Community Archiving Workshop

by Adam Sheffield

September 23rd, 2019

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I recently traveled four hours from our library in Boone all the way to Whitesburg, Kentucky to attend an audio/visual Community Archiving Workshop, hosted by Appalshop. Myself and twenty-four other participants worked hands on with some of Appalshop's newly donated materials. Caroline Rubens, Archivist for the Appalshop Archive told me,

"Thanks to our participants, Appalshop Archive now has inventory-level catalog records for:

  • 29 micro and regular cassettes from John Verburg's oral history collection
  • 16 DVCam and MiniDV videotapes of raw footage shot for the film Morristown by Anne Lewis
  • 1 16mm reel of original negative from Appalshop's early film collection"

For me, it was exciting to see a small example of what archivists deal with, and how that process affects my job in digitization. I've always been fascinated with what digital preservation does for the accessibility of our historical materials. After attending this workshop, I discovered a new appreciation for what our library's Special Collections team must encounter, from inventorying, assessment, conservation and preservation plans, and so much more. This experience not only encouraged me in my position, but also helped identify the area of the library that most of us never see. I'd like to see Appalachian State host an event similar to this.