05 April 2013

Got Family Stuff?

... that you'd like to hand down to younger generations?  Or, perhaps even donate to the archives of the BDC at some point in the future?

In 2005 the first comprehensive national survey of the condition and preservation needs of the nation’s collections reported that over 4.8 billion artifacts are held in public trust by more than 30,000 archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, scientific research collections and archaeological repositories in the United States. The results were shocking.  Some 2.6 billion items of that 4.8 billion total were not protected by an emergency plan (e.g., what to do in case of hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.) and 1.3 billion of those items were at risk of being lost. If billions of items are at risk in our heritage institutions, then plausibly trillions of items held by the general public are likely at risk. Something had to be done to mitigate the risk.  

One of the actions taken evolved into Preservation Week.  This year the celebration runs April 21 - April 27th.  Libraries all over the country will present events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. The BDC will hold a free workshop to raise awareness within our own community about the importance of preservation of family treasures.

Family collections include books, manuscripts, photographs, prints and drawings, and objects such as maps, textiles, paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and furniture, to give just a sample. They often include moving images and sound recordings that capture Jenni's dance recital or Otto's piano concert, the family skeleton stories whispered by Aunt Mary and the guffaws caused by Uncle Charlie's whopper fish tales. Just how many digital photographs should you keep of little Heather's 4th birthday party?  Digital collections are growing fast, and their formats quickly become obsolescent, if not obsolete. What can you do?

You just might be surprised how much can be done with just a little training, a plan, a small investment of time, and a a few bucks!

Here in the special collections and archives of the Beaufort County Library we deal with preservation issues each and every day.  We have instructional and practical experience with preservation to share with the first 20 customers who register for the workshop.  Join us to learn some of  the basic preservation practices and techniques to safeguard your own family heirlooms, documents and treasures on Saturday, April 27th. Once we get 20 registered participants, the class will be closed.  No walk-ins. 

Registration is Required!
We want to share ... because we care passionately in the preservation of cultural heritage.  Give us the opportunity to share with you by registering today!  Please note: We have no plans to repeat this workshop at other BCL locations during 2013.  

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