The Smithsonian Libraries hosted an afternoon program titled Preservation Matters! on April 24 in the S. Dillon Ripley Center. This event was in conjunction with the American Library Association’s National Preservation Week (April 21-27).From superstorms to blizzards to tornados to wildfires, America has frequently shuddered under the onslaught of natural disasters. “Why Preserving History Matters” was the focus of the keynote lecture by New York Times and internationally bestselling author Steve Berry, who serves as national spokesperson for National Preservation Week. A devoted student of history and member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board, Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, founded History Matters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding the preservation of the fragile reminders of our past.
“History is more than what’s in museums. It’s what’s lying on the side table in your den, or in a box in your attic — displayed in a frame on your nightstand, or stored in the basement. We are all custodians of history, and preserving these personal treasures, protecting them against loss and destruction is vitally important,” said Berry.
Preservation Matters! featured presentations and discussions on disaster response, pest management, and archives preservation by librarians, conservators and preservation specialists from federal and local organizations. Participating organizations include the Smithsonian Libraries, Library of Congress, Folger Shakespeare Library, Defense Acquisitions University, National Archives and Records Administration, Smithsonian Institution Archives, National Portrait Gallery and the American Institute for Conservation. You’ll learn how best to safeguard your family’s history so that it can be passed on to the next generation.
Preservation Week is a collaborative effort supported by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association, Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.