April 27th, 2021
Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director, WVRHC
Each year in April, libraries and archives take time to share information about one of our core activities: preservation. Caring for the collections materials under our stewardship is part of the mission of the West Virginia & Regional History Center, the WVU Libraries, and many other library and heritage institutions. Many of you have your own collections – records, letters, photographs, artifacts, videos, and more – that contain your personal history, the history of your family, your school, and your communities. The theme for Preservation Week 2021 is Preserving Community Archives and the goal is to provide resources and education to help you take care of your collections.
West Virginia takes pride in its sense of community and our history is often written by looking closely at groups with shared experiences. Coal camps, unions, sports teams, and homemaker’s clubs are just a scant few of the communities that have been explored to tell the story of the people of the state. Not all communities have been studied, nor their records collected. Black, ethnic, and LGBTQ communities in West Virginia are underrepresented in our histories and our archives. Community archives are a way for groups to collect and interpret their own history.
There are many things you and your community can do to preserve your historic records so they can be passed down to others in the future. The resources linked below offer guidance on many different kinds of materials. We can also offer some advice at the WVRHC. If you have a preservation question or want to start a community archive, send us an email. We’ll try to assist and provide answers or get you in touch with someone who can.
Caring for Your Treasures: Guides on architecture, books, glass & ceramics, documents & works of art on paper, furniture, home video, metal objects, paintings, photographs, textiles, and matting & framing from the American Institute for Conservation
Dear Donia: Ask preservation expert Donia Conn a question, and review the archive of her answers
Disaster Recovery: Disaster planning, salvage, and restoration resources
Preservation Leaflets: Handouts on numerous preservation issues from the Northeast Document Conservation Center
Preservation Week Webinars: Free webinars on numerous preservation topics
Saving Your Stuff: Tips for audio, books, data, documents and paper, film and home movies, photos, scrapbooks, slides and textiles