Hit by Flooding? Here Are 3 Things You Can Do Now

Hit by flooding

by Marcia Spicer Plus: two ways you can prepare for the future to conclude National Preparedness Month  The summer of 2022 has been a season of unexpected flooding for many areas, including our own here in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of our friends and neighbors experienced damage and loss—placing this particular natural disaster at the […]

Preventing the Worst-Case Scenario

national preparedness month

by Marcia Spicer Ask any archivist, collector, or researcher who works with historical materials what their worst nightmare is, and you’ll probably get a few variations of the same answer. Total loss and destruction of a collection, history, language, people… you can’t get much worse.  Yes, recovery techniques have dramatically improved over the last 100 […]

Unrecoverable: The National Personnel Records Center Fire

Water Damage

by Marcia Spicer Within the archival community, some disasters are legendary—infamous not only in their scope but in the way they affect policy, inspire innovation, and produce lasting repercussions.  One such disaster is the National Personnel Records Center fire on July 12, 1973. Despite taking place almost 50 years ago, the anniversary of this fire […]

Don’t Lose Your History

Inaction is the real risk to your history

Recorded history is an irreplaceable treasure, but physical historical records are constantly under threat. Books, records, photographs, and hand-written letters are meant to be passed on to future generations, but the more they’re used, the more likely they are to sustain irreversible damage. Over time, the valuable information recorded on paper can become indistinguishable from […]

Repairing Gaps in History

Family records

Anyone who’s dabbled in genealogy knows the frustration of trying to find information many generations back, but African Americans seeking information on their ancestors have unique problems. Those who trace their roots back to enslaved people often struggle to find any records or even names to continue their search. Director Marybeth Niederkorn of the Cape […]

What’s the Easiest Way to Lose a Collection?

A collection can disappear before your eyes

That question seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? In fact, most people who come to Anderson Archival are looking for the exact opposite—the easiest and best way to preserve their collection for the long haul. But if most collection-owners really want to preserve their collections, keep them safe, and make them available to share, why do so […]

Fires Rage, History Fades

fire at Museu

Physical structures may feel like safe, permanent homes for humanity’s history, but they are also fragile, vulnerable to human error and malice alike.” – Andrew Lapin, NPR If you saw our recent article about the Karpeles Museum fire in St. Louis, you’re well aware of the dangers that threaten physical historical manuscripts. Flood, flame, and […]

Firefighters Save Historic Documents Amid Museum Fire

Karpeles Manuscript Library

A St. Louis museum was compromised by a fire this week, but thankfully most of the collection had been digitized! Late Tuesday night, March 26, 2019, a four-alarm fire broke out in the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in South St. Louis. As a St. Louis-based company dedicated to digitally archiving historic documents, this almost-tragedy hit […]

Keep Your Collection on the Cloud


You are taking the steps to preserve your organization’s collection, but have you considered how your digital archive of data will be accessed? Cloud storage may be the choice for you. Many modern digitized collections utilize cloud technology for document storage. When you are investing in digitization services, it’s important to look at the options […]

Digitization Services: A Vital Part of Your Disaster Recovery Plan

water damaged book spine in decay

Digitizing services are vital for a disaster recovery plan to electronically restore your collection when destruction hits. Maybe you already have a disaster recovery plan for the computer equipment you use in your home and office everyday, but what about the priceless materials in your collection? Whether you curate a museum with a significant compendium […]