It’s Preservation Week! This annual event, sponsored by the American Library Association, celebrates the ways in which institutions and individuals work to prolong the lifetime of cultural materials. It’s a time for outreach and education, and we’re excited to be a part of it.
This year, I was so pleased to work with colleagues from the School of Information and the Harry Ransom Center at the Austin Archives Bazaar, an annual event highlighting archival repositories here in Austin. At the Preservation Station, we chatted with visitors about how to preserve personal and family keepsakes, from books and photos to recordings and blogs. This year’s Archives Bazaar was emceed by Chet Garner from PBS’ The Daytripper at Austin Beer Garden Brewing. Thanks to our organizers for a fun afternoon talking archives and preservation!
On Friday, April 15, students in my course INF 386E Planning and Understanding Exhibits celebrated the opening of their class exhibit. On My Desk Stat! Paper Copying in a Changing Workplace documents copying processes from the 19th – 21st centuries and considers their impact on human health and safety, on waste in the environment, and on gender in the workplace.
The opening event was a fun way to re-connect with colleagues as we took in the exhibit, enjoyed snacks, played a beat-the-typist game featuring a real typewriter, and tested our knowledge in copying trivia to win iSchool mugs, water bottles, and t-shirts. We were so pleased to host visitors from UT and beyond at this event.
Our students have worked hard on every part of this exhibit, from choosing items and crafting narrative to writing text, building web presence, promoting the event, building display elements, and much more. The exhibit is on display on the first floor of the UTA building through 4/28, and you can catch the exhibit online and see updates on Instagram. Congratulations, students!
I was pleased to participate this week in the Planet Texas 2050 Resilience Research Symposium. At this multi-disciplinary event, I shared our preservation students’ work in climate risk mapping for Texas archives. We revisit this project with a new climate focus each semester in my Disaster Planning and Response class.
At the event, an engaging array of scholars approached climate research from broadly varied perspectives. Focuses included community resilience planning; regional shifts in communicable diseases; and current and historical impacts on plant and animal life. Most attendees were new to the preservation of cultural collections, so this was a great opportunity to build new connections.
Many thanks to Jonathan Lowell, Heidi Schmalbach, and the Planet Texas team for organizing this event.