1091 Project: North Carolina’s Preservation Community

The 1091 project is a collaborative blogging effort between us and our colleagues at Iowa State University. This month’s topic is our respective state’s preservation and conservation communities, and how we participate in those organizations and groups.

It’s an exciting time to be a conservator or preservation librarian in North Carolina. Many of the higher educational institutions have well established conservation and/or preservation departments including three large universities in the immediate area: North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has two departments, and of course Duke. We all work together in a variety of ways including helping each other solve problems or presenting disaster recovery training for the Triangle Research Libraries Network (UNC, NC State, Duke and North Carolina Central University). As TRLN members, we often present at the annual conference or other TRLN events. Recently we have presented on using social media (Beth Doyle) and the library as place (Meg Brown)

Winston Atkins, our Preservation Officer, is our digital preservation expert for the libraries. He helped initiate, and served as a panelist for, TRLN’s LOCKSS Information Exchange. He also serves on the CLOCKSS advisory board, which helps create open access journals. He also serves on the Center for Research Libraries, Certification Advisory Panel. The Panel ensures that the certification process addresses the interests of the entire CRL community, and includes leaders in collection development, preservation, and information technology.

The North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPC) is a state-wide volunteer organization that helps to promote preservation in cultural institutions. Beth currently sits on the board of directors and is the current NCPC Newsletter editor. We routinely attend the annual conferences as they  provide excellent programming and the opportunity to network with colleagues form near and far.

Teaching is a main priority for many of us. Meg Brown team-teaches the UNC Chapel Hill School of Information Science Preservation of Library and Archival Materials class with Jamie Bradway, Head of Preservation at NC State (PDF of syllabus) [Meg and Jamie took the class over from Beth who taught it for many years]. Winston Atkins teaches the preservation class in the Public History Program (Archival Studies) program at NC State University.

Disaster recovery and planning is, of course, a corner stone of preservation librarianship. As mentioned above, we do a lot of training within TRLN but Winston is also on the Heritage Preservation’s Alliance for Response Triangle Cultural Response Emergency Network Steering Committee. Part of that organization is the Triangle Area Cultural Resource Emergency Network (TACREN) whose mission is to provide disaster response assistance and/or support in times of emergencies and for disaster planning. TACREN includes preservation and conservation staff from the region’s libraries, museums, and historic sites in a network of cooperative disaster response and training.

Several of us are members of local bookbinding groups including the Guild of Bookworkers southeast chapter (Meg), and the Triangle Book Arts Group (Mary).

We are also very active on the national level. All of the conservators are members of American Institute for Conservation, and both Erin and Beth have had presentations accepted for this year’s AIC conference in May. Beth has done a lot of programming for AIC in the past as part of the Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group. Beth and Winston are also very active in the American Library Association Preservation Administration Interest Group, serving on committees and as discussion group chairs or presenters.

Parks Library Preservation has more on what they are doing around Iowa, let’s go over and see what they are up to.

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