Preservation Week 2015

April 26-May 2, 2015 is the ALCTS' annual "Pass It On! Preservation Week." Preservation Week serves to draw attention to the need for preservation for cultural and historical collections, regardless of whether they are in a museum, library, archive, or private/family collection. These historic objects are all threatened by normal processes of decay and deterioration, improper handling and storage, and disasters. ALCTS has used Preservation week to compile a list of resources, and to offer a number of events, to help everyone steward their collections in the best way possible. 

The Colorado State Archives' mission is to ensure the preservation of the State’s permanent legal records and information, and to promote their use by the citizens of Colorado. How are we doing that? First, we recently completed a Preservation Assessment, conducted by an external reviewer. Their recommendations will help guide our preservation activities in the future. Our first major initiative is actually to revisit our inventory and assess what records are appropriately stored and which need rehousing to promote their long-term preservation. Additionally, updating our inventory is part of the revision and updating of our disaster management plan: in the event of a disaster, we need to know what items should be evacuated first, and be able to put our hands on them, or describe their location to first responders/emergency personnel in the event that regular staff are not permitted in the building due to the nature of the hypothetical disaster. A third "prong" of our preservation activities is monitoring the environmental conditions in our storage locations. Though not as spectacular as big-ticket restoration projects, maintaining stable temperatures and relative humidity levels within an established range is comparatively low-cost and reaps major benefits: items degrade faster at higher temperatures and humidities, or at more volatile temperatures and humidities, and high humidity coupled with moderate to high temperatures is a major causative factor in mold blooms, with damage to artifacts.

What can you do to protect your personal collections and family treasures? Learn more through these resources!

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