American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month is celebrated in November to recognize Native cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art, and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native people.

Native American Heritage Month Website, which is a collaboration of 8 major museums and institutions has a comprehensive list of various events, exhibits, demonstrations, and online resources available for a better understanding of the rich history and amazing traditions of the indigenous peoples of America.

• National Park Services has Tribal Preservation Programs & Grants designed to help repair some of the damage done in the last 500 years to the tribes and aid in restoring language, tradition, religion, objects, and sites.

• National Archives website has an entire section dedicated to the Native American Records, in which you can research records for a specific person (arranged by tribe), as well as other available online resources, hundreds of scanned rare photos and historical records pertaining to Native Americans.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has a state-of-the-art museum conservation facility, which includes separate laboratories for working on textiles and objects, a technical library, a photography studio, a scientific analytical lab, and mount-making spaces. The conservators participate in outreach, training and research projects conducted by the NMAI, collaborate with other institutions on special programs and, of course, take an important part in restoring, preserving and preparing artifacts for being displayed in the museum. The recently opened five-year exhibition called Circle of Dance presents Native dance as a vibrant, meaningful, and diverse form of cultural expression. The museum uses costume displays and a large-screen video to illuminate 10 Native American dances. Both Washington, DC and New York locations of NMAI are ready to celebrate the Heritage Month with a calendar full of events.

Celebrating American Archives Month All Across America

October is designated throughout the United States as American Archives month. The month was founded in 1969 by the Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, but now Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories. Society of American Archivists (SAA) takes active part in promoting and developing the month-long celebration, raising much needed public awareness and providing professionals with new ways to attract attention to the priceless treasures they preserve and valuable services they provide. Instruction on how to preserve family photographs and documents are also usually provided in each state. The majority of the states get involved and plan out different sorts of activities that pertain to archiving. You can follow the ongoing events by searching for hash tag #ArchivesMonth on Twitter and also by visiting SAA on Facebook.

Throughout Archives Month, museums, libraries, and other archival institutions all across the country are celebrating by defining their respective histories and the ways that make them unique to one another. Each participating state designed a poster that reflects the chosen theme while showcasing some of the finest archival ephemera and photo treasures normally hidden in boxes and folders.

Some states picked very unusual and original topics for 2012 Archives Month. For example, Washington is presenting it’s illustrious history of crooks, cops, and courts. University of Texas at Austin Archives were inspired by fashion and clothing, while The Oregon State Historical Records Advisory Board concentrated on a more serious issue by commemorating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in Oregon. From maps to music and home videos… Hey, even Rock&Roll Hall of Fame got in on some archival action 🙂

You can see the more comprehensive list of activities and themes on SAA’s site designated to Archives Month. or on the Council of State Archivists Archives Month Directory site, which sorted them by state.

Time to Celebrate Preservation Week!



Starting Sunday April 22, the American Library Association will kick off its third annual Preservation Week. The intention is to make connections between communities through events and activities that showcase what we can do to better preserve personal and shared collections. Preservation Week got its start in 2010 to bring awareness to the 630 million items in collecting institutions that require immediate care and attention. The American Library Association also points out that some 2.6 billion items are not protected by some form of an emergency plan. In 2011, more than 65 events were held nationwide during Preservation Week to bring awareness to this issue. This year, institutions across the country will be presenting webinars, workshops and lectures on how to better preserve your collections. In 2012, a diverse group of institutions will be participating in Preservation Week. You can find all of the scheduled Preservation Week events and locations on the official map.

Some of this year’s highlights include:

  • At New York University’s Michelson Theater, Activist Archivists have collaborated with the Occupy Wall Street movement to hold a presentation about the OWS Archives Working Group and the challenges they have already experienced and will face with regards to preserving and archiving materials directly related to the Occupy Wall Street movement. (Tuesday April 24, 6 PM).
  •  MIT Libraries will be presenting about caring for your family’s textiles. This session is available as a webinar. It will cover proper storage and display of your textiles, and when to call in professional conservators to handle a project. Earlier, we wrote about one such group of professionals, our friends at Museum Textiles Services. (Tuesday April 24, 2:00-3:00 PM)
  • The Library of Congress is hosting a pair of noontime events during Preservation Week. On Monday April 23, the Library of Congress will show a 35-minute, 1980’s photofilm, a movie made solely from still images, about library preservation events at the Library of Congress some three decades ago. On Wednesday April 25, conservation specialists from the Preservation Directorate will hold a seminar on the preservation of artifacts on paper. This workshop will focus on the basic conservation remedies that can be done at home.

University Products wants to help you get ready for your preservation week projects, so we are offering a sitewide 20% off sale through April 20, 2012. Use the coupon code PRESERVE12 at checkout, and the savings is yours!