The Massachusetts Cultural Council rarely gets the credit it deserves. The Council’s grants are typically small, but they allow cultural institutions to keep doing good work. Recently, the Cambridge Historical Commission received one of those grants, a total of $5,000 to pay for two part-time Archives Assistants.

What do Archives Assistants do? According to Cambridge Historical Commission Assistant Director Kit Rawlins, the Archives Assistants will devote their time to ongoing projects focused on Cambridge’s architectural and social history. Local foodies might be interested in the fruits of their labors, as one project collects and curates decades-old menus from the city’s restaurants. And to make the Historical Commission’s archives more readily available, the Archives Assistants will also help create a searchable online catalogue of the Commission’s research library.

This type of project could cost tens of thousands of dollars in the private sector, but by pairing government money with non-profit know-how, the Cambridge Historical Commission and the Massachusetts Cultural Council are enshrining our shared history, and it’s awfully tough to put a price tag on that. My congratulations go out to Kit and her staff at the Cambridge Historical Commission, and I encourage everyone to see the work they’re doing.