Museum Receives Record Grant to Bring Archives Online
Martha’s Vineyard Museum has received a $293,900 grant to make detailed descriptions of its collections searchable online, museum officials announced this week. The grant is the largest in the museum’s 90 year history, and builds on preservation work that has been supported by Community Preservation grants from five Island towns.
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Treasure Buried Under Decades of Dust; Denniston Treasures Go to Museum
Alexander Trowbridge

Linsey Lee emerged from what was once the Vineyard’s first African American church last week peeling a respirator from her face. By her count, she had spent more than 150 hours in the Bradley Memorial Church in Oak Bluffs, and the mask stood as a shield between her and decades of dust.

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Anonymous Donor Buys Painting for Island Museum
Sam Bungey

A painting of a well-known Menemsha-based trawler by Heather Neill has been given to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum by an anonymous donor. The eight by four-foot painting, titled Strider’s Surrender, evokes the decline the local fishing industry.

The Quitsa Strider II is owned by respected Island fishermen Jonathan Mayhew. In a move symbolic of the dire state of the local fishing industry, Mr. Mayhew sold his federal permits last year, giving up his license and putting up the vessel itself for sale.

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Museum Explores a Possible Move to Site of Former Marine Hospital
Lauren Martin

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has taken an option on the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven, giving the museum’s board until the end of January to decide whether the historic property perched on a hilltop above the harbor could serve as the new home for the Island’s historical collections.

The marine hospital went on the market in April with an asking price of $3.19 million.

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Gone Whaling: A Child’s Eye View of Life on a Whale Ship
Megan Dooley

“It is Sunday, and a very pleasant day. I have read two story books. This is my journal. Goodbye for today.”

So opened six-year-old Laura Jernegan’s journal, in an entry dated Dec. 1, 1868, as she set sail on a three-year sea expedition with her family aboard the whaling vessel Roman.

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Museum Set to Buy Marine Hospital
Mike Seccombe

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum expects to sign within days a purchase and sales agreement to buy the former Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven for an undisclosed price.

The purchase of the historic property, perched on a hill above the harbor, would mark a major step in the museum’s long quest to find a new home for its historical collections outside of Edgartown.

Museum executive director David Nathans said yesterday morning he hoped to have a deal completed by week’s end.

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