Pass It On: Saving Heritage and Memories

This week (May 9-15) is the American Library Association’s first annual Preservation Week.  In honor of preservation week, the library’s preservation department has selected and shown a variety of preservation related videos for staff here at Parks Library.  To find out more about these videos, please visit the preservation department’s blog.  Most of the films are available for viewing on the web.  The American Library Association has also provided links to a variety of preservation-related videos.  Below is an amusing video, also available on the ALA website, from Kansas State University Library demonstrating simple steps one can take to help preserve physical materials…and hopefully makes it clear why visitors to the Special Collections Department are not allowed to bring food and drink in with them!

The Special Collections Department works very closely with our preservation department to make sure that our collections and rare books will be around for generations to come.  However, it is also important for these documents and books to be well-cared for before they come to our department, and it is not uncommon for us to receive questions from patrons on suggestions for storing and caring for artifacts and documents people wish to preserve.  The American Library Association has put together a wonderful listing of useful websites to help answer these questions, and if you’re interested in preserving your materials or would like to find out more about conservation work, I highly recommend you visit at least a few of these sites.  Most of the sites provided address the preservation of physical objects.  However, since computers have become an often vital aspect of our daily lives, the preservation of digital files has become more and more important.  The Library of Congress provides a guide for people to preserve their digital files in a variety of formats, including e-mail, digital images, videos, audio, and websites.  Below this guide are a variety of additional resources including a video, slideshow and quiz.  And if you would like to find out about how professionals are grappling with the difficult issues of digital preservation, the menu at the left provides links to video and audio discussions, in addition to other resources.  One way the Special Collections Department is preserving digital information is through Archive-It, a web preservation program.  You can view preserved websites of Iowa State University here.

3 thoughts on “Pass It On: Saving Heritage and Memories

  1. Laura

    Great observation, Ashley. Sometimes just a few simple steps can help preserve people’s records, such as placing boxes on a pallet above the basement floor or placing digital documents in well-labeled folders and backing them up every few months, or as needed.

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