Tag Archives: SHRAB

Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: New Online Lesson Plans and Tutorials

Lesson plans and tutorials can help social studies teachers engage their students with primary sources such as maps, photographs, letters, and contemporary newspaper accounts.

The North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) and the State Archives of North Carolina have produced these tools for teachers and students in a program titled, “Teaching Digital North Carolina.”

Lesson Plans include

  •  “Agriculture and Textiles: Interaction of Two Major North Carolina Industries”
  • “Civil Rights: Circle of Viewpoints”
  • “World War I: The Role of North Carolinians in World War I”

Tutorials include

  • “Using the Digital Public Library of America to Access North Carolina Sources”
  • “Teaching Sensitive Subjects”
  • “Teaching with Primary Sources”

Each lesson plan topic has a list of additional primary sources from digitized collections throughout state. There are nearly 400,000 primary and secondary records from more than 120 repositories collected on the website of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

Teaching Digital North Carolina was made possible with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the funding arm of the National Archives.

The Care and Handling of Family Papers, Photographs, and Essential Records

The State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) in collaboration with the State Archives of North Carolina has produced a series of tutorials that provide basic information about the care and handling of family papers. These tutorials were funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The complete series is available on YouTube and selected tutorials are also available in the Preservation section of the State Archives website.

Videos in this series include:

  1. Identifying and Protecting Essential Family Records
  2. General Paper Preservation Tips
  3. Caring for and Sharing Family and Personal Papers
  4. The Care and Preservation of Family Photographs
  5. Managing and Preserving Digital Images



Care and Handling of Family Papers Questionnaire

[This announcement comes from Andrea Gabriel, Director of Outreach and Development for the State Archives of North Carolina]

Do You Need Help With the Care and Handling of Family Papers?

The State Archives of North Carolina and the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) will create tutorials for the general public about the care and handling of family papers. These tutorials will be available on our YouTube channel. By completing this brief questionnaire, you will help us shape the content of these tutorials.

Please take a few moments to complete this questionnaire; the deadline for participating is August 12, 2013.

Thank you for your assistance.

National Historical Publications and Records Commission Grant Awarded

[This blog post comes from Andrea Gabriel, Director of Outreach and Development for the State Archives of North Carolina]

The State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) was awarded a $10,679 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to produce a strategic plan which will guide the SHRAB’s activities through 2016. SHRAB is the central advisory board for historical records planning and project assistance in North Carolina. The SHRAB evaluates grant proposals submitted by North Carolina applicants to the NHPRC, conducts statewide studies and surveys to assess and define the conditions and needs of our state’s historical records, and offers educational programs and sponsors conferences, workshops, and other activities to promote awareness of archives and records in North Carolina.

The grant will also fund the program, “The Care and Handling of Family Papers, Photographs, and Essential Records”—a series of online tutorials targeted toward the general public audience.  These tutorials will include information about the conservation of family scrapbooks, the care and preservation of family photographs, general conservation and preservation practices of paper documents, and the organization and protection of essential family records. They will be available through the State Archives’ YouTube channel in the fall of 2013.

To read about some of SHRAB’s activities and programs, visit http://www.history.ncdcr.gov/shrab/.

SHRAB Workshops on Grant Writing Now Available

[This blog post comes from Andrea Gabriel of our Resource Management Branch.]

The State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) is offering “Getting Ready to Go” (GR2G) workshops, designed to help cultural repositories navigate the grant writing process.

The goal of the GR2G workshops is to demystify the grant writing process for cultural repositories.  You will learn about the types of agencies and organizations offering grant opportunities. You will learn the importance of your repository’s internal documents (mission statements, collection policies, institutional histories, finding aids, etc.) as the starting point for grant preparation.  You will learn how to put your ideas for improvement down on paper through the preparation of project narratives and budgets.  You will learn how to use grants.gov to submit you completed grant applications to federal agencies.  You will leave with a toolkit full of practical advice and resources.  In short, you will be empowered to succeed.

The GR2G workshops will be taught by North Carolina’s Traveling Archivist, Hal Keiner, and are based on his extensive experience working with the state’s smaller cultural heritage institutions.  If you always wanted to write a grant but were afraid to start, the GR2G workshops are for you!

Six regional workshops are scheduled throughout the state. Registration fees are $20 and include lunch.

Register early! Each workshop is limited to 20 participants.

October 2, 2012—Elizabeth City, N.C., 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


October 16, 2012, New Bern, N.C., 9:00 a.m. to4:30 p.m.

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SHRABNewBern

October 30, 2012, Southern Pines, N.C., 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SHRABSouthernPines

November 13, 2012, Greensboro, N.C., 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SHRABGreensboro

November 27, 2012, Lincolnton, N.C., 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SHRABLincolnton

December 4, 2012, Asheville, N.C., 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


These workshops are made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Preservation Week

This week is National Preservation Week and our sister organization the State Library of North Carolina is doing a series of preservation related posts over on the Government and Heritage Library Blog. Two new things they are talking about as part of that series are their YouTube tutorial about preserving Facebook data and the CINCH (Capture, Ingest, & Checksum) tool, which will help to automate the process of file preservation.

Another of the State Library’s posts gives an excellent handout version of our tips for preserving your own papers and records. Here are some of the most important things to think about:

Environment Matters

  • Keep your temperature and humidity stable.  Ideally, keep your temperature at 72 deg. F. and the relative humidity in the 40-55% range.  Fluctuations in humidity are more damaging than fluctuations in temperature.  No record likes to be too hot, dry, or damp.  If you can maintain a slightly cooler environment (68 deg. F), even better.
  • Monitor conditions in storage areas.  Be prepared to react to seasonal changes, such as high humidity in the summer, with a room dehumidifier.
  • Limit exposure to sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light.
  • Do not smoke in room where family papers are stored.

