Shovel from Stonehill Collection is Smithsonian Bound

June 3, 2015

At the request of the Smithsonian, the College’s Archives and Historical Collections Department is loaning a shovel from one of its collections to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Made by the Easton based Ames Company in 1844, the shovel, which is part of Stonehill’s shovel collection, is similar to the type sold to southern plantations during the antebellum era. Shipped last week, the single shovel will be on loan to the National Museum of African American History and Culture until December 2025.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the museum is under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument. When completed, it will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.

This is not the first time shovels from the Stonehill shovel collection have been loaned to the Smithsonian Institution

According to Archive Director Nicole Casper ’95, “In 1976 the silver shovels and case now located in Cushing Martin Hall were loaned as part of the Bicentennial Celebration.  While this will be the College’s longest loan of one of its artifacts, the Archives and Special Collections departments often works with other museums on exhibits and is excited to play a small part in this new national museum exhibition.”

For more on the College’s Archives and Historical Collections, visit here. For more on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, visit