While the the Gingerbread Castle structure is in a state of decay, it is no longer used as an Amusement Park and subsequent ventures at the site did not endure, the memory of the vision, creation and experiences of people who enjoyed it have lasted. So preserving and perpetuating the memory of the Gingerbread Castle at it’s peak,  has historical significance to the State of New Jersey, the County of Sussex and the town of Hamburg as well as those who are committed to keeping the legacy of Joseph Urban’s artistic vision alive.

Preservation rarely “just happens” it takes thoughtful planning and resources as well as dedicated individuals time and effort.  This project was an opportunity to apply some aspects of Digital Library science to the cause of the Gingerbread Castle’s collection.

The library will allow the content related to the Castle to reach more people through easy access to the information and the use of social media to share reminiscences.  The site allows surrogate records, in the form of scans and images, to protect the history of fragile artifacts.  It will allow people to see and study these artifacts without handling them directly.

It will hopefully allow more interest in the Castle’s story to help those who might consider a new use for the property that will restore aspects of it to its former glory, and be economically viable for the owners.

As this site launches, April 29, 2012,  the current owners of the Castle, Amazing Stone Works of Hamburg, have restoration efforts mentioned on their commercial website.

If you are interested in helping to preserve the Gingerbread Castle Structure, please consider supporting an application to the Society for Commercial Archeology’s “Falling By The Wayside” list for this landmark in 2013.   The 2012 Application shows the nature of the information needed.  The Librarian for this Digital Library would be happy to hear from you if you would like to help pursue this designation.

Applications for other protective designations for the Historic District where the Gingerbread Castle is located were actively underway at the time this Digital Library was created.

If you are interested in Digital Preservation, consider visiting Library of Congress site on this topic.

If you are interested in starting a personal collection of some type, or safeguarding one you already cultivate, consider visiting this commercial site, for Home Museum,  which offers some interesting cases and information on aspects of collecting.

Local History Organizations need our support to preserve and perpetuate our collective culture, our community memory and also to entertain and educate us using artifacts and stories.

Social Informatics, the intersection of technology and human behavior, give use new tools to help explore and understand our history by linking it to our lives today.  New communications tool allow us to share more, discuss more and create new learnings that link back to our cultural memory.


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