The Lawson Center’s new research database available to the public

BEMUS POINT — Thanks to the support and generosity of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, The Lawson Center in Bemus Point has created a library of books, magazines, photographs, and historical documents. A customized computer application provides easy-to-use search capabilities to help people find information relevant to their research projects. This mammoth project cataloged, classified, and categorized more than 1,200 documents and created intuitive keyword search capabilities.

Visitors to The Lawson Center will be able to use the dedicated computer in the boardroom to search for information about boats, local history, and the Lawson Family.

The original books, magazines and documents are stored in the boardroom where visitors may use them as research materials.

The more than 800 photographs can also be searched for using keywords such as “Chris-Craft” or “Dave Lawson” or “City of Jamestown.” Most of the photographs are in digital form and can be printed out so that visitors may take them home with them.

The new research tool is designed to be easy to use. You pick a category from a list and enter some key words. In the example below, we’ve selected Steamboat photos and “City of Buffalo” to search for applicable pictures. Then you get a list of the resources that match our search.

Pat Baldwin, President of The Lawson Center board of trustees commented: “We are so very grateful to the CRCF for their unwavering support of our museum. Their grants and advice have been instrumental in our success as an educational and local museum venue. We hope that this new addition to our services will prove useful to the many local historical societies, boat clubs, and other museums.”

The Lawson Center Boat Museum is located at 73 Lakeside Drive, Bemus Point, NY. May through Labor Day hours are Wednesday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Special access to the research archives can be arranged by contacting The Lawson Center at 386-3355. Go to WWW.THELAWSONCENTER.ORG for directions and more information.

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