Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Adopt an Artifact: A Dictionary of the Holy Bible, which belonged to Mrs. M. A. Brooks of Elizabeth City

Apr 26, 2023

Adopt an Artifact Program: Help the Museum of the Albemarle protect our state treasures by adopting an artifact that requires conservation. Your tax-deductible donation in any amount will help support the museum’s mission of preserving artifacts and other historical materials relating to the history and heritage of northeastern North Carolina.

Museum of the Albemarle staff will locate a conservator with specific expertise in the type of material needing work. That person will do a conservation assessment of the type of work needed to conserve the object, the cost of materials, and their time and travel expenses. Then, a contract will be written identifying the duration of the project and the monetary requirements. Sometimes these amounts will need to be amended due to further needs uncovered during the conservation process.

There will be follow-up articles written for the Gateway, the newsletter for the Friends of the Museum of the Albemarle, tracking the progress of each project. Should the donor prefer, each will be thanked for his or her contribution, without dollar amount. Individuals or groups may elect to adopt an artifact; any amount will be gratefully accepted.

The Museum of the Albemarle wishes to raise funds for the conservation of an 1859 book, A Dictionary of the Holy Bible, which belonged to Mrs. M. A. Brooks of Elizabeth City. Please specify the Dictionary fund if donating.

This 1859 book is inscribed with “Mrs. M. A. Brooks”. According to the 1860 census, the only person in Elizabeth City with those initials was Margaret Ann Brooks, wife of George W. Brooks. Margaret Ann Costen of Gates County married Brooks in 1850. A prominent Whig and Unionist, George Brooks served in the antebellum state legislature. Appointed a federal district judge by Andrew Johnson in 1865, Brooks played a leading role in the “Kirk-Holden War” in 1870 by ordering the release of Colonel George W. Kirk’s prisoners.

The book’s cover is worn, black embossed leather over boards. Its spine is missing and the binding is damaged. The book’s contents include five colored maps and dozens of small black and white illustrations throughout the text. It is a comprehensive resource to biblical terminology, people, landscapes, timelines, and much more.

With assistance from the NC Museum of History, we have selected ECS Conservation and Preservation Services of Greensboro, NC to perform the conservation treatment. ECS is accredited by the American Institute for Conservation.

The treatment proposal includes:
1. Photograph the book before, during, and after treatment.
2. Exterior cleaning and mending.
3. Rebinding in similar and appropriate style, possibly remounting original endpapers and binding components.
4. Spray deacidification for long-term preservation.

The estimated cost of these services is $1,275.00

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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