North Carolina is rich in stories, chronicled in part through historic documents such as maps, photographs, scrapbooks, letters, and official government documents held in nearly 1,000 cultural repositories throughout the state. Yet many of these materials are at risk due to normal deterioration, environmental damage, negligence, or improper handling.
The State Archives of North Carolina can help through its Traveling Archivist Program (TAP). The purpose of TAP is to encourage best practices in the preservation of and access to special collections (rare books, manuscripts, archival records, photographs, oral histories, scrapbooks, newspapers, and ephemera) held in North Carolina repositories. Repositories include historical and genealogical societies; public libraries; the archives of colleges, hospitals, and other organizations; museums; and other institutions that hold materials documenting the state’s history and culture. TAP offers onsite collection assessments, demonstrations and instruction, and some basic preservation supplies.
TAP has assisted more than 70 qualifying institutions throughout the states. Many of these collections were started by individuals interested in preserving the local history of their communities and were later donated to historical societies, public libraries, or community colleges.
The TAP program is open to all North Carolina cultural and heritage institutions that house and maintain active archive and record collections accessible to the public. Applications are currently being solicited and will be accepted until October 9, 2013. The application and instructions are available from the State Archives website News and Events page, http://www.ncdcr.gov/archives/NewsAndEvents.aspx.
Questions relating to the application or the program may be addressed to Sarah Koonts, State Archives of North Carolina, 919.807.7339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.