In 2015, the City of Salem issued a long-overdue update to its 1991 Historic Preservation Master Plan. The 2015 document spells out the role of the Salem Historical Commission (SHC) in a section labeled "Salem's Municipal Agencies and Private Organizations Engaged in Historic Preservation Activities." According to the Preservation Plan Update, "the SHC is one of the few municipal agencies in the Commonwealth that serves a dual role as both an historical commission (MGL Ch. 40 Sec. 8D) and an historic district commission (MGL Ch. 40C.)"
The Massachusetts statute regarding historical commissions cited in the quotation above, MGL Ch. 40 Sec. 8D, states the following: "A city or town which accepts this section may establish an historical commission, hereinafter called the commission, for the preservation, protection and development of the historical or archaeological assets of such city or town."
The Phillips Library collection is certainly one of the city's premier historical assets. The Salem Historical Commission must help us protect it from being placed permanently in Rowley.