Preservation, Care, & Identification of Manuscripts and Photographs

Just a few weeks ago, I had the great fortune to travel to Nome, Alaska with members of the Alaska State Historic Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) to help teach a full-day workshop on caring for archival records.  The whole experience was wonderful.  From the moment we got off the plane, everyone we met was warm and welcoming, and we had a packed house for the workshop at Old St. Joe’s Hall with twenty or so engaged participants.  I also relished the chance to explore Nome, where history is literally visible all over the landscape, with other historians, curators, and archivists who were equally geeking out over all the old gold dredges, the Cold War-era White Alice communications system site on Anvil Mountain, and the great exhibits at the Carrie M. McClain Memorial Museum.  One of the workshop participants even invited me over to her house during the lunch break so that I could help her identify an odd “gold photograph” she and her husband had found in an old book in their collection (it turned out to be an engraving plate).  It was a treat to visit a community where people so obviously care about the living history all around them.

I taught two sections of the day’s instruction sessions on “Care & Storage of Manuscript Materials” and “Identification, Care & Storage of Photographs in Archives.”  There are PDFs of both of these presentations now available on the ASHRAB website: http://archives.alaska.gov/for_professionals/for_archives_professionals.html
Also check out the other presentations by my co-instructors, which cover a range of topics from film and sound recordings to grant-writing to historic preservation.

If you’re in need of a refresher in best practices for care of your materials or just curious, take a peek.  And let me know if you have any questions — there are always a few things that get lost in translation between the in-person presentation and reading it on the screen!