Thursday, April 24, 2014

Technical Leaflet #9: Photographic Preservation: Basic Methods of Safeguarding Your Collections


By Peter Mustardo and Nora Kennedy

The Technical Leaflet Series “is intended to provide brief, practical information about selected archival topics suitable especially for beginners in the profession. “ The Technical Leaflets continue to serve as introductions for new archivists, archivists working with new formats, and solid principles on many topics.

Analog photograph formats present a variety of challenges to archivists: housing and storage, handling, identifying deterioration, and understanding the physical construction and chemical composition of a variety of processes. This leaflet provides a brief introduction to a complex chemical process that has undergone rapid change and innovation during its relatively short life. The simple yet solid advice is applicable for most organic archival material, but is presented with specifics on how environmental hazards affect the unique chemical composition and physical structures of photographs. Topics include improper storage environments, poor quality housing, inappropriate handling, biological attacks from pests and mold, processing faults, inherent flaws, and exposure to light.

These practical measures are still in use; updating in this leaflet would largely focus on including a section on digitization of photographic materials and the inclusion of new funding resources available for photograph preservation.

Anyone with a gap in their archival repertoire on photographic materials would be well served to include this basic introduction in their early reading.

A digitized version of this Technical Leaflet can be found at http://www.marac.info/publications.

 

--Maureen Cech, Technical Leaflets Editor

Technical Leaflet #5: Developing Archival Exhibitions


By Shawn Aubitz and Gail F. Stern

The Technical Leaflet Series “is intended to provide brief, practical information about selected archival topics suitable especially for beginners in the profession. “ The Technical Leaflets continue to serve as introductions for new archivists, archivists working with new formats, and solid principles on many topics.

With more and more institutions focusing on their archives and special collections as their unique holdings and greater investment in public history and programming, exhibitions featuring archives, manuscripts, rare books and printed material are major vehicles of public service.

This leaflet covers major areas of exhibition preparation and installation in broad strokes; curators of analog exhibitions  would no doubt have additional questions on planning gallery space, working within a limited space, and creating a logical flow.

The leaflet needs updating to reflect innovations in analog exhibitions (the inclusion of multimedia, for example) and digital exhibitions that necessitate some understanding of web design and writing for the web.  Providing examples and resources for a dynamic medium is always tricky, but resources on basic principles of good web design, etc., would be useful.

As a whole, however, the leaflet still provides basic practical advice applicable to all levels of experience: evaluating preservation issues, designing engaging layouts, and creating exhibits on a budget.  

 

A digitized version of this Technical Leaflet can be found at http://www.marac.info/publications.

 

--Maureen Cech, Technical Leaflets Editor

Technical Leaflet #3: Planning for Archival Programs: An Introduction


By Bruce Dearstyne

The Technical Leaflet Series “is intended to provide brief, practical information about selected archival topics suitable especially for beginners in the profession. “ The Technical Leaflets continue to serve as introductions for new archivists, archivists working with new formats, and solid principles on many topics.

With greater influx of collection material, increased demand for materials to be made available more quickly, and rapidly changing formats in need of timely intervention and migration, many archivists are planning large projects. Large projects that involve time, money, people, communication, and measurable outcomes for the investment(s). This leaflet provides a very basic overview of how to plan, whether it’s for a project or for an entire archival program. More attention is being paid to project management approaches to processing and other sorts of projects within a repository; this leaflet outlines some of the first steps of project management: define your project; analyze current resources; formulate goals, objectives, and activities; and implementation of the plan.

This is a broad approach to planning a project or planning an archival program that is applicable to many different situations. With advice to understand the plan is flexible, buy-in from all parties is essential, and deadlines and deliverables must be met, this leaflet remains a great go-to.

A digitized version of this Technical Leaflet can be found at http://www.marac.info/publications.

 

--Maureen Cech, Technical Leaflets Editor

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rochester MARAC: The Delights of the South Wedge and Swillburg


These two neighborhoods offer great eats and drinks on a budget! John’s Tex Mex on South Avenue in the South Wedge area can fill any desire you have for great Tex Mex. You can sit outside or inside, either way you’re in for a treat. If sandwiches are what you crave stop by Open Face, which offers great vegetarian and vegan options. Don’t have time for sit down? Pop in the Mise en Place Market where you can carry out or sit at one of their high top table and watch street traffic. Satisfy your craving for sweets with a visit at Hedonist Chocolates for bite of heaven, or Cheese Eddies for a great variety of cheesecakes and other treats. Looking for a happy hour hang out, then head to Tap and Mallet on Gregory Street for good eats and locally craft beer. Or head over to Lux Café for your night’s entertainment.

Drawing its name from the tannery that used to run next to I-490 in the 19th century, Swillburg is an off the beaten path neighborhood with great diners and international options. Compare the grub at Highland Park Diner and its near-by competitor- the South Wedge Diner. If you chose Highland Park Diner, be sure and save time to see a double feature at The Cinema across the street. On South Clinton Street, you might try Shiki Japanese for great sushi, or Lilu Café & Ethiopian. You’ll also find the India House, which offers a great lunch buffet as you get ready to hit the road after the last MARAC session on Saturday.