Atlantic City Public Library prepares for renovation to archives department. (Press of Atlantic City, 7/4/2011)
Excerpt: When you step into the archives department at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, you come face to face with the past — souvenirs from the 1900s, Beatles tickets, lifeguard uniforms and nightclub posters. That is, once you squeeze your way through the door, past the tables and around the archivists’ desks.
“There’s a wealth of information in ... well, I’m not quite sure what the square footage is,” said reference librarian Shannon O’Neill, standing in the tiny aisle between the shelves. “Less than 300 square feet, for sure. There are hundreds of years of history in this little room.”
The hope, however, is that the expansive-yet-cramped nature of the archives will itself become a thing of the past. The library is about to undergo an extensive renovation, which could finally result in a larger storage and exhibition space for what is officially known as the Alfred M. Heston Collection. Heston was one of the founders of the library. The renovation would give enough room, finally, to showcase a good portion of its 20,000 postcards, or the “beer bell” rung at Schaufler’s Hotel every time a new keg was tapped (it is now stored in an upstairs closet).
But the archivists’ true dream is the proposed “Atlantic City Experience,” a new museum that would include digital displays and provide a fully immersive atmosphere.
Wonder if this one (circa 1973) is in the collection.