Category Archives: Conservation & Collections Care

Help to preserve our family and community histories !

Preservation Week April 24th – 30th – Help to preserve our family and community histories – Visit Your Local History Museum or Genealogical Society!

Our community and family photo collections and stories are very valuable and they are being lost to those who might some day appreciate them.  Therefore – this week we encourage you to think about how to celebrate your family and community history.  Some ways include:

—–Sit the family down for a quiet interview focusing on a member of your family. Let them remember life when they were young, the things they did for fun, how world events affected them, favorite stories and favorite rants. You’ll learn more than you think!  If you are a senior in your family, consider ways to share your own past and do identify your family photographs.

—–Consider hosting a neighborhood meeting to share life experiences. Those not born and raised in your community have a lot to offer and their stories will add to the most common American experience today, that of moving, arriving, beginning in a new place.

—–Support efforts to keep funding for historic preservation.

—–Visit or Volunteer at your Local Historical Society – keep our museums open, help with exhibits, programs or recordkeeping  —  Your Local Heritage Group Needs You !

There is a list of local heritage groups on the right side bar of our website – – each has many wonderful things to offer.  See Also Louise Lindgren’s wonderful discovery story of Index WA’s lost past!

For those of us involved in their family or community histories already – visit your neighboring group to listen and learn and learn and maybe collaborate.

For some important statistics on our local collections, click here!

Digital Archiving

The Library of Congress has produced some good basic videos on preservation
on “Why Digital Preservation is Important For You” –

Our personal photos, papers, music, and videos are important to us. They record the details of our lives and help define us. But increasingly,  our possessions and our communications are no longer material – they are digital and dependent on technology to make them accessible. This Library of Congress video (7:44) offers simple and practical strategies for personal  digital preservation….

See the websites below-

Also of interest if you don’t know about it already is the  Internet Archive
and the Wayback Machine –  The archives of the website since 2003 are here :*/

Karen Prasse
info AT

Local history museums are like Icebergs

Our Historical Society Museums and Genealogical societies are our communities scrapbooks and antique collections – most of what is there is being preserved and in storage waiting for the appropriate exhibit or program to be featured. And managing all of this is complicated.

Congratulations to the Monroe Historical Society for winning the grant for a Museum assessment program. Running a local history museum is hard work. There are many rewards but the obligations can be overwhelming for volunteers and most of our small museums and genealogical groups are totally operated by unpaid history lovers who want to research and share. But there are difficult questions about what to keep for collections and what to say no to, finding volunteers to help keep our collections open, planning the next fresh new exhibit and the endless inventorying and cataloging, not to mention digitizing, publicity, programming…. Sometimes its just nice to get some outside input to help us focus on the big picture as well as the fun of the history. The Monroe museum has a great wealth of historic materials and newly written history on their website to build on for a new museum. Best of luck to them!

The applications for next year’s round are on Association of American Museums Museum Assessment Program – FY 2010 Deadline: February 16, 2010

For conservation assessment grants see –

Other grants –

National Endowment for the Humanities List of Grant programs

IMLS American Heritage Preservation Program

Karen Prasse
Stanwood Area Historical Society Volunteer
& President, League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations