Creator: Addison Gilbert Hospital Foundation; various
Dates: 1992-1996
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Acquisition:  Accession #: 1996.37 ; Donated by: Addison Gilbert Hospital Foundation, 1996
Identification: A80 ; Archive Collection #80
Citation: [Document Title]. The Gift of Age Collection, [Box #, Folder #, Item #], Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.
Copyright:  Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be addressed to the Librarian/Archivist.
Language: English
Finding Aid:  Processed 2009 by S. Buck for Stephanie Buck, Librarian/Archivist. Updated by Karla Kaneb, June 2020.


In 1992 the Seacoast Nursing and Retirement Center and Addison Gilbert Hospital Foundation collaborated on an oral history project. About 1,500 Gloucester school children were to interview older family members and then tell their stories in writing and pictures.

These stories were to be included in a Time Capsule to be sealed during the year Seacoast began operations and was to be opened 100 years later in 2092. This project apparently never came to fruition, but about 200 of the interviews had been recorded, and in 1996 they were donated to the Cape Ann Museum by Addison Gilbert Hospital.


Many of the reminiscences are by men and women who came to America as immigrants when children or young adults.

Sample quotes:

“When the Russians came, she got out of Latvia just in time.”

“Her least favorite food was and still is pigs feet.”

“At the age of ten she left school to become a seamstress’s apprentice.”

“She says there was hardly any rain in the old country. In winter they had warm snow.”

“Back in the 1930s they didn’t have Barbie dolls.”

“Time with his family was spent sitting down, talking, and listening to the radio.”

“On Saturday nights they would set up the tub in front of the fireplace and take turns bathing.”

“She loved to make dresses, and she also embroidered with her mother and two sisters.”

“When my great Nana was a teenager, she and her sister Mary came to New York in a big boat.”


Series I (Box 1) Personal essays and drawings prepared for inclusion in the time capsule planned for the opening of the Seacoast Nursing and Retirement Center.