The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference met in Wilmington a few weeks back. Since it was at home and closely related to projects in the wings,* a few Delaware State Library staff were able to attend. I’ve talked here about how historians keep popping up in my reading/learning of late; well, this event sure brought a richer palette to that picture! Not surprisingly, the conference centered on gathering and protecting our cultural memory. But, aside from discussions about digitizing collections, there was no emphasis on access for our patrons/customers/citizens. The beauty of the times in which we live is that the guardian/curator role of librarians and archivists no longer requires rare materials to be unavailable to the general public to ensure their preservation. It’s a new world of sharing our cultural heritage across the senses and across media formats. A few virtual excursions follow for your enjoyment/enlightenment. One must start with the American Memory project of the Library of Congress, of course. And as an East Coaster with a developing interest in things West, I’ve learned much at the Arizona and Washington state collections. Have fun.
*A hearty congratulations to Beth-Ann Ryan for her recent grant award from the Institute for Museum & Library Services for staff training in preservation and conservation.