Save The Phillips Library - Salem, Massachusetts
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The Phillips Library houses "400,000 volumes and more than
a linear mile of manuscripts acquired over two centuries"
including early documents from Salem's founding, items relating to the Witch Trials, a signed first edition of the Scarlet Letter, and a deposited copy of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter. These items were acquired by the Peabody Essex Museum in 1992 by the merger of two Salem institutions: The Essex Institute and Peabody Museum. Establishing the largest monopoly of Salem's tangible history.
In 2011 the Phillips Library was closed for renovations which were originally slated for completion in 2013. Less than a decade prior, Rizvi Architects completed a massive restoration of the Phillips Library. This included climate control and the addition of modern archival storage. The 2013 completion date came and went with no further information released by the Peabody Essex Museum.
At the December 6, 2017, Salem Historical Commission meeting, the PEM admitted for the first time that the Phillips Library collections would not be returning to Salem as originally promised in 2011 and instead would be housed permanently in Rowley, MA. (Forty minutes outside of Salem and inaccessible by public transportation)
More information can be found here:
The community must stand together in demanding that the Peabody Essex Museum return the Phillips Library collections to Salem and make them accessible to the public. Plummer Hall and the Daland House, the former home to the Phillips Library must remain intact and properly preserved.
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