We as a nation are defined by our cultural resources.
They are our history, our memory, our symbols, and our shared identity.
Many collections are in urgent need of conservation treatment and digitization, and America's cultural organizations still struggle to identify sources of funding to help preserve these collections.
Our nation’s collections at risk far outnumber funding opportunities currently available through federal, state, and foundation grants. Increasingly, the responsibility for preserving our history is in ALL our hands.
The Alaska and Polar Regions Archives at the University of Alaska recently discovered four 78 RPM glass-based discs in the collection of Anthropologist Dorothy Jean Ray. Robyn Russell, Collections Manager of the Library’s Oral History Program says: “I opened the archival box, and inside there were four 78 rpm glass-base records in faded paper record jackets. The only information we had was the hand-written labels. For example, “Aleut (ATTU) #7 12/4/1945 ‘Song sung by father to child upon return after long absence.’”
Robyn explains, “With audio collections, you can’t look in the table of contents – you can’t thumb through them like a book to find out what it contains. You have to have playback. We knew that these recordings were unique and we could see that they were extremely fragile. We didn’t dare put a stylus to them. They were essentially hidden gems.”
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Kansas State University Libraries’ Macaroni Pudding and a Good Cake is a two-year project that will enhance international scholarship pertaining to the history of food and medicine, women’s culture, comparative literature and epidemiology. Over 10,000 pages of manuscript cookery books dating from 1650-1896 will be available in an institutional repository as well as a crowdsourced transcription interface.
As these manuscripts are digitized, the most fragile will be selected for conservation treatment. Please make a donation toward these conservation efforts.
LEXINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Lexington, Massachusetts
This rare and historic image shows the first steam train traveling from Lexington to Boston and is one of the earliest photographic images in the Society’s collection. Of interest to those studying early US Daguerreotypes, railroad history, and Massachusetts transportation history.
These oversized books of insurance maps are an invaluable resource for finding where a house or business used to be located, as well as the changes made to Nashua’s Streets and neighborhoods. Of interest to those studying maps, historic urban planning, and early 20th century New England cities. Interesting use of paper patches to keep the maps current!