Conceived by Town Hall staff and concerned citizens, the Provincetown History Preservation Project's goal is to preserve important historical documents in the Town's care through the process of digitization, thereby assuring greater access to the information. The Project's initial focus is on the documents and photographs that were once a part of the Provincetown Heritage Museum, whose doors closed to the public in 1999. The material had since been stored in an inappropriate and inaccessible attic storage location and was quickly fading from public memory.
The Town has a wealth of important and interesting material in its municipal archives, and in time these documents and photographs will also be assessed, processed and placed on the Web site. This project is ongoing and will continue as a function of the Town Clerk's Office with the invaluable support of volunteers from the community.
The town-owned Art Collection, maintained by the Provincetown Art Commission, has also been incorporated into the History Preservation Project Web site. The collection consists of artwork by local artists as well as nationally prominent artists who have resided in town over the course of the last century, and includes paintings, sculpture and murals as well as prints and drawings. The town's collection represents many fine examples from our own "art colony," an art community with the longest continuous history in the United States. The collection has been amassed through gifts of artists or collectors.
In addition to the website, another goal of the Provincetown History Preservation Project was the creation of a safe, climate controlled area to house the now defunct Heritage Museum material, now known as the Heritage Collection. Through Community Preservation funding this goal has been realized and the Josephine C. Del Deo Heritage Archive opened in the lower level of the Provincetown Public Library in January 2008.