Lawrence History Center Marks Transition

Patricia Jaysane, Executive Director of the Lawrence History Center, has announced that she will step down from the leadership post of the organization as of December 1st. Jaysane, who came to the LHC as a member of the Board of Directors in 1988, and became Executive Director in 2000, will retain an affiliation with the Center as a Research and Education Fellow. Her transition builds on an impressive record of accomplishment. “During Pat's tenure, the History Center has expanded its research, collections and exhibits, developed education programs to involve young people in the life and history of Lawrence, created an ambitious five year plan, and begun the renovation of our historic property” said Pam Yameen, the LHC’s Board President. “At the same time,” she added, “Pat has made sure that the Center has nourished its ties to the people and history of our Immigrant City, and helped keep that history in the forefront of Lawrence’s ongoing revitalization.”

The Lawrence History Center was founded in 1978 by Eartha Dengler as the Immigrant City Archives. It occupies the historic headquarters of The Essex Company, the company that designed and built the city of Lawrence. The entire company compound on Essex Street is now included in The National Register of Historic Places.

In early 2007, with support from the Stevens Foundation and under Jaysane’s leadership, the Center embarked on a major capacity building initiative, which has allowed the organization to accelerate its collections activities, upgrade its technological infrastructure, and significantly expand its capacity to serve both researchers and the general public through its web site,

Among other items of note, the LHC’s holdings include the records of the Essex Company, which provide a fascinating window into the industrial revolution in New England; one of the most significant collections of Urban Renewal documents in the country; thousands of glass plate negatives and photographs documenting life in Lawrence from 1850 to the present; maps and plot plans that chart the development of the city; and more than 600 oral history audio tapes, chronicling events and social history of Lawrence as far back as the famous 1912 strike. The History Center’s collections have been used as source material for numerous books and scholarly papers, as well as documentary films and television shows including the History Detective. The Lawrence History Center’s exhibits have traveled as far as Ellis Island, and the most recent exhibit, “Wish You Were Here -- A Written Art Form -- Lawrence Post Cards”, which drew hundreds to view it last summer at Lawrence Heritage State Park, is now on display at Memorial Hall Library in Andover.

The Lawrence History Center will hold its Annual Meeting this Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 5:30 pm at the Archive on Essex Street. The Board will be recognizing Pat Jaysane for her contributions to the organization and formally announcing the transition in leadership. “We will miss Pat's presence at the helm,” said Yameen, “but we are thrilled that, as a Fellow, she will continue to work with us, doing the scholarly and education work that is closest to her heart. It is deeply appropriate that Pat, who has given us so much, will be our first Fellow. And it is certain that she will set a high bar for those who may follow”. The Board has named History Center Collections manager, Barbara Brown, to serve as Interim Executive Director of the Center, and will launch a formal search for a new Executive Director within the next few weeks.

For more information, contact Pam Yameen, Board President, at
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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.