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Preservation Week at HPL!

Special Collections
Pauline F. Pulsifer and young woman in Haverhill Public Library Annex vault. Item 31479006503329 in the Senter Digital Archive.

The Special Collections Department is celebrating Preservation Week 2024! From April 28 to May 4, libraries, museums, and all kinds of cultural heritage organizations focus on preservation training, practice, and outreach. Why is preservation so important? It’s what makes our collections last as long as possible, so that we can provide access to them now and in the future. But it’s not just for librarians and archivists – anyone can learn the basics of preservation to take care of family heirlooms and prized possessions.

A lot of preservation work boils down to protecting your collections from damage and staving off deterioration. Limiting exposure to high temperatures, moisture, excessive light, and pollutants; avoiding over-handling; and keeping collections organized so you know what you have. By storing your collections in your living environment, rather than hot attics or damp basements, and organizing them into (labeled!) sleeves, folders, and/or boxes, you are well on your way!

Of course, there is a lot more to it, but there are many free resources out there that teach the basics and provide helpful tips for non-librarians. A great place to start is the Preservation Week website (available year-round): 

The Special Collections Department at HPL are preservation enthusiasts! We have been working hard to make our collections organized, accessible, and better protected. It is an ongoing process and we are always finding hidden gems as we work through our backlog of unprocessed materials. We love to share what we find! We post our discoveries here and on social media, as well as add them to the catalog and finding aids. Preservation and access go hand-in-hand and are the core values that guide our work!

More Special Collections information is always available in our corner of the HPL website:

*Please note that we have moved our evening open hours to Thursdays.