Preservation of Collections Preservation Advisory Committee New Jersey Library Association History and Preservation Section Co Chairs: Joe Da Rold, Director, Plainfield Public Library Susan Gulick, Director, Morristown & Morris Township Public Library Decisions that can Affect your Library’s Future
Also Speaking Today Robert Stewart Director, Asbury Park Public Library Anne Robinson Trustee, Plainfield Public Library Elsalyn Palmisano Director (Ret.) West Long Branch Public Library Chrys Jochem Head of Local History Department Morristown & Morris Township Public Library Fred Pachman Director, Altschul Medical Library Monmouth Medical Center Powerpoint Presentation by: Bob Golon, Labor Archivist Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives
Agenda 1-- Welcome and Introduction of Speakers 2--Conservation & Preservation - what do they mean? 3--Why should the public library collect local history? 4--What is a “Local History Collection?” What is a “Special Collection?” 5--Why give special attention to local history collections? 6--The Wide World of Local History Users 7--Responsibilities in Collecting 8--Where to get advice (Technical Assistance) 9--Attachments: Glossary; Resource Contact List; ALA Guidelines
Conservation and Preservation What do these terms mean?
Why Should the Public Library Collect Local History? THE PUBLIC LIBRARY THE LOCAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY HOUSING --Public building open most of the week --Air-conditioned environment --Secure building --Adequate storage conditions; Low to high collection security --Loose procedures --Limited access, usually by appointment --Poor environmental conditions --Very little building security --Poor storage; collections often are kept in member’s homes --Loose procedures BUDGET Supplies and Processing --Limited but flexible Acquisitions --Limited $$ in general funds Supplies and Processing --Minimal to zero Acquisitions --Underwritten by Board Members
Why Should the Public Library Collect Local History? THE PUBLIC LIBRARY THE LOCAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT --Items held in public trust --Training opportunities for staff --Staff & Board continuity --Items often borrowed by researchers and not returned --Untrained staff --Frequently changing Boards SCOPE --Books, documents, photographs, maps, ephemera --Same, plus textiles, furnishings, historic site management
What is a Local History Collection? Basic Items: histories, newspapers, maps, photographs, postcards, oral histories, archival records of local clubs and agencies, family papers, and other resources on all types of media formats Local Government Items: typically held when there are no official municipal or county archives, e.g. reports, master plan documents, meeting minutes, maps, etc.
What is a “Special Collection?” FINE ART -- --Morristown (Thomas Nast collection) --Paterson Public Library --Plainfield Public Library (Winslow Homer Paintings) PRIVATE PAPERS -- --Madison Public Library (Rushmore Collection / Golden Hind Press) --Mount Laurel Public Library (Alice Paul Collection) --Rutherford Public Library (William Carlos Williams Collection)
Why Give Special Attention to Local History Collections? Morristown & Morris Township Public Library - averages 1,000 questions per month on local history Plainfield Public Library - has had researchers from 36 states and 14 countries contact them as a result of local history information on their website Newark Public Library, Atlantic City Public Library, Montclair Public Library, et al - staff frequently credited by authors of books written about New Jersey and local histories
The Wide World of Local History Users Students, Writers and Journalists Search photographs, newspapers, and oral histories for information on various subjects. Genealogists “ The DAR told us about your library and we have been able with your help to trace our family’s lineage” Search City Directories, county histories, and newspapers to develop family histories. Homeowners “ The library’s blueprint collection was instrumental in helping me to fix the old plumbing in my house” Search photographs, blueprints, and maps to help with restoration, repairs and to meet city codes.
The Wide World of Local History Users City & County Officials City planners searched 1,000 historical postcards to find early street scenes in defense of a land-use controversy Review postcards, photographs, maps, and property records for redevelopment, zoning, and flood control issues, and for preparing historic district applications. Developers & Architects The owner of a commercial building found a historical photograph of his building to help him restore its original facade Consult maps and photographs to determine previous land use (former gas station location, et al.) and for architectural details in building design projects.
Responsibilities in Collecting Environmental Concerns --Pest & Mold Control --Disasters and Disaster Plans --Lighting & Climate Control Security Concerns --Housing - Unsecured collections in “Local History Rooms” --Theft (for historical content and monetary gain)
Funding Concerns --Space Planning: Upgrades, Remodeling, and Building --Digitization and web site access Access --Finding Aids, Guides, and Indices Responsibilities in Collecting
Technical Assistance (Where to get Advice) --Policies and procedures - adapt from other institutions --Collection surveys (CAPES and CCAHA) --Technical workshops (CCAHA, NEDCC, NJSL, NJLA) --Publications (NEDCC, SAA, Association of State & Local History) --Grant funding (NJHC, NJ Council for the Humanities, et al) --Knowledgeable colleagues (university and select public libraries) --Special events (NJHC History Day, Monmouth County Archives Week)
Thank You for Attending The Preservation Advisory Committee New Jersey Library Association History and Preservation Section