Get Ready for Preservation Month

Card catalog

By Junior Digital Archivist Alyssa Voss On May 6th, 1973, the first National Preservation Week began. Established by the National Trust of Historic Places, the week was meant to promote heritage tourism and showcase the social and economic benefits of historic preservation on the local, state, and national levels. Donald Sheehan, the member who pitched […]

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 […]

Practical Tips for Document Longevity

physical archives may benefit from digitization

by Marcia Spicer Are you a proud owner of historical material written by or to famous individuals? Perhaps your collection isn’t recognizable to the public but impacts your family or community. Preserving these documents for future generations can be a daunting task for the new or unprepared collector. Too often, collectors inheriting these materials are […]

Backgammon and Bronze Age Toilets: Preserving the Mundane

Preservation of Yesterday's Trash May Prove Important

by Shana Scott Gas station receipts, junk mail catalogs, and notepad doodles aren’t exactly what we imagine future researchers studying to learn about our time in history. And yet, that’s not solely up for modern-day archivists to decide, is it? We’ve written before about the importance of preserving “everyday history,” but what about the stuff […]

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 […]

More Than Digital: Building a Preservation Plan

Historical collections need preservation plans

There are so many things to consider when choosing to preserve a collection, both in digital and physical format. Though the needs of digital preservation are not the same as those of physical preservation, it’s important to keep both sides in mind when building a preservation plan. Neglecting one could reduce quality and access to […]

A Tale of Two Explorers

Can the single piece of physical evidence survive to tell the story?

The more items preserved from a historical period or event, the better our understanding of what happened, how people lived, and what was important at the time. But sometimes a single artifact or document can shed light on unknown or obscured history. Oftentimes these types of artifacts are hidden away in family collections or lost […]