Observatory Receives a “Save America’s Treasures” Grant to Conserve our Historic Climate Books – Your Help is Needed to Raise Matching Funds

The non-profit Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center,a National Historic Landmark located atop Great Blue Hill, was recently awarded a “Save America’s Treasures” (SAT) grant by the National Park Service to preserve many of our historic climate resources. In support of this project, the Observatory is seeking $65,000 to fulfill the obligation to raise matching funds for our SAT grant to completely digitize, conserve, and properly store our hand-written climate record books, which date from 1885 to the 1950’s.

This grant, which will be administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, requires a 1:1 match to completely digitize, conserve and create archival storage for our original hand-written record books, which contain irreplaceable information from the early decades of the Observatory’s climate record. The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization has recognized Blue Hill Observatory as a Centennial Observing Station because of the long-duration and high quality of our climate record. With digitization through our SAT grant, researchers and scientists worldwide can make ready use of Blue Hill Observatory data while limiting handling of our historical books, which will be housed in new custom archival boxes. This climate record is also a focus of our STEM educational programming. The Observatory serves roughly 4,000 adults and 4,000 students each year, and complete digitization of these materials will enhance the use of our data throughout our STEM educational offerings.


We first began this project by conserving our most at-risk books back in 1998. In recent months, we have been able to raise about one third of the needed matching funds. However, we are now reaching out to the communities we serve in order raise the remaining $65.000 needed to complete the preservation of our climate record – the longest running, most homogenous climate record in North America – while enhancing its accessibility for science and education.  Climate action through scientific data dissemination is essential and beneficial both locally and globally!

This grant could not be more timely since the Observatory facility is undergoing a $2 million renovation funded through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and our record books are in safe keeping at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA – the conservator who will do the work on our books.


Please consider making a donation to help us reach our goal today by visiting this link at our Square store. Please remember that the CARES act allows a couple to donate up to $600 in 2021 and that full donation comes directly off your income (in addition to the standard deduction) for tax purposes for 2021.