BELGRADE — The Belgrade Historical Society has an ambitious agenda for the new year of which includes a membership campaign, a full schedule of interesting programs, continuing advocacy for the preservation of the 1814 Town House, preparation for the March opening of their first display at the Center for All Seasons and re-housing in new acid-free containers the ledgers and documents of the Lawrence Sturtevant Collection, accroding to a press release.

Maine State Archivist David Cheever announced that Belgrade Historical Society will receive grant money to preserve its historical collections as part of the Historical Records Collections Grant Program. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, it is administered by the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board, coordinated in Maine by the State Archives.

“Grants such as this support community efforts to document our existence, property rights, government, and how we lived our lives,” said Cheever in the release. “People need access to such documents in order to accurately reconstruct their family settings and lives. Without these precious records, most questions would remain unanswered and unanswerable.”

A recent report to the Maine Legislature indicates that many of Maine’s historical collections (photographs, paintings, natural history relics, letters and business journals) are in danger of being discarded or lost to fire, theft, mold or misuse. Belgrade Historical Society is fortunate that the town and state are partners in preservation.

“Maine has an estimated 200 million such records, many in facilities with little or no security, fire protection, or environmental controls. Local governments, historical societies, private citizens, and archivists need help through grant programs such as this one to stimulate and reward the preservation of our heritage,” Cheever said in the release.

The Maine State Archives is a bureau within the Department of the Secretary of the State. For information about the Historical Records Collections Grant Program, call Janet Roberts at 287-5791 or email [email protected] or visit maine.gov/sos/arc/mhrab/grants.html.

The January through March meetings of Belgrade Historical Society will be held at 1:30 p.m. the third Sunday of each month at the Center for All Seasons. Speakers have committed to share topics on Maine Horse Soldiers in the Civil War, restoration of old houses, and Victorian era mourning traditions. Visitors are welcome at these meetings.