Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Announcement: Cultural Heritage Collaborators

Join the party and become a Cultural Heritage Collaborator!

Twenty years as an archivist and ten years of providing consulting services to diverse cultural heritage institutions has brought me to this place. I am happy to announce the release of my latest book, which focuses on securing the historical documentation of communities. The publication is a practical manual to help localities work collaboratively, identify records with permanent value, and retain collections that fully reflect community memory.

Cultural Heritage Collaborators: A Manual for Community Documentation is a practical guide. It has been described by Erin Andrews as "a must-have guide for any group working with any sort of historical documents" and Donna Reiner says it provides "much needed information" to protect archives and small collections. Ryan Lewis states, "...any professional working in the world of community-building through heritage and cultural resources could find something of value here." (See full early reviews here)

The book is split into three sections. The first discusses why it is important to identify, collect, organize, preserve and provide access to archival materials. The second discusses collaborative collecting from the collaborators and reaching out for partners, to those who can help fund collaborative projects, to strategies for working together. The third is more practical and detailed, explaining why and how we should gain a overview of a community's documentation using accepted techniques for collection development. Interspersed through the chapters are twelve model repositories, including museums, libraries, and archives. Also included within the book are worksheets for surveying and appraising collections and tips for writing mission statements and policies to assist documentation efforts.

Reviewer John Fleckner stated that he hopes this book will "inspire others" to invest in the future through collaboration and collection development. The book conveys my passion for the work. I hope to encourage you to join the party and spread the word about what we can and should do as a society to preserve our memories and cultural heritage.

I invite you to join the discussion on this blog. In what collection based collaborative projects is your institution participating? Or, share with us what kind of project your institution is considering for the future. Perhaps you'll gain a new way of thinking about your colleagues, your public, and the future of cultural heritage institutions after you read the book. Share your thoughts here in the blog or through my ArchivesInfo Facebook business page.

Need to learn more to inspire you to read the full text? The introduction to Cultural Heritage Collaborators: A Manual for Community Documentation is available online.

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