Community Invited to Free Workshop on Preserving Family Heirlooms

“What’s in Your Attic? Decoding the Past through Cultural Artifacts,” a free preservation workshop sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be offered April 6 by Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University. The free workshop, open to the public, is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sadie’s Place in the library. No registration is required. Randy Silverman, preservation librarian at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, will help participants learn how to care for their artifacts and family heirlooms. With more than 30 years of professional experience, Silverman’s workshops engage people in discussions that help them improve the care of their personal collections to safeguard the primary source material on which our history is built. Everyone is invited to bring their personal books, photographs and artifacts for a free preservation consultation as part of the discussion which is guaranteed to be of interest to those who wish to preserve their family history. Kent Library is offering the workshop thanks to a $5,910 Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions awarded in December to Kent Library’s Special Collections and Archives by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to the workshop, the funding is being used to conduct a holistic preservation assessment of Special Collections and Archives beginning in April. The grant makes it possible for Kent Library to hire a preservation consultant to assess environmental conditions, storage policies, and provide strategies to optimize preservation, including development and implementation of a disaster preparedness and recovery plan. The consultant’s assessment will include a long-range preservation plan, but may also include some short-term steps to be implemented right away. The library hopes to begin implementing short-term recommendations and work on fundraising possibilities to implement long-term preventative conservation strategies by November. The NEH is an independent federal agency promoting excellence in the humanities and supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. NEH PAGs help institutions —particularly small and mid-sized institutions— improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections. For more information about the National Endowment for the Humanities, visit