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On Saturday, April 17th, we sang the third stanza of a four verse hymn at the Walkertown Public Library. The title of the hymn is “Preserving Forsyth.” It is funded by an LSTA grant in which a small cadre from ZSR and the Forsyth County Public Library teaches preservation and digitization principles and techniques.
The group of about 15 participants was welcomed by Library Director and Wake alum, William Durham. Audra Eagle next described the project and what the day would bring in instruction. Audra had the great idea to have the attendees fill out interest cards before we began. This helped us know what their expectations were. Audra next discussed organization of collections. She mentioned the concept that no one knows what you have in your collection except you for small personal collections, and talked about basic archival principles. Audra mentioned two primary concepts in archives: “Original Order” (respect for the originator’s order) and “Provenance” (honoring the creator of a collection by making it separate from others). She also had lots of practical advice like making an inventory and “get it off the floor and put it in a box.”
In the next portion, Craig discussed preservation principles. The key ideas of controlling light, an even, non-fluctuating temperature and Relative Humidity, and good air quality was stressed. He also covered the 1967 flood of the Arno River in Florence, Italy and how the gathering of librarians, archivists and curators to recover the works of art in Florence was the genesis of today’s preservation principles and best practices.
After a hearty Mexican lunch and a spilled Diet Coke, the group reconvened. Craig demonstrated a variety of hands-on preservation techniques. These included repairing paper tears, tipping-in loose pages, text block consolidation and spine replacement. He also held a show and tell of various enclosure types. The group seemed very engaged. I should also mention that Barry has set up an ingenious system using video of the preservation repairs and projects, which he projects on a large screen. This makes the audience able to see clearly everything.
Barry Davis next discussed digitization and equipment use. Barry covered each piece of equipment: Epson flatbed scanner, Nikon slide Scanner, Ion Tape 2 PC and the Ion VCR 2 PC converters. He next went through the process of scanning and storing each digitized item: paper, slides, cassettes tapes and VHS tapes. I especially enjoyed the audio tape he converted as this was the Wake Forest Fight song…a few of us in the audience even clapped in time with the music!
We opened things up for questions at the end and each person informally talked with the attendees. In all, a great day. Thanks to Giz for the photos.