The George School Archive is a treasure trove with historical artifacts dating as far back as the founding of the school. Archivist Dave Long and Library Director Marion Wells are excited to announce that the archive has been selected to participate in the Needs Assessment and Preservation Planning Program run by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA).
The program funds a comprehensive evaluation of the archive, during which preservation specialists from CCAHA will devote a full day to surveying the collection. The specialists will evaluate the archive’s needs regarding preservation planning, exhibition, environmental controls, storage, security, and disaster preparedness, among other factors. The resultant findings and recommendation report from the assessment will help Dave develop a three- to five-year preservation plan for the collection.
“The needs assessment is an important step in identifying the health of the archive,” said Marion. “The assessment will allow for the review of the collection and the refinement of our collection use policies.”
In the future, Dave and Marion hope to integrate the archive with aspects of the George School curriculum. “I’d like to see the archive be used more as a resource by the history faculty (or other departments) to help expose students to research methods using primary sources,” said Dave.
“The archive is an untapped resource right now,” said Marion, “but it can reinforce the value of the school to the students.” Marion added that the collection also holds plenty of hidden gems that could be valuable to outside researchers interested in Quakerism or local education.
The needs assessment will also prepare the archive staff to conduct a campus-wide survey of artifacts located throughout the campus, such as art, photographs, and sports memorabilia. Dave and Marion explained that it’s important for them to ascertain if those materials should instead be stored in the archive.
The materials in the archive tell the long story of George School, and Dave and Marion are committed to learning more about archive preservation and best practices through CCAHA’s continuing education resources.
“I am proud of the work that Dave Long and his volunteers have done to maintain the integrity of the collection, and I look forward to learning about the steps we can take to preserve the collection for future generations,” said Marion.