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Special Interest Group Archive: Archives SIG 11/17/2020

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

Archives SIG

The Archives SIG was held on November 17, 2020. Notes are below.

Notes from the meeting

What are people working on?

Everyone is pretty busy, especially with digital projects!

  • Urban Archive Project : they have a map-based plotting of images. Several Newburgh organizations have been working on the project.
  • Trying to meet researcher’s needs in person -- this can be a challenge!  One idea for keeping tables undamaged from disinfectant is to cover them with cloth tablecloths and wash them afterwards.
  • Fishkill has been doing video recordings of oral histories.
  • Chester Historical Society has been working on an online exhibit on the Maple Ave School:
  • Creating a Friends Group, evaluating small archival collections.

How is your library managing?

  • Very limited; there isn’t as much space to support people safely in the library.
  •  Only 1 Covid case this semester. Students wear masks when they are outside. Most have been good about embracing it.
  • Books are going into quarantine for three days. The library closes two hours to clean and have separate staff for mornings / evenings.
  • Offering Curbside services; however, people can come in to browse from 20 minutes.
  • A lot of posting and engaging with people using social media. It can be really time-consuming and you need to post regularly to keep up engagement.
  • There’s a lot of engagement in the “you know you’re from when…” groups.
  • Facebook is a huge driver of traffic to New York Heritage. It is definitely a good way to engage people around historical collections.

A lot of museums /historic houses are trying to create a better reflection their site’s history with race.

How have you been keeping track of scanned / phone pictures of images?  

  • Create a database of scans -- it can make it a lot easier to find files and locate something quickly.
  • Keep genealogy emails -- the replies have the images that have been scanned. It makes it easier to find old requests or re-send materials when needed.
  • Spreadsheet for requests to scan items. However, get requests for some obscure requests. How to keep track of those when they might not be requested again?


  • Some reels are getting damaged, corroded.
  • It can be challenging to find other sources for originals. For a NY newspaper, the state library might be an option.
  • Digitizing can help create a secondary copy of the item in case of irreparable damage.

Has anybody been archiving the protests from this summer? Or know of anyone who has?

  • Some Bard students have been requesting information on past protests. This has brought attention to old archival collections reflecting activism on the campus.
  • Putnam county historian’s office archived images of protests within the region.
  • Scarsdale Library created a collection related to COVID/quarantine in their New York Heritage Collections.

The next SIG will be held January 5th.


Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065