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. https://www.urbanarchive.org/cities/newburgh
- 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: https://www.chesterhistoricalsociety.com/exhibits/maple-ave-school.html
- 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.