Special Collections Roundtable

News and Notes

May 2018 Edition

A newsletter for members of the RI library community who have responsibility for the care and access of unique or rare manuscripts, records, books, audio and/or visual materials, local history and other special collections.

Next Meeting of the SCRT

Send your suggestions for presentations or topics you would like to see at the next Special Collections Roundtable to Donna Longo DiMichele by May 18.

News About RI Colleagues

Michelle Farias, Special Collection Assistant, Redwood Library & Athenaeum, was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. ALA Press Release

Grant Opportunities

NEH Division of Preservation and Access -- 2 opportunities

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Apply by August 1, 2018

The mission of the Challenge Grants program is to strengthen the institutional base of the humanities by enabling infrastructure development and capacity building. Grants aim to help institutions secure long-term support for their core activities and expand efforts to preserve and create access to outstanding humanities materials.

Applications are welcome from colleges and universities, museums, public libraries, research institutions, historical societies and historic sites, scholarly associations, state humanities councils, and other nonprofit humanities entities. Programs that involve collaboration among multiple institutions are eligible as well, but one institution must serve as the lead agent and formal applicant of record.

Common Heritage Grants

Apply by May 31, 2018

America’s cultural heritage is preserved not only in libraries, museums, archives, and other community organizations, but also in all of our homes, family histories, and life stories. The Common Heritage program aims to capture this vitally important part of our country’s heritage and preserve it for future generations. Common Heritage will support both the digitization of cultural heritage materials and the organization of outreach through community events that explore and interpret these materials as a window on the community’s history and culture.

The program supports events organized by community cultural institutions, which members of the public will be invited to attend. At these events experienced staff will digitize the community historical materials brought in by the public.

Eligible activities include the documentation of cultural heritage materials that are lost or imperiled; the preservation and conservation of humanities materials; and the sustaining of digital scholarly infrastructure.

Challenge grants may also provide capital directly supporting the purchase of equipment and software; the design, purchase, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities needed for humanities activities; and collections sharing.

Happening Around the State

Hacking Heritage: Saturday, May 12, 9:30am to 2pm THIS WEEKEND!

Hacking Heritage, now in its third iteration, invites questions and conversations about how and why we protect, interpret, manage and market our cultural heritage that may be uncomfortable, provocative, critical, or, as one of our steering committee members put it, just plain weird. It is a place to gather and talk together about things like experimental preservation, marginalized stories, historic houses, monuments, sites of conscience and digital heritage.

For more information and to register

Hacking Heritage is a program of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University.

Professional Development Opportunities

Online and Free

  • The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) and the Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC) have partnered to present a series of webinars that provide sound recovery practices for cultural heritage. The target audience for these training events includes staff in small museums responsible for collections care, as well as homeowners and collectors. The first webinar in the series focuses on the recovery of paper and books.
    Wet Recovery of Paper and Books May 18, 2018 1:00 EST

The WebJunction Course Catalog is free and open to library staff everywhere whenever you are ready to learn. It offers library-specific self-paced courses, webinar recordings, and other great learning materials. WebJunction Collections Management offerings include sessions on digitization, disaster response, etc., but don’t stop there. Throughout WebJunction there are sessions on topics about which we all can use more information. Create an account and start learning today.

In-Person, Fee-based

Preservation Management and Collections Care

June 6 and 7, 2018, 9am - 4pm

WHERE: Vermont Historical Society

60 Washington St

Barre, Vermont


This two-day workshop provides a basic introduction to the concepts and standards used to build an effective preservation program. The curriculum covers preservation policies, environmental and storage conditions, care and handling of collection materials, reformatting, emergency preparedness, and program assessment. The instructors will discuss realistic approaches to preservation at small and medium-sized organizations, and small group work will encourage participants to discuss their own preservation goals together. The program is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

INSTRUCTOR: Sean Ferguson, NEDCC Preservation Specialist

REGISTER: QUESTIONS? Contact info@nedcc.org

Society of American Archivists Training in New England

Digital Forensics for Archivists: Fundamentals

June 20, 2018, Amherst, MA - Early-bird Deadline - May 20 REGISTER

The field of digital forensics often evokes imagery of prime-time television crime dramas. But what is it, and how can archivists put digital forensics tools and processes to use in their home institutions? Archivists are more likely than ever to be confronted with collections containing removable storage media (e.g., floppy disks, hard drives, thumb drives, memory sticks, and CDs). These media provide limited accessibility and may endanger the electronic records housed within, due to obsolescence and loss over time. Caring for these records requires archivists to extract whatever useful information resides on the medium while avoiding the accidental alteration of data or metadata.

Digital Forensics for Archivists: Advanced

June 21-22, 2018, Amherst, MA - Early-bird Deadline - May 22 REGISTER

In this course, you'll learn how to apply existing digital forensics methods and tools in order to recover, preserve, and ultimately provide access to born-digital records.

Free Resources

Newsletter: Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World is an international newsletter that helps readers keep current with the latest news, initiatives, guidance, best practices, tools and case studies in information management, archives and libraries. to receive this free online newsletter please send an e-mail to Stephen Gerley Project Officer, Archives Branch Library and Archives Canada / Government of Canada Tel: 613-240-6408

The Connecting to Collections Care Online Community

The Connecting to Collections Care Online Community helps smaller cultural institutions to provide well-informed care for their valuable collections. All content in the C2C Care Community, with the exception of special courses, is provided for FREE. This service is a program of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Artistic and Historic Works and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

News From Far Afield

Did you know?

Members can post to the RISpecialCollections@googlegroups.com discussion forum! It's one way to communicate with others who work with special collections and archives in Rhode Island libraries and some historical societies, museums, and cultural heritage organizations. It's your list, so use it to share what matters to you in the field of special collections and archives!

To subscribe to Special Collections Roundtable News and Notes send an email to Donna Longo DiMichele

RI Office of Library and Information Services

The Office of Library and Information Services strengthens, connects and empowers libraries to advance knowledge, connect communities and enrich the lives of all Rhode Islanders.