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About the Archive

The mission of the Palm Beach Gardens Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the rich history of the City of Palm Beach Gardens for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.  In order to support this mission, the society has continued to organize more than 10,000 images, articles, and documents that breathe life into this rich history.  A vast majority of the archive is currently housed within a small building on the campus of Christ Fellowship and the records have been successfully managed through the many labors of Linda Smith, the society's main archivist, since 2008.

In 2010, Linda introduced the idea of constructing a digital archive (similar in many ways to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County) as a possibility for extending the society's mission with a more 21st Century collection.  And with overwhelming support in early 2012, the board agreed to sign a contract with Lucas Archives, supporting all efforts to achieve both an internal, private digital archive (PDA) as well as a smaller, online digital archive (ODA) by the early part of 2013.

At the present time, the PDA contains approximately 3,000 digital objects ranging from local articles and founding documents to family photos and event brochures, all spanning the course of the city's history since 1959.  Each item within the PDA has been appropriately tagged and sorted into a Record Group (RG), a Category (C) or a Folder (F), as outlined in the Directory.  These PDA items can be readily searched either by permitted members of the community who are interested in further exploration or by the society's digital archivists who need to acquire specific documents for local research projects.  In order to avoid any corruption of files or misplacement of digital objects, this particular collection is managed entirely in-house, thereby making it a private (PDA), yet accessible archive for those who request its usage.

As of January 2013, the ODA made its initial debut onto the world wide web, providing immediate, public access to a small fraction of the items contained in the private archive.  Initially, the ODA opened with 50 digital objects (images, articles, etc), but that number is expected to double by the end of the first month.  All of the objects are individually marked with Dublin Core Metadata Standards, which allows any user of the digital archive to get a fuller description of the objects they're viewing, such as the source of a photograph, the relationship that object has to other similar objects within a category, or even the specific dimensions of the digital images they see.

As you begin navigating through the digital archive, please feel free to ask questions, share concerns, and offer input by contacting us here.  We always look forward to feedback and hope that this digital archive will be a small demonstration of how much we relish the history of Palm Beach Gardens.