[This blog post comes from Andrea Gabriel, Director of Outreach and Development for the State Archives of North Carolina]
Traveling Archivist Program Continues to Assist North Carolina Repositories
North Carolina’s Traveling Archivist Program (TAP) provides consultation, training, and guidance to North Carolina repositories whose collections document North Carolina history and culture, whose collections are accessible to the public and may be at risk of due to deterioration, neglect, or damage. These repositories include historical and genealogical societies; public libraries; the archives of colleges, hospitals, and other organizations; museums; and other institutions throughout the state. TAP encourages best practices in the preservation of and access to special collections (rare books, manuscripts, archival records, photographs, oral histories, scrapbooks, newspapers, and ephemera).
The Traveling Archivist Program (TAP) began as a pilot program with a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in 2009. Since then, the TAP has helped over 60 North Carolina institutions by tailoring a program unique to each repository. Once accepted into the program, the traveling archivist conducts a physical survey of the institutional collections to assess both preservation needs (storage conditions, security, environmental controls), and access tools (finding aids, inventories, indexes, or catalog records, etc.). The traveling archivist brings samples of conservation supplies and a supply catalog, the Manual of Basic Archival Practices, holds in-depth discussions with repository staff, provides staff training, and conducts workshops all onsite. Formal recommendations are submitted to the repository in a written final report.
Applications are solicited each spring and fall and are open to all North Carolina institutions who house archival materials.
North Carolina is fortunate; retired former State Archivist Dick Lankford is now the traveling archivist, replacing Dr. Hal Keiner. New applications will be solicited in fall of 2013.