Category Archives: Uncategorized

Traveling Archivist Preserves North Carolina History: Applications Sought

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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 sarah.koonts@ncdcr.gov.

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State Agency Schedules

Those of you who have visited the Government Records Branch web site recently will have noticed that we are updating their layout, which is reason enough to celebrate. But the really exciting news is that there is a new site for state agency schedules. Instead of having to select an agency and then browse through a long list of PDFs, you now have various options including my favorite, “search by keywords,” which allows you to do a Google-type search of the schedules.

For those of you who are interested in record schedules, the Government Records Branch also has schedules for colleges in the University of North Carolina system and for counties and municipalities.

Hurricane Season

A message from the head of our Collections Management Branch:

As we head into the active part of hurricane season and our attention is focused on numerous storms in the Atlantic, the Archives and Records Section of the Department of Cultural Resources would like to remind staff in cultural repositories across the state that there are many valuable resources available on-line for both preparation prior to emergencies and recovery afterwards, should your collections become damaged. It is not too late to make emergency preparedness part of your on-going activities. Good protection of your collections and emergency response planning ahead of time can mitigate the impact of a disaster on your collections. Below are some links that may be of immediate assistance to you in the next few days. If you have additional questions about disaster preparedness or recovery, or if you need advice about damaged paper based collections, please contact Sarah Koonts, the head of the Collections Management Branch at the Archives and Records Section, at (919) 807-7339. After hours she can be reached at (919) 303-7413.

Preparation: The Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) has many links to disaster resources on this page. Links from this page include steps to take before and after a storm hits. There also are links to information on disaster mitigation and recovery resources, as well as other SOLINET disaster publications.

Recovery: The American Institute for Conservation has a Collections Emergency Response Team (CERT). Their 24 hour assistance number for advice by phone is (202) 661-8068. This is also the number to call to arrange for a team to come to the site to complete damage assessments and help with salvage organization. A brochure on these services can be found at http://aic.stanford.edu/news/AIC-CERT.pdf

Heritage Preservation also maintains some web pages with useful information and links regarding disaster preparedness and recovery. Their Gulf Coast Hurricanes web pages provide valuable links to information on such topics as saving your treasures the right way, grants for preservation, and a place to report damage and request assistance.

Personal safety always comes first. Please protect yourself and your property. If the Department of Cultural Resources can be of assistance to your institution, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Before Disaster Strikes

The State Historical Records Advisory Board and the North Carolina State Archives are presenting a one-day conference, “Before Disaster Strikes: Networking to Protect Our Records,” on November 14th, 2007 in Raleigh, N.C. For more information on the location, conference schedule, and registration fees, consult the conference flyer (pdf).