Think About Storage

  • Avoid attics, basements, closets or any area with limited air circulation and fluctuating temperatures and humidity.
  • Keep sources of food away from family documents.  Don’t store documents near sources of water, such as washing machines.
  • Avoid oak bookcases or other wooden shelves with formaldehyde (including plywood, chipboard, masonite), or polyurethane paints and varnishes.  These off-gas as they age.  Avoid metal storage furniture unless the finish is baked-on enamel (with no residual smell) or dry application powder coating.
  • If you must use wooden bookshelves, finish them with a sealant such as latex paint or air drying enamel and allow to dry for several weeks to ensure all sealant odors have disappeared.  Avoid oil-based paints as a sealant.
  • Shelve like sized books together on the shelf to provide adequate support around each book.  Book ends assist in ensuring the books are adequately supported. Make sure books are snug, but not so tight on the shelf that removal causes wear on the book.  Store fragile or oversized books on one side.  Never store a book spine-up or the pages could separate from the binding.
  • Select acid-free (pH of 7) or buffered (slightly basic) storage materials for loose documents.  This includes folders and boxes.  Document boxes with lids provide protection from dust and light.  Don’t stuff folders or boxes, they should be full so that no folders or documents slouch in the box.  Acid-free spaces or a rolled acid-free folder ensure the folders are snug in the box and not slouching (if the box isn’t full).  Oversized, drop-front boxes provide similar protection for larger materials.
  • Select acid-free boxes and dividers for storage of loose photographic prints.  Neutral plastics should be utilized for use in photographic albums and other storage materials.  Acceptable plastics should be polypropylene or polyethylene.  All plastics should be PVC free (polyvinylchloride) and pass the PAT (photographic activity test).
  • Use photographic albums that contain pocket pages made of the above mentioned acceptable plastics.  Photographs also can be placed in albums (with acid-free pages) using photo corners made of acceptable plastic. Never glue photographs in an album or use the magnetic albums with sticky sheets and a plastic top sheet.

Care and Handling

  • Provide yourself with an adequate work space for using your materials.  Keep your workspace clean.
  • Clean your hands before working with your materials.  Wear gloves when handling fragile materials or photographs and negatives.
  • Remove books from the shelf by grasping the spine, never pull on the headcap (top part of the spine).  Support books and documents with both hands at all times.
  • Remove paperclips, rubber bands, and staples from loose documents prior to storage.  Staples should be removed carefully by bending up the two ends and gently removing the staple.  Never use staple removers because they could tear fragile paper.
  • Unfold loose documents and store them flat, if possible, or with a minimum of folds.  Paper is weakest along the folds.  Never force open a tightly folded item, instead, seek conservation assistance.
  • Never repair tears or holes with any pressure-sensitive tape (Scotch tape), glues, or other adhesives.  Seek conservation assistance if a document needs repairs.  Never laminate a document.
  • Newsprint should be segregated from other papers because is often stains adjacent papers.  Copy newsprint to acid-free papers and destroy the originals or interleave the originals with acid-free paper and use the copies as reference tools.
  • Make use copies of materials (scan or Xerox) one time and utilize those use copies for distribution to family members.  This reduces handling on originals.
  • Avoid framing original documents, frame a scanned, color copy instead.  If you choose to frame an original, use acid-free mats and a window mat or Japanese paper hinge for attachment.  Don’t let the document touch the glass.  Avoid rubber cements or glues to attach anything to a mat.  Select ultraviolet filtered glass or plexiglass.  Use a reputable framer and specify your wishes for each step of framing.

Further reading

The internet contains a wealth of information on preservation tips for most types of records.  Investigate printed and on-line resources such as:

Other websites that give tips useful for Preservation Week and any other time:

The Traveling Archivist Program: Helping to Preserve Our State History

[This announcement comes from the Resource Management Branch of the North Carolina State Archives.]


North Carolina has nearly 1,000 cultural and historical repositories whose holdings chronicle the history of our state—historic maps and photographs, scrapbooks, diaries, and letters, oral histories, architectural drawings, business and organization records, and other materials—yet many of these collections are at risk due to normal deterioration, environmental damage, negligence, or improper handling.

The North Carolina State Archives can help. Its Traveling Archivist Program (TAP) offers onsite collection assessments, demonstrations and instruction, and some basic preservation supplies for the state’s cultural institutions such as historical and genealogical societies, libraries, archives, museums, and historic houses.

The purpose of TAP is to educate the staffs who take care of these collections and to encourage best practices in collection preservation and access. Begun in 2009 as a pilot project with a federal grant from the National Historical Publications Records Commission, the TAP has assisted more than 40 institutions in 32 counties.

Organizations must apply for assistance through an application process. The application is open to all North Carolina cultural and heritage institutions that house and maintain active archive and/or record collections accessible to the public. Institutions housing solely objects or artifacts are ineligible for this program. Applications and instructions are now available online on the SHRAB Web site, http://www.history.ncdcr.gov/SHRAB/default.htm, and the North Carolina State Archives Web site, http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov.  The application deadline for the TAP is June 30, 2011.

Questions relating to the application or the program may be addressed to Andrea Gabriel, North Carolina State Archives, 919.807.7326; andrea.gabriel AT ncdcr.gov , Monday—Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.