.
The majority of the gifts were photos that are especially valuable as the individuals in the photos were identified. Since the society was established in 1924 over 1200 artifacts have been cataloged in the collection. However, many items have been misplaced, borrowed or destroyed. A large task lies ahead for the curator and her support team to log as much of the collection into the database as can be found. The grant is the first big step to achieving this goal